1. Recognize the Commitment the Coach Has Made: Coaches commit to many, many hours of preparation beyond the hours spent at practices and games. Recognize their commitments and the fact that they are not doing it because they're getting paid for it. They are volunteers! Try to remember this before criticizing.
2. Make Early, Positive Contact with Coaches: As soon as you know who your children’s coaches are, contact them to introduce yourself and let them know you want to help your children have the best experience possible this season. Offer to help the coaches in any way you are able, such as being a “team parent” responsible for coordinating car pools or snack schedules.
3. Fill the Coach's Emotional Tank: A Little League Double-Goal Coach® fills players’ emotional tanks (like a car’s gas tank, when people’s “emotional tanks” are full, they can go anywhere, and when they are empty, they can go nowhere). But coaches need their tanks filled, too! When coaches do something you like, let them know it. Coaching is difficult and many coaches only hear from parents when they have complaints. Truthful, specific praise that fills coaches’ tanks will contribute to them doing an even better job. Many coaches do a lot of things well. Take the time to acknowledge them.
4. Don't Put the Player in the Middle: Imagine a situation around the dinner table, in which you complain in front of your children about how poorly their math teacher teaches fractions. Wouldn’t that affect your children’s motivation and respect for that teacher? Same with your children’s coaches. Conversely, when parents support coaches, it is that much easier for players to compete wholeheartedly. If you think your children’s coaches are not handling situations well, do not tell your children. Recognize that you are not going to agree with all of the coaches' decisions. Support your children's coaches.
5. Don't Give Instructions During a Game or Practice: You are not one of the coaches, and it can be very confusing and un-nerving for children to hear someone other than the coach yelling out instructions during a game. If you have something you want to discuss with the coach, then discuss it with the coaches AFTER the practice or game. Remember, getting to make those decisions is a privilege they have earned by making the commitment to coach.
This information is brought to you by Positive Coaching Alliance. To learn more, please visit www.positivecoach.org.