The parents are an important part of the game, but they can also be a challenge for some players. The name of the game, especially through Fourth Grade, is FUN. Encourage the parents to be a part of that fun, but also help them by setting expectations before the season begins. In-person pre-season meeting. Can be a few minutes before the first game or practice.
● Introduce yourself to the players and the parents - Let them know what to call you, “Coach or Coach Smith”. Share how excited you are and that you are looking forward to having their child on your team. Describe your background as a coach or as a volunteer. Ask for help from parents and if they have any relevant experience.
● Let them know you are learning the game and want to make this experience a positive one for all. Provide resources you will use to the parents. Remember, one of them may want to learn or assist you in the future.
● Ask players to bring a ball and water to all practices and games. Remind them to have shin guards and cleats if appropriate. (Spring can be muddy).
● Remember to praise publicly and specifically, “Johnny, you did a great job dribbling the ball”, or “Sally, your passing has really improved.” Feedback that is about an area of improvement should be done with just the player and done with encouragement, “Sara, you have been working really hard, but remember to keep your hands down so you don’t foul the player when you are going for the ball.”