Tips for ‘team’ parents

The largely undercovered aspect of school athletic programs is the involvement of parents.

Most parents make a positive impact, but a few cross the line, usually under the guise of ?doing what?s best? for their child and actually make life hard for all involved. Several years ago we interviewed coaches and asked them to offer their advice to parents. As we begin a new school sports season, here are their suggestions:

  • Attend your child?s games whenever possible.

  • Be positive about your child?s involvement in the game, even if it?s limited.

  • Encourage your player to have a good attitude and have fun.

  • Praise the play of your child, but also the play of teammates.

  • Encourage your athlete to work on his or her skills during the off-season.

  • Join the school?s booster club or find tangible ways to support the team.

  • Introduce yourself to the coach prior to or during the season.

  • Let the coach know if the coach can do something to help meet the needs of your child.

  • Try to see circumstances through the coach?s eyes, too, not just the child?s eyes.

  • If you feel you need to talk to the coach about team issues, go to learn and not to educate.

  • Be discreet when you meet the coach.

  • Realize that being part of a team has positive benefits, regardless of playing time or performance?and remind your child of that, too.

  • Discount negative ?coffee shop talk? that undermines a coach or team; emphasize the positives.

  • Thank coaches for the time they invest in your child


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