Seek first to Understand, then be Understood When you're entrusted with a parent's most precious possession, their kids, they deserve to get the best you can do.”
I’m not the Expert on Parent Meetings 33 years in Education- coached 60 teams- had maybe 5 parent meetings- all in the last two years Because?
Need to Educate Parents 1. Unhealthy Perspective – At the mercy of their athletic experiences 2. Obligation to District to keep Activities Educational – Poor parent conduct compromises that 3. First child in activities – Not sure what to expect 4.What are you teaching? They need to know big picture
Stories Basketball Parent Softball parent Wrestling Parent Other Stories Why don’t they know better?
Encyclopedia of Sports Parenting by Dan Doyle 2004 in the USA- 475,000 4 th grade boys playing organized basketball 87,000 seniors playing high school basketball 59% think they will get a scholarship 1560 Division 1 scholarships 1350 Div 11 scholarships 1400 Div 111 opportunities 30 will play in the NBA 2.9 % HS to NCAA/1.3 NCAA to Pro
60 % of Parents Believe Their Kid is Going to Get a Scholarship Reasonable to Assume that the “we” of teams with most parents becomes an “I” really quick when there kids start competing at middle level and beyond. That’s always the sticky wicket because a lot of parents have a “ plan” for their kiddos. Help parents understand that the educational mission with activities has nothing to do with athletic scholarships and specialization.
How do you communicate that to parents? Parent Meetings Handouts Both? Communicate Schools Mission Communicate coaches responsibilities Communicate Parent “ Code of Ethics” Communicate practice and game specifics Value of Activities- teaching more then “skills”
Share with Parents What we Teach in our Programs Effective Decision Maker Personal Effort and Work Ethic Self Control Personal Confidence Accountability for personal conduct, roles and responsibilities
What should you be Teaching Academic Commitments School Attendance Respect Civility Positive Conduct – In-School – Out-of-School
What should you be Teaching Exploration/ not specialization Strengthen fundamental skills Teamwork and sportsmanship Resiliency, Who is going to argue against this type of instruction? What parents have really defined this level of instruction?
Lack of Communication Schools Achilles Heel Signed expectation sheet imperative this day and age District Position on Controversy supportive if you are clear with pre-season expectations Ex: Football Player
What Info Needs to be Shared at a Meeting or in Handout 1. Positive, Positive, Positive welcome A. Starts with Coach or AD- Our programs are a “ good thing” act like it. 2.Introduce staff- share district philosophy A. Slides 5-7 teaching tips- handouts 3. Game and Practice Schedule- distribute and reference district policy about transportation- pick up 4. Communication Process- Players and parents 5. Academic and Discipline Policy- 6. Parent Role in Middle School Sports
Parent Role- (Give them Tom Doyle's Book- The Sports Parent Manual if Possible) firstname.lastname@example.org Be a parent- not a coach Be positive No gossip or negative comments Emphasize the “ fun” Victory of “we over I” ( SPM) – Happiest moments are the we moments, loneliest are the I moments
Parent Role Continued Toms Book on Parenting- Here is some advice from your kids that Tom has gathered over the years- page 24 of his book – Don’t get frustrated if I’m not playing well or the team is losing – Don’t become too involved in our sports lives – Stay in the stands and don’t embarrass me with what you say or yell – Encourage me regardless of performance
Parent Role Continued Don’t talk to my coach about playing time, its between the players and the coach Relax and make it fun for me by the way you respond Don’t make a scene Remember its our team, not yours Its not life or death, its just a game Be realistic about my abilities
Parent Role Continued Don’t relive your own athletic experience through me Talk about my improvement Respect my coach Love me in a loss
Finish Strong End with Positive reinforcement of their support and the joy of participating for their son or daughter. Give e-mail address but no phone # Reinforce getting to know parents- their support over the years will be vital in your communities and programs remaining strong Thank them for their trust and being able to release their son or daughter to you for the season.
Positive Parents Lots of great parents Don’t discount importance of getting to know parents We need their support Coaches role to nurture those relationships whenever possible Find ways to be positive with parents about their son/daughter- game interactions
Experience the Joy Should be fun for kids and parents Try and look at big picture “we” Middle School Could Be Last Chance to Experience a variety of activities More concerned with availability then ability Together lets put programs in proper perspective Nothing Better in Sports Allowing Yourself to Experience the Joy of Competition- help parents reflect on the benefits of that in our programs