Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

Handling Parent Blow Ups In Youth Football

Unfortunately one of the duties of youth football coaches is to be ready to handle parent blow ups.
There are many steps you can take to avoid situations like this:

If you’ve gone to youtube or seen the evening news in the fall, too often we see parents flying off the handle and sometime even acting in a violent way at youth football games. This is totally inappropriate in youth football, regardless of circumstances. Our Goals in youth football include molding and teaching young men in the ways they should go, not to teach them to be thugs.

Most of these problem parents did not all of a sudden just start to act poorly in one fell swoop. They were allowed to act poorly in increments.

We always start our season off with a mandatory parents meeting where we spell out what is acceptable and unacceptable behaivour from our football players and parents. We discuss the importance of modeling good sportsmanship in front of the players and demonstrate a number of scenarios and spell out what the consequences will be for not meeting the standard. We also require each parent to sign a contract agreeing to our requirements of the spectator.

If we see any type of infraction, we handle it immediately but diplomatically the first time. Any secondary offenses are dealt with swiftly and without mercy, there is no debate as the requirements of the spectator as we keep a copy of the signed contracts right in our team book at all practices and games. If parents see that there is a standard and it will be strictly enforced, rarely are there any problems.

If a problem does arise, take it off to the side and talk in very soft but controlled tones to the parent. Let them know you will resolve the issue after the game has ended and the kids have gone home, but any further incident will result in their son being sat out until the parent leaves the premises.

My personal team has never had to do this, but 2 Eagle teams have had to use this method to get a parent to leave. In both instances the parent was banned from attending further games and at seasons end, the parent and child were not invited back.

We have never had any fights or serious incidents like the one on youttube, but using any type foul language or harrassing referees is not acceptable in our organization.

If the coach starts to act in an inappropriate manner, it gives liscense to his parents and players to act in the same way. The head coach must always stay in control of his emotions and police his parents.


This has been another post into Dave Cisar’s Winning Youth Football Site

winningyouthfootball.com

 

Copyright 2007 Cisar Management Services

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2 Comments

  1. Coach Michael

    Dave,
    This past weekend was our first game of the 2010 season. During the game, a storm approached & the faint sound of thunder could be heard in the distance. At this time, a grandmother of a player ran down to the fence & began yelling at me personally repeatedly saying I needed to get the kids off the field. Our league, like most, requires the referees to suspend play upon witness of visible lightning for 30 mins after the last visible lightning. The grandmother continued to yell at me until I finally asked the referee to assess the situation & he suspended play for 30 mins. There was never a visible sign of lightning. How do you handle this situation?

    Reply
    1. davecisar

      Coach,

      Lightning is something you want to take zero chances with. However thunder does not equal lightning. If someone was yelling at me during a game, I would take them to the side and let them know I appreciated their concern but unless there were any visible signs of lightning, that you were not going to suspend the game. If they wanted to take their player to the side, they could, but to not disrupt the event.

      Reply

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