Tips on Establishing a Coach-Parent Partnership
By David Jacobson, Positive Coaching Alliance
Little League Double-Goal Coaches®, who strive to win on the scoreboard while teaching life lessons, need cooperation from players’ parents to create a positive, character-building environment. Just as coaches have the “Second Goal” of teaching life lessons through sports, we encourage “Second Goal” parenting, where parents focus on helping their children take life lessons from baseball and softball.
The following tips, directed at parents, are excerpted from the new book Positive Sports Parenting: How “Second-Goal” Parents Raise Winners in Life Through Sports by Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson.
Recognize the commitment the coach has made: For whatever reason, you have chosen not to help coach the team. The coach has made a commitment that involves many hours of preparation beyond the hours spent at practices and games. He has earned the right to make decisions (including playing time) with his commitment. Recognize his commitment and the fact that in most cases he is doing so without pay. Try to remember this if something goes awry during the season.
Make early, positive contact with the coach: As soon as you know who your child’s coach is going to be, contact him/her to introduce yourself. To the extent that you can do so, ask if there is any way you can help. By getting to know the coach early and establishing a positive relationship, it will be much easier to talk with him/her later if a problem arises.
Let the coach coach: You are not one of the coaches, so avoid giving your child instructions during the game. It can be confusing for a child to hear someone other than the coach giving instructions during a game. And remember, the best way you can help your child is to be a “Second-Goal Parent,” so focus on helping your child learn life lessons and let the coach coach.
Positive Sports Parenting provides 60 concise pages of insightful and sensible advice on how parents can help children get the most from sports. The book is available at https://www.positivecoach.org/store.
For more ideas on getting the most out of your players while teaching life lessons, take the Little League Double-Goal Coach Course at www.positivecoach.org/LittleLeague.