Meeting with team coaches can seem like an impossible task, They do not spend specific hours sitting at a desk. Coaches may seem unapproachable or rude when a parent tries to ask a question. Here are a few key points that will help keep those feelings to a minimum.
In youth sports/youth organizations we are doing some really important work in helping to grow and mature a generation of young people. The vast majority of the parents involved are supportive, positive and an asset to what we are trying to do. PARENTS have a very important role in helping us achieve our goals. We are partners in helping make a positive, productive ...and enjoyable experience for the kids. One role of the satisfied parents in a program is to help make sure that the occasional "difficult" parent that shows up doesn't negatively affect what we are all trying to accomplish. One self-centered, selfish parent can make things difficult for a lot of people. It is incredible to me that "parents" have been labeled as usually bad for a youth program all because of one or two. The vast, vast, vast majority of the parents in our programs are supportive, positive and love what we are doing. Isn't that a great situation? In the sports programs I work with across the country, the overwhelming majority of them plead with their parents to "come to us if you have any problems or concerns." The coaches and owners don't want any parents sitting and complaining and not trying to get to the root of a situation or concern. ALL sports programs have their ups and downs and there are certainly situations that arise that may not be planned. WE need to work together. WE need to lead our children by example in how to make things better. Communication, a positive attitude and a real desire to make things better. Youth sports programs/organizations can be torn apart by 1 or 2 unsatisfied parents. No one, the coaches, owners, organizers or leaders of the program should allow that to happen. The positive parents in the program shouldn't allow it either. There is too much important stuff to be lost if this very small minority of parents gets their way. Don't let them bring people to the "dark side." If you are around a negative parent at practice, get up and move. Maybe offer a little support for the program to that parent right before you move your chair. At meets and competitions, again, get up and move. Maybe when she sees that everyone has moved away from her she might get the message that no one wants to hear the negativity. Life is too short to have 1 or 2 mess things up for everyone else. The power of positive parents is huge. Help us create an environment so that we can do our job with the kids so that they benefit. -Tom Burgdorf