by Dr. Alan Goldberg
Good coaches TAKE THE TIME TO LISTEN TO AND EDUCATE THEIR ATHLETES’ PARENTS – They make it a regular practice to communicate with the parents and educate them about the sport and the role that they need to play on the team. Your success as a coach often depends upon getting parents to work with you, not against you. The only way to make this happen is if you take the time to talk to and train your parents. This means that you must learn to listen to their concerns and questions. Take a proactive role with them. Do NOT wait for a problem or crisis before you decide that it’s time to actually approach your parents. Do so right from the beginning of the season and do it often. Let them know about their support role on the team. Help them understand that their job is NOT to motivate or coach their child. Teach them what are appropriate and inappropriate behaviors at games and on the sidelines. Educate them about the sport and what it takes to excel. Explain your philosophy about competition and playing time. Be open to feedback in a non-defensive manner.