The partnership with the parents

The coach-educator should also try to establish a respectful partnership with the players’ parents. Depending on the family culture of the community where the grassroots programme is taking place, parents can sometimes overreact to their child’s performances, and in other situations they can be really useful in assisting the coach-educator with transport and kit maintenance, for example. Part of the coach-educator’s role is to develop a healthy relationship with families. Below are some useful tips for coacheducators to deal with parents:

  • At the beginning of the season or at the start of an event such as a festival or a tournament, make sure you give the parents a quick briefing to explain the participation and educational principles of a grassroots programme.
  • Make sure you understand and consider the local family culture of the community where the programme is taking place. A coach-educator should consider all of the particular traditions, beliefs and behaviour of the families.
  • Conduct individual conversations with parents to give them some positive feedback about their child’s development and behaviour. 

 

 

  • Bear in mind that parents may have good contacts that could help you with fundraising initiatives with local sponsors.
  • Educational lectures and meetings with parents can be organised by the grassroots coach-educator to discuss important topics about their children, such as nutritional habits, injury prevention, personal hygiene, health education and emotional support in sport.

As detailed in the codes of conduct, it is necessary that coach-educators and parents work together to guarantee an environment of enjoyment and welfare in the grassroots programme. 

Good parents help their children to be good players; excellent parents help their children to be excellent people.

Dietmar Samulski