The relationship between the parent and the coach is a delicate one. I have learned as a coach having to manage parent relationships in addition to being on the other end as the parent that these relationships must be handled with care. The ultimate goal of this relationship has to be to help the athlete become the best athlete he/she can become. If that is not the goal of both parties the relationship is doomed to suffer tensions and in the end the only one that truly loses is the athlete.
Let’s be honest that sounds good but it’s hard. Especially as a coach I have my opinions and feel they should be heard. But how does that help my kid? How does that effect the relationship between my child and his/her coach? Remember Jefferey you are the parent not the coach….UGGGGGHHHH this should not take this much thought. When do you speak up? When do you stay silent?
As a coach I have expectations for the parents of my athletes. These expectations include:
- Leading by example (If you as the parent do not repsect the coach’s authority, recognize and respect the incredibly difficult task officaials have, and support your athlete no matter the score why would your child behave in that manner?)
- Support the coach and vision they have for your athlete (As the parent oftentimes the focus is on your child and you may not see that your child is only one piece of the bigger puzzle)
- Encourage your child in good times and bad (Studies show that the most dreaded time for a student athlete is the car ride home. The most important words your child can hear are “I am proud of you” and “I love to watch you play”)
- Communication (Any scheduling conflicts or concerns the coach should be aware of should be commuincated as early as possible).
As a parent I have expectations for the coaches that work with my child. These expecations include:
- Leading by example.
- Communicating clear expectations of the program and of him/her as a member of that program.
- Holding athletes in your program accountable. (If my son/daughter leaves your program only knowing how to shoot a ball that’s a problem.)
- Communicate communicate communicate (Communication is the foundation to any relationship and that is no different in this one).
- Be a professional and maintain an appropriate relationship with my child.
If everyone involved can come to the relationship knowing their role and working in that role the winner will always be the child. Like I have said before these waters are tough to navigate. But with work and diligence to do what is best for my child I think I can handle this.
Thank you for everyone who actually took time from your lives to read my blog. I am not a professional by any means this blog was ther result of a graduate school project and therefore I will be returning to my day job (or should I say jobs I have so many.) I may be hanging up my keyboard but I am going to continue to work to be the best sport parent I can be becasue I recognize the incredible responsibility I have to be my best and help my children become their best. I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts from the safety of my computer desk chair. Hopefully I have helped someone at least take the time to examine themselves and their role in this crazy sports world. If not…well..I tried 🙂 Until next time….until then I’ll be the guy in the stands trying to keep a neutral face, cheering positive affirmations to my child, and hopefully sitting a little more closely to my wife. Take care.