Provide an Orientation That Includes Key Topics
Provide Opportunities to Receive More Formal Training
1. Provide an Orientation That Includes Key Topics
(Provide an Orientation for Parents that Include Key Topics such as: Mission and Philosophy, Code of Behavior and Penalties, Roles and Expectations of Parents, Grievance Procedures and Costs)
Parent orientation should cover what is expected of them when they participate in sports. What do you want the parents to walk away with? How do you expect them to behave and what are the consequences if violated? How much time and financial commitment are you asking of them? What tools are you providing them to help alleviate concerns, questions, and problems? What goals do we what to accomplish for our kids in sports?
Give the parents an overview of the key topics, allow them an opportunity to fully understand the role, demonstrate to parents the appropriate verbal communication strategies required for youth sports and how to support their athlete’s efforts and interest in sports in a postitive manner. Finally, continue to educate parents about the developmental process in youth sports.
Sample agenda for Pre-Season Parent Meeting
- Introductions and basic background of coaches.
- Introductions of parents and participants (have kids introduce their parents).
- Thank them for help so far and for allowing their children to participate.
- Goals: do your best to get better, only worry about what we can control, have fun.
- Playing time: philosophy and how it works, not automatic. How do attitude, effort, and ability factor in?
- Positions: where can the player be successful.
- Player Expectations (on and off the field).
- Game Rules: length, basic rules.
- Medical: injuries and illness-keep us informed.
- Calendar: practices/game schedule, special events
- How parents can help make for a successful season…
- Always provide positive feedback.
- Be positive with your child, encourage them, don’t let them down. Issue of who we play, potential All-Star teams, etc.
- Ask them if they are having fun.
- Be supportive of coaches, at least in front of the kids. You won’t always agree but support is crucial, and we will do the same for you!
- Let us know of any problems or issues.
Have a handout with a calendar, coaches’ contacts, squad list with parent names and contacts.
Provide examples and help parents direct their focus on keeping their athlete safe and applying the life lessons on and off the field.
Creating a fun and positive environment in youth sports is the key to ensuring youth retention. Educating parents and coaches on what is appropriate behavior is a good first step. Providing a monthly e-mail consisting of good tips and procedures will help parents remain informed and will help them keep sport participation in check.
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2. Provide Opportunities to Receive More Formal Training
(Provide Opportunities for Parents to Receive More Formal Training on How to Parent Youth Athletes)
Be available for parents and provide your expertise.
Plan a meeting/clinic for the parents where you con bring in officials, coaches, and others to facilitate. Options would include a “Responsible Parent Quiz” or scenario questions…”What would you do??”
Give the parents the tools necessary to communicate and support their child athlete.