Parent Expectations


The next section of our athletic handbook is entitled, “The Expectations of our Parents.” I wanted to go over this section for three reasons. One is that most of you are parents, so we want you to adhere to the same standards toward your children as we expect from others. Two is that we want you to know these statements so if and when a parent brings a situation or wants to engage in a conflict, you can remind them of our philosophy and our process. Three is because as a coach and a parent, you have the unique position of being able to reinforce these on the practice and game fields.

This section includes eight statements. Let’s look at them one at a time.

“Show mutual respect and shared responsibility by not criticizing their coach or officials.”

If you have a parent being critical of you to a point of its becoming personal, remind them of mutual respect. If you have a parent being openly critical of an official during a game I expect you, if possible, to ask them to stop. I also expect you to not be openly critical of others or officials during a game.

“Give positive encouragement to your child to find the sport that is right for them.”

Positive encouragement is always best. Plus, more than ever we want to be honest with our students if we feel the sport is not right for them or if they are wanting to be a part of the team for the wrong reason. Telling the truth in a kind way is not negative thing.

“Support your child by pushing them to do extra skills work at home or in the off season.”

Our students are only with you a short time. Personal skill development occurs mostly on personal time. Encourage our students by reminding them of this regularly. Off-season teams are to be suggested.

“Teach them that success comes at a cost of accomplishing hard tasks.”

Remind players regularly that you are asking them to do hard things because it prepares them to be their best self. Students do not know what their best is, so don’t ask for it. Show them through hard things that their best is more than they ever thought they were capable of.

“Teach them that failing does not mean you are a failure but an opportunity for growth.”

Constantly remind them that you want them to take risks in practice and games. Failing is how we get better. We do not want them playing (and living) in fear. We want them strong and confident.

“Remind them that playing time is earned, not entitled.”

If playing time comes up with a player or parent remind them of FFT #2 and The Purpose of Christian Classical Athletics. The words “playing time” do not exist in that paragraph. What DOES exist are the words “mental toughness,” “overcoming failure,” and “conflict management.” Lack of playing time falls into one or all three of these as opportunities for growth.

“Encourage them to talk to the coach when they are questioning or concerned about an issue.”

If a parent wants to talk to you about an issue be open and listen but ask if it is something that the student should address with you as coach first. This teaches responsibility. I will address playing time as an issue in a later Food for Thought with more specifics.

“Do not perform an autopsy on his performance on the way home from a game. Let him open to you first. Do not talk about the coach or coach decisions to your student. This does not help a disappointing situation. It only breeds disrespect and division.”

One of the best ways to help a student learn and grow is to ask questions. Don’t rush to judgement. In all situations ask questions and wait for an answer. Then ask more questions. Try to refrain from giving too much advice. Give them simple next step solutions as opposed to a firehose’s worth of to-do’s along with blaming others for bad outcomes.


Till next time…


More Posts by This Author: