As a coach for over 20 years of athletes from the ages of 7 to 60, I can tell you that I have had every type of discussion with parents from how great the season is going to how totally incompetent I am as a coach of their daughter. Regardless of how correct or incorrect they may have been or how angry or happy they were, I always worked to maintain my composure and address our conversation with professionalism and objectiveness. It was not always easy, however I understood that for parents, communicating with coaches can be difficult and even more so when they were feeling emotional about their daughter and needed to be heard.
Timing For Communicating With Coaches
It is important that you allow your coach to have time to prepare for competitions as your daughter does. A discussion that is heated or challenging can effect the coaches state of mind which can effect the way that she/he interacts with the athletes during the game. You might have noticed that if the coach is stressed, the game flow can be disrupted. For this reason it is inappropriate to have discussions with the coach prior to games and practices unless previously arranged for reasons to do with that immediate event.
You may however need to let the coach know if your daughter is not feeling well or if she needs to leave early or you need to contact them if you are going to be late bringing your daughter to the field.
Topics when Communicating with Coaches
The first thing that will be useful to do before meeting with the coach is to consider what you want to discuss. Does the topic have to do with the coach and his/her conduct and interactions with your daughter or is it something that you and your daughter need to deal with off the field or maybe even something that has more to do with the coach and your daughter than the coach and you.
Topics for you and your coach:
- parental commitments
- costs for participation
- your daughter’s schedule
Topics for your daughter and the coach:
- playing time
- coach expectations
- skill development
It is acceptable to have discussions with your daughter who is meeting with the coach if it has been arranged in advance and that you are respectful of your daughter’s involvement in the discussion.
After a controversial Event:
It is important that you give it some time between the event and meeting with the coach if you need to discuss something that is bothering you. We can easily react unfavorably when upset about something and maybe even say something that you regret. It is recommended that you use the 24 hour rule before you even contact the coach as your emotions may alter during that time and you may approach the whole situation differently. From experience, you might find as well that the coach will address the situation differently 24 hours later as well. If the event is heated and thought of as negative, it is easy to react rather than act on what happened.