Youth football coaches ask me all the time about problem parents. Coach wants to know if they should “choose” a player that has an overbearing parent or a parent that is a poor sport.
There are some things you can do to solve the problem before it ever starts to become one:
Over the last 15 years of coaching youth football, I’ve seen or heard about every imaginable crazy parent story.
I’ve coached in the slums, in the housing projects, the suburbs and the rural areas with overbearing “helicopter” parents.
Many of us look at a very athletically mature player with an overbearing parent and are tempted to compromise our standards.
Speaking from experience that is never a good idea, most parents have defined their world view by age 30 and are NOT going to change.
I’m very clear in our Spectator and Player contract what is expected and required from both. On the first day of football practice I read a 6 page speech which talks about the non-negotiable way the team will be run, a copy of that speech is in my book in chapter 3. I say nicely at the end of that speech that if anyone has a problem with how we are going to run things that please look at the bottom of their contract sheet, as there are phone numbers of all our competitors there. We kindly let the parents know if they can’t live by the standard, they can go and play for a foootball team with different standards. We only want families that are on board with what we are trying to do with our youth football program. We will make a youth football team out of whatever we have available. Only one did any parent take us up ont hat offer at the first practice. The one that did went to another program and were tossed off that program at the end of the football season. Now I have asked a combative parent or two to leave the first week or two, but it has been pretty rare, maybe 4-5 in 15 years of coaching youth football.
My personal teams just don’t have the kinds of problems youth football coaches have with their teams because we get things set day one and we do not vary from the standard, let that problem parent become your competitors problem. Coaching Youth football should be fun, don’t let crazy parents rob you of that joy or ruin your footbal team for the rest of your players.