In pay to play football, parents are a reality you will have to deal with. They can be your biggest supporters or your biggest obstacles. If you don’t manage them properly, they can steal the joy of coaching kids. It never hurts to have them know you understand their concerns. Those of you that are parents understand those concerns.
You have had those very same thoughts when your kids played sports or were in an activity you weren’t directly supervising. Most parents just want their child to play in a safe environment, with mature coaches, who are impartial, teach great fundamentals and are efficient with their time.
Call it the SMILE factor: Safe, Mature, Impartial, Learning, Efficient. Let your parents know that you understand them and you are on top of the biggest concerns most of them have.
Safe Environment- Your coaches are background checked, have been trained on boundaries, know the basics of heat stress and concussion identification and understand how to teach safe blocking and tackling.
Maturity- Your coaches have been chosen based on their maturity levels. They have been trained and have a contract in place that insures they will follow the maturity philosophy of the organization. They will not go off on referees or play the blame game. They will act in a mature manner with fellow coaches, opposing coaches, players and parents.
Impartial- Coaches will put players into positions and allot playing time based on ability and effort, not based on what last name the player has. There is no room in youth football for playing favorites with a coaches child. Have an impartial methodology in place to select, place and to determine positions and playing time. A good place to start is competitive evaluations per the book “Winning Youth Football a Step-by-Step Plan” in Chapter 4. Those evaluations are fool proof and impartial and clearly show you who should play where and who the top player is at each position.
Learning Environment- Make your team one that does the ordinary, extraordinarily well. Games are won with great blocking, tackling and ball security. That is also how sound players are built, through developing those base fundamental skills . Use modern progression teaching methods to break down and then perfect every movement you plan on implementing.
Efficiency- Parents dislike wasting time on unproductive activities. They have lives, jobs and other children to think about. One of the quickest ways to alienate a parent is have a slow paced practice with lots of long lines and standing around. Then make sure to go past the set ending time, due to your lack of respect for their time and poor planning. Make every second count, be well organized, keep your lines short, your pace fast and always start and end on time.
In the end, you won’t be able to satisfy every parent. But if you address these issues at your first parent meeting along with the “Setting Boundaries” speech in Chapter 3 of my book, you will have solved 90% of your problems before they ever happen.
Copyright 2012 Cisar Management, all rights reserved. This article may be republished but only if this paragraph and link are included. http://winningyouthfootball.com