Things Coaches Do That Drive Parents Crazy
We all have the things that parents do that drive us crazy but here are somethings that coaches do that make parents a little annoyed about how we go about coaching their child (ren). Over the years I have received many emails and phone calls in relation to coaching children or not coaching children.
“Players should be seen as children first, students second and players last“
Here are 10 things that are regularly brought up by parents:
- Coaches don’t communicate: Communication is the number way to get you message across to the players but also the parents. When you don’t communicate with the parents they start to make assumptions and talk behind your back. Lesson number one communicate with the parents regularly. Organise a team meeting at the start and end of the season.
- Not having a coaching philosophy: Now, your club may have one so it’s always best to let the parents know what it is. Your way is the only way is not the way to go about this. There are many ways to develop kids and they all need something different. What works for one, may not work for the other.
- Your goals may not be the same as the players: Your motivation to succeed may not be the same as the players or parents. From day one set out your goals and aspirations by communicating them. There must be a complete buy-in otherwise you will have problems further down the line. Match your wants with those of the players. Remember most kids get into sports for fun, fitness reasons, be with friends etc.
- Having Favourites: We all want to have a successful team but the most successful teams are the ones that give all kids a chance to develop. Every child deserves the same level of attention from you. Do not focus on the better players. Look to try and get the best out of the weaker ones also.
- Not taking other commitments into consideration: The kids and families have other commitments. Be considerate to other sports, school and family commitments. if a child is playing other sports, he is still training and trying to improve. Communication is key here.
- Letting your standards drop for certain kids: Don’t be inconsistent with the players, this really annoys parents. Being late, not showing up, messing about, not listening are common team rules that apply to everyone. Enforce the rules on everyone in the squad.
- Not knowing how to discipline: Another area where coaches can get it so wrong. It takes the same energy to shout and get annoyed as it does to be respectful and calm. Shouting and using a dictatorial style of coaching will only get you so far. Coaches need to have clear, consistent ways of dealing with difficult, destructive and distracting players so that as little time as possible is wasted on words and actions that don’t directly contribute to improving the kids.
- Not showing up: If you prepared to take on this difficult task of coaching. Then you must show up prepared to show up. And what I mean by that is you must be prepared to improve the players. If your team aren’t performing and you’re constantly to the same things in training you will get the same results. You must arrive at training prepared, focused and ready to improve your team. Any team can grow but the growth starts with you. Using your mobile phone, talking to other parents or coaches and not being 100% focused is also regarded as Not Showing Up!
- Time: Our time is our most important asset and you should never underestimate the value of it. After all most of you give your time for FREE. The most important things to parents are 1. Children, 2. Time and 3. Money. Parents pay coaches and/or clubs for their kids to play and be coached in a specific sport. Most are rushing home from work and taxing the entire weekend to get kids to and from training & games. I’m sure there are plenty of other things parents could be doing. As coaches we need to be mindful of parents time. Not sticking to when training finishes can be very frustrating for parents. Also the time you give each player can be another area of concern. Certain kids may need more of your time and it’s important to give it equally.
- Not making it fun: Most of us are working with kids from age 4 up. Players should be seen as children first, students second and players last. Follow this simple rule and things will be a lot easier for you. Look to make things fun first and then shape you session around the ability of the players. Every child wants to improve and get better but they won’t all improve at the same time. Always focus on what’s best for the child.
Coaches, especially volunteer don’t get a lot of thanks for the time and effort they put in. Many have their own families but devote their own time to other peoples kids. Many of you who read this blog have given up 10s of years doing just that. However if you decide to get involved in coaching then you must be prepared to put in the time. Self development is the one way you can improve your team. If you want to better them then you must be prepared to better yourself.
The number one thing you must consider when coaching is communicating with the parents and players in your squad. The more you do this the less problems you will have and I’m not talking about team dynamics or player performances after a game (although important). I’m talking about communicating what needs to be understood in relation to team rules, respect, training times, your philosophy, beliefs or areas the child needs to work on.
One thing I’ve learnt is that when you are demanding more from a player (in training etc), make sure you also communicate this to his/her parent, that way if for any reason you have to release a player at least you had had some sort of dialogue leading up to your decision. This is the one area that a lot coaches never seem to get right!
Please feel free to comment below on the things you would add to the above list!
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