On USA Football: Parent/Coach expectations: Be clear up front

Having a positive and productive season regardless of the win-loss record includes having a solid plan for communicating with parents. As with any plan, we like to keep it simple, clear and concise. We list our dos and don’ts for parents, plainly identifying what things we are willing to discuss and what we are not willing to discuss. Because of the nature of some issues, I have always felt it best to include an athletic administrator. This way, if for some reason, the problem escalates or is not resolved, the administrator was involved from the beginning.

Most issues never get past the point of the player-coach level. When the players understand they are expected to conduct themselves appropriately, including taking responsibility for their own problems, many issues are resolved without parent involvement. I’m always sure to ask if the player discussed the issue with mom or dad. If he did, then I usually follow-up with the parent to make sure the player communicated our resolution to the issue. When I plan to call, I let the player know as well so he feels that he is included and I didn’t go around him. The entire process promotes trust and honesty…read more

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