Creating Successful Pre-Season Coach – Parent Meetings
Getting the season off to a great start
Successful coaches realize the importance of pre-season meetings with parents, and many believe it is the first step in developing a healthy, positive, and winning team culture and climate (Sport Success 360). While some coaches may view the pre-season meetings with parents as an unwelcome requirement (and possibly even a waste of time), the reality is when these meetings are met with enthusiasm and well planned, many potential future problems are resolved before they ever occur. As an example, when coaches take the time to discuss their methods for selecting playing time, it takes away the “guesswork” many parents experience while trying to figure out why their kid isn’t playing. This results in less time needed to resolve conflicts, while allowing for more time to coach the team.
Because successful pre-season sports meetings only occur with responsible planning, the following list of tips are designed to help generate ideas so that you can develop your own coach – parent pre-season meeting:
- Show your enthusiasm — your attitude will set the tone and help parents become comfortable with your leadership
- Provide food — perhaps the booster club can help, or a local restaurant interested in working with the athletic department
- Stay on schedule, and keep the program running.
- Have the meeting video recorded, and disseminate all documents and handouts electronically through team webpage and other social media.
- Discuss your coaching philosophy, team rules, means of communicating, and other important topics – like playing time.
- Provide information regarding medical and sport psychology support, including help for concussions, sports burnout, and other physical and emotional problems
Consider bringing in an alumni speaker who can discuss mental toughness and the challenges of being a student athlete
Allow time for questions, and treat them all with respect
Remember, pre-season meetings with parents can help generate enthusiasm, diffuse potential problems, and help with team cohesion. When kids feel as though they are part of a winning tradition, they often play with greater mental toughness, focus, and motivation — all important pieces to athletic success!
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Dr. Chris Stankovich is a Professional Athletic Counselor and Sport Performance Scientist and studies the psychosocial variables impacting human performance and success. He is the author of 5 books and has had his work featured in numerous national media outlets, including USA Today and ABC World News. Dr. Stankovich is known as "The Sports Doc" for his regular television feature on Ohio News Network and NBC 4 Columbus (OH). For more information on peak performance products, speaking engagements, training seminars, and free education downloads, please visit http://www.drstankovich.com.