COACH’S CORNER: Put the Ball in the Parent’s Court

In my 40 plus years of coaching from U6 to U19 at the recreational, club and High School levels I can count on one hand the number of parent issues I have had.  The key – open communication.  Try these suggestions:

Personally engage with every parent and player through your teams method (management system, email, etc.)  Make it from you, with your contact information and encouragement to contact you directly.

Choose the number of players for your team so that they all will play significant time in each match.  For my high school team I like to keep it to 16 players.  I play equal time for as many players as I can, or at least 10 minutes per half if the size of my team is larger.

Rotate the starters.  Parents and players are not aware that most goals are scored in the last 10 minutes of a half or of the game.  Use that to your advantage.

Ask for volunteers for team parties, meals, etc.  Get the parents involved.

Post on social media.  Make sure you rotate the focus so that each player has a mention somewhere during the season.

Meet with the parents where they are . . . in the stands!  I like to spend at least one half per season in the stands sitting with the parents.  I allow them to ask me anything they want.  It can be about me, my family, my coaching style, our style of play, their child, their child’s playing time, etc.

If you are an open book to the parents, they will know that you have the best interest of their child at heart.  That is what a parent wants to know.  Give them as many opportunities as you can to express to you their thoughts and feelings.  The ball is in their court if you make yourself available to them.

View another COACH’S CORNER article here.

By Brad Carlson

Brad has coached a variety of sports in the community, middle school, and high school for 40 years including coaching the MN 2021 Class A State High School Champion.  He has coached soccer from U6 at the recreational level to U19 at the club level and all age groups at the high school level, including 11 years as a head coach.  He holds a USSF "B" coaching license and USC diplomas.