Parents Role

The Parents Role in Athletics

The involvement of parents in the athletic experience of their child is a given. Their involvement affects their own child, the coach, the rest of the team, the other parents and the student-body. How parents choose to be involved is a choice each person has. There is only one guarantee during a normal athletic season: it will not be “perfect”. Even without disagreements between parent, player and coach, there will always be problems with relationships, individual and team interaction. Knowing that these times will occur, it is essential that athletes, parents and coaches have a mutual perspective on the expectations.

Athletes Role:

  • Be a member of this program for fun
  • Be humble when our teams win and when we lose
  • Respect and abide by the coaches rules
  • Put the team ahead of yourself in every situation
  • Accept decisions made by those in authority
  • Demonstrate respect to the opponent’s coaches and players
  • Be accountable for your own actions
  • Develop a teachable spirit that allows you to take correction as a compliment
  • Accept and embrace the discipline involved in your sport because it benefits the team
  • Develop the feeling of pride, based upon “shared joy” of the team and not have pride be shown in arrogance or a sense of entitlement
  • Be a person of character

Coaches Role:

  • Coach for the love of the game and the love of your sport
  • Encourage and reinforce the focus on our team’s spirit, our fan’s spirit and our school spirit
  • Reward effort and behavior and not outcome
  • Lead with character and by example
  • Put the needs of the team ahead of any individual
  • Constantly work to improve your knowledge and ability to teach your sport
  • Be willing to confront incorrect behavior or less than all out effort
  • Keep the experience positive and fun
  • Be willing to work with parents for the benefit of the individual
  • Develop a positive coaching style

Parents Role:

  • Attend as many games/meets as possible
  • Be a model not a critic – model appropriate behavior, poise and confidence
  • Do everything possible to make the experience positive for your child and others
  • View the performance with team goals in mind
  • Attempt to relieve competitive pressure within the team, not increase it
  • Release the players to the game, coach, and the team
  • Look upon opponents as children in the same experience
  • Accept the judgment of the coach and officials
  • Be an encourager – encourage team members to keep perspective in both victory and defeat
  • Be a good listener
  • Accept the goals, roles and achievements of your child

When we stop and analyze the athletic experience, the reason we want our kids to participate is to provide an opportunity to develop physically, emotionally and to enjoy themselves. The side benefits are they have a terrific opportunity to learn how to work and get along with others and to take good risks in a public arena and survive. They learn to set and achieve goals by developing positive work habits, learning how to succeed and fail with dignity, and develop friendships outside the family unit that last for a lifetime.

Coaches are professionals who make judgment decisions based on what they believe to be best for the team and all involved. Certain things can be and should be discussed with your coach:

Appropriate concerns to discuss:

  1. The treatment of your player, psychologically and physically
  2. Ways to help your player improve
  3. Concerns about your players behavior

Inappropriate concerns to discuss:

  1. Matters concerning other student-athletes
  2. Playing time and sport strategy in general
  3. Coaches decision and prerogative in enforcing individual and team rules

When and if challenges occur, here are the steps expected in the problem solving process in order:

  1. Athlete and coach discuss challenge and try to find a solution/compromise
  2. Athlete, parent and coach discuss challenge and try to find a solution/compromise
  3. Athlete, parent, coach and AD discuss challenge and try to find a solution/compromise
  4. Athlete, parent, coach, AD and Administrator discuss challenge and try to find a solution.

In today’s times, email is a common approach for communication. When and if a challenge for the athlete has occurred, email may be used as an appropriate means of communication for recognition of the problem. However, in person communication would be advised for the problem solving process and the steps listed above would be the appropriate chain to work through for each challenge.

Students involved in co-curricular activities have a greater chance for success in adulthood and it isn’t necessarily the activity that provides that foundation for success, it is experiencing the process of problem solving and working together that occurs whenever a group of people work together towards a common goal. We hope that this information will be helpful and provide a predictable, consistent process for natural experiences that happen in athletics and activities.