Monday, March 23, 2009

Building A Relationship With Your Child's Coach

Here is a re-post of an article I posted about a year ago. Very helpfull info for parents with kids of all ages and timely considering most leagues are starting spring baseball soon...

Youth baseball leagues cannot survive without volunteerism. It takes the time and effort of many dedicated people to deliver a great experience for its players. This includes managers and coaches who tend to offer many hours on and off the field. As parents we have an obligation to the team as well. Here are a few ways you can help the coach and your kid during the baseball season.

1. Communicate With Coach And Arrive On Time.

Whether through email or via phone make sure the coach knows your kids availability for games and practices. If your child is going to be late give an accurate time as to when he/she will arrive. Games require prep work and coaches generally figure out where kids are going to play prior to game time (a rotation). This can take a long time to put together and if a kid doesn’t show up on time, it creates a lot of extra work for the coach. Also, make sure your kid is well prepared for the game with the proper equipment.

2. Get Involved.

Coaches generally welcome parent who volunteer to help. Tell the coach at the beginning of the year that you are willing to help. Let him know what you can offer the kids.

3. Pick Up A Rake.

Most leagues have requirements to prep fields before or after games. Parent can help out by taking over this responsibility for the team leaving time for coaches to warm up before a game or have post game discussions with the team. These are both important parts of the baseball experience and parents should pave the way for this to take place.

4. Cheer For All Players.

Baseball is a team sport. Parents should cheer for all players on the team. It’s even OK to cheer for kids on the opposing team. Give the kids a smile and cheer for all of them.

5. Have One-On-Ones With Coaches After Games.

From time to time you may need to speak with your kids coach privately about issues. The best time to do this is after games or practices. The best way to go about this is to ask the coach a few days in advance if they will have some time to speak with you. Give them an understanding of what it is you want to talk about. Most importantly have this discussion without the kids around to listen.

6. Be Constructive.

Not destructive! Nothing is worse that negative energy on a baseball team. It can drive teams with great talent to the brink of destruction. It’s important for parents to keep things positive. Don’t give into discussions with others about what the coaches are doing wrong… focus on what they are doing right. If you have an idea, observation or suggestion… result to item #5. Keep things positive. In most cases all involved are there to make the experience a great one… help that cause, don’t fight it.

Always remember that we are all doing this for the kids. At the end of the day what’s important is that the kids are playing baseball, participating in a positive activity, getting exercise, making friends, learning to be a teammate. I hope these few ideas will help you develop great relationships with your child coach and make your child’s baseball experience a better one.

Coach Bob


Anonymous said...

Great post. Especially about parents picking up a rake, cherring for all players, and being constructive when you talk to the coach.

I would make one recommendation, I would NOT talk to the coach after the game. Do it after practice. Many coaches dedicated their time and energy because they enjoy working with kids and competiting. After a game, I know many coaches are drained, and if they lost, might not be the most constructive and say something without having a chance to reflect on the big picture.

Coaches are usually the last to leave a practice and very willing to communicate with parents at that time.


Dan said...

Great Post! Very well written. Most coaches are very willing to communicate with parents and work with them. Too often we see parents who are quick to judge a coach. Like "sportnut" commented, parents should be willing to participate and help like "picking up a rake". Coaches need the support of all of the parents to make a truly effective winning team that has a lot of fun. The Little Leaguers need to play in the most positive learning environment possible. Baseball is a great game that can teach students life's lessons as well through proper teamwork and support from everyone.

The Pitching Academy