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Todd300




Joined: 2009-06-05
Posts: 2438
Location: Menominee, MI

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:38 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I'm sure many of you coach youth teams in some sports like basketball, football, baseball, etc and have to deal with parents while doing so. I'm an assistant coach for my local high school bowling team and would like to share a story.

We have a good boys bowling team and have about 12 boys on the team. Out of the 12 boys, my head coach and I selected the 8 boys to make the trip to downstate Michigan for the MHSAA State tournament. Of those 8 boys, we also picked our 5 starters with the other 3 as alternates.

One parent of the alternates had a problem with his kid not starting and said he could not go on the trip. Both my co-coach and I was not happy. Here's the thing - of our 5 starters, 3 are seniors, 1 is a junior and 1 is the team's best bowler in only his sophomore year. 2 of the 3 alternates are promising freshmen and the 3rd alternate is a sophomore.

It is the parent of one of the freshmen that had a problem with his kid not starting. While this freshman has a lot of potential, he is nowhere near as good as any of our 5 starters, but will most likely see action should any of our starters struggle in our meet downstate.

We tried to explain that to the parent of the freshman kid- that we always put our best 5 bowlers on our starting roster. But he didn't want to listen. He said that if his kid does not start , he does not go on the trip period. Both my co-coach and I was not happy but what could we do? So we named another alternate to make the trip with us, a sophomore who's not as good as this freshman kid.

I was working with this freshman kid for 3 hours at practice the other day to get him ready for his first tournament trip only to get the news that he could not go on the trip. I was not thrilled, but I'm still gonna work with him as he still is able to bowl in two local tournaments.

I'm wondering if the rest of you who coach youth teams ever had to deal with difficult parents and if so, share your stories.
 
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JimandLinda
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-08-14
Posts: 5337
Location: Rosendale WI

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:46 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Yes. Confused


Enough said. The page would time out if I started typing!
 
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BigJim60
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-01-02
Posts: 7147
Location: Auburndale, WI

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:54 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Main reason I quit coaching is parents. They don't support the coaching staff. They don't make their kids take responsibility for anything. I better stop here, before I write something that would make the cat ban me Laughing

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BigJim
There are three kinds of people in this world ... the wee, the not-so-wee, and the frickin huge. 
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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3306

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:53 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I'm a scout leader, and don't get me started.

What I've found effective is that when parents complain, I tell them they need to fill out a complaint form, which is also called an Adult Leader Application.
 
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ruff54
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-09-07
Posts: 110
Location: Mukwonago, WI

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:05 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I always make it a point to have a meeting prior to the season to lay our ground rules. A few of the most important are:

1. No parent meetings until I have a kid meeting. Sometimes the "kid's" concern is really a mom or dad concern which need to be handled differently.

2. After the kid meeting we can have a parent meeting if the parent wants to have one, but the kid does the majority of the talking. This helps clear things up because a kid might leave things out when only the parent is around. (What we have here is a failure to communicate)

3. Meetings are only about "your" kids. I don't talk about anyone else's kids without them present.

4. Be OPEN and REALISTIC about your son/daughter's ability. Not everyone can be a star all of the time or even some of the time...otherwise everything would be boring. They can work and improve...which teaches valuable life lessons.

This is only a start, but you get the idea.
 
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BigJim60
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-01-02
Posts: 7147
Location: Auburndale, WI

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:44 pm Reply with quote Back to top

ruff54 wrote:

4. Be OPEN and REALISTIC about your son/daughter's ability.

Now THAT'S funny!!! Rare is the parent who can be realistic about their own kid's ability. When my son was a freshman in high school he won a wrestle-off for the starting heavyweight spot over a senior. The senior's parents went ballistic on the coach. Coach told the parents that all their kid had to do was beat my kid. He quit. Sophomore heavyweight's mom complained to the coach that her son should get the spot after the senior quit. Coach told her all her kid had to do was beat my kid. He quit. Lesson? If you don't get what you want, quit.

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BigJim
There are three kinds of people in this world ... the wee, the not-so-wee, and the frickin huge. 
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JimandLinda
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-08-14
Posts: 5337
Location: Rosendale WI

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:55 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I do recall my youth coaching days. I ususally responded with 1 of 2 things... "I know", or "I don't know". Parents need to be treated like kids sometimes!
When my kids were old enough to start playing sports, I stopped coaching to enjoy watching them. If they complained, I told them to play with their head, hands, and feet;not their mouth. If they still whined, I asked them if they would rather be a player or a coach?

Milk it or park it, kid! wink
 
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ruff54
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-09-07
Posts: 110
Location: Mukwonago, WI

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:02 pm Reply with quote Back to top

BigJim60 wrote:
ruff54 wrote:

4. Be OPEN and REALISTIC about your son/daughter's ability.

Now THAT'S funny!!! Rare is the parent who can be realistic about their own kid's ability. When my son was a freshman in high school he won a wrestle-off for the starting heavyweight spot over a senior. The senior's parents went ballistic on the coach. Coach told the parents that all their kid had to do was beat my kid. He quit. Sophomore heavyweight's mom complained to the coach that her son should get the spot after the senior quit. Coach told her all her kid had to do was beat my kid. He quit. Lesson? If you don't get what you want, quit.


Maybe try to appear unapproachable? Laughing I must come about that naturally or something. I haven't had many issues with parents. In the couple confrontations I've had I must appear too dense to argue with.
 
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Todd300




Joined: 2009-06-05
Posts: 2438
Location: Menominee, MI

PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:07 am Reply with quote Back to top

My son was on the bowling team for four years (he's graduated now). I was coaching them at a meet one day when he was a sophomore. He was struggling so I took him out and put in the alternate. He was not happy but later understood. Plus with that move, the team found out I don't play favorites. I want the best 5 guys on the lanes. If one struggles and can't come back from it, he's coming out, regardless whether he's a senior or freshman.

That's why I wanted this freshman kid to make the trip with us. He may not be starting but he would still be able to fill in for any others who may be having a bad day.

Now we are down to basically 7 guys instead of 8 as that's where the talent level significantly drops as we have to bring in bowler #9 to take his spot.

I'm going to make one more attempt to talk to the parent tonight when he picks up his kid from practice. If he still says no, I gave it my best shot.
 
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bif_n_sons
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-12-05
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:54 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I have coached high school cross country as a head coach and an assistant coach. I guess I have been lucky, because the 7 fastest times were those who ran varsity and everyone else ran junior varsity. I always focused on each boy or girls trying to get their personal best time and celebrating each one of those accomplishments. I have only had a couple of parent interactions that were unpleasant over the years...but I do feel your frustration. The community is lucky to have you dedicate the time you do to the kids. I will send some good karma your way, please let me know if it doesn't get there [Smile]
 
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Todd300




Joined: 2009-06-05
Posts: 2438
Location: Menominee, MI

PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:05 pm Reply with quote Back to top

The parent of the kid didn't come in to the lanes to get his kid after practice. He just waited in his car. So I didn't talk to him. Roster is officially set now and will be filed tomorrow so it's out of our hands now even if he changes his mind.
 
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