Dear Coach, Dear Parents!!!
(This is so long over due)
Parents first since they're actually making a real solid effort to get rid of good coaches with their annoying politics and middle school antics.
#1 - In terms of athletics, parents need to step back and let their kids be kids, whatever that may mean and its probably on an individual basis. That may read very broad and general but you need to think about it. Actually don't think about it. Here's what I want you to do, just go to practice and watch from afar. Don't stand their offering advice, don't bother making your presence known, go be a mom or dad and sit down and just watch your kid play their sport and participate in practice.
#2 - Believe it or not, the coach doesn't need your tips or input. If you want to coach, sign up and do it. Otherwise, see rule #1, by some popcorn and take a seat.
#3 - DO NOT undermine the coach at home or to the other players/kids on the team. Again, the coach is the coach for a reason (more on that below), and you're the parent. So try coming up with a much more constructive way to communicate any issues their may be other than bad talking the coach. Once you start doing that, you set up excuses for not only that season/sport but also for every other season/sport or even job that comes up down the road. Ever have a job where you didn't see eye to eye with the boss?
#4 - If you have a problem with the coaching style, schedule a meeting to talk about this in private, and not in front of the team or other parents. Strong possibility, calling out the coach after a tough loss is going to have some high emotions attached to it. Do everyone a favor and send an email like this, "Hi Coach, I was wondering if we could set up some time this week to talk about some things that are going on?" Any coach who cares will schedule that asap. (More on coaches who care below).
#5 - You probably weren't the All-State athlete your memory likes to pretend you were, so please don't push it on your kid. And if you know you fell short, don't push that on your kid either.
The coach is the coach, the player is the player and your job is to be supportive, give positive/sound advice, and car pool if necessary. That's it.
Personal note: I played a few sports growing up and like to think I could hold my own. I also have two daughters. If they don't want to play sports, fine. If they do, fine. Will I ever have an issue with a coach? Maybe. Will I have an issue with my kids not being athletic enough to fill some void I have? No way. I see it a lot. Too much actually. Some "has been," dad trying to mold his kid. I see dads trying to train their kids... it really makes me sad inside. Go be a dad and get out of here. A) you're risking injury and B) they don't need you for this. Any kid that ever signs up with me, I always ask "Who signed you up?" If they signed up on their own, good. If mom or dad did... I dive in to find out where they're all about because I'm not going to be an extension of some crazy parents wishing their kid was headed to a D1 scholarship when its just nor realistic.
And if the coach signed you up.... good :)
#1 - BE A COACH, NOT A BFF! This drives me crazy! These kids have plenty of friends, they don't need someone coming in trying to be Mr or Mrs Cool talking about JWOW or whatever other dumb ass show they're watching now. Be a coach.
A coach should be an extension of a parent and teacher. Its fantastic "x," factor position and its not for everyone. Theres a great chance, you actually have something they need very badly... playing time and everything it involves. No one signs up to ride the bench, they want on the floor and its your job to get them there and help them find moments of greatness. So because you have what they need, you have leverage which is something teachers and parents sometimes don't. Because of that leverage, you can now guide things in the class room AND at home. Coaching really is a very special position so ask yourself... Does the job stop when the seasons over? Does it stop when everyone goes home or when the games over? No. Why?
Because you need to improve the way you ask your athletes to so...
#2 - Go to clinics! Unless your last name is Wooden, Lombardi, or Jackson, strong possibility you have more to learn. My old coach told me "There is always something to learn. No matter how smart you think you are, no matter how long you've been doing this, theres always something new to learn." So get your head out of your ass and start googling clinics to attend. The future of your team is depending on it! Do you want those parents emailing you to meet? Heck no! Get it together or they will be.
#3 - Dress the part! Nothing pisses me off more than seeing a coach trying to dress cool with jeans and a crooked hat and a piercing. Are you a coach or a very unattractive abercrombie model? No ones there to look at you so save the effort. If you need help, call me. Ill hook you up with a very comfy Blue Chip hoodie for $30.
#4 - Do your job.
Your job is not to win games. If you think it is, you're coaching for the wrong reason. Your #1 job is to help get the kids ready for whatever is next. If your coaching middle school, get them ready for high school. If you're coaching high school, get them ready for life after high school.
Coach responsibility, accountability, respect, work ethic and maturity. You tell me this... how awesome is 8-2 or 10-0 or 22-8 or a state title if your starting linebacker or point guard gets arrested a few weeks after the season? Are you still coach of the year now?
Growing up, I was a Penn state fan. Someone asked Joe Paterno "Whats the best team you ever coached?" He said something like "Ask me in 20-30 years when we see who became a doctor, a lawyer... when we see who the good fathers are. That'll be my best team." Not many days go by where I don't think about the guys Ive coached... some great, great guys. Wins and losses never meant a thing to me. I think some enjoyed that approach, some didn't. I actually don't care one bit because I know with all my heart that the guys that really listened and worked on things are on their way to greatness now, when it really matters, not on a football field 7 years ago, but now.
AND if any of this offended you... good. Because you're that coach or that parent. Know your role and do your job. We're doing this for kids, not so you can brag and act like a moron.
Oh yeah, parents and coaches CANNOT criticize the trainer for any reason! :) I'll write the trainer rules next when Im really ready to have everyone hate me.