A Basketball Coaching Guide - How to Work with Parents the "Right Way" and Avoid Unpleasant Problems

As a coach, working with parents just comes with the territory. But, handling overzealous parents is never fun. And you know what we're talking about here. These are the parents who show up at practice demanding to know why their son or daughter isn't getting more playing time. Or, the ones that come up to you at halftime to let you know the combinations you used during the first half aren't working, and they had some ideas that might win the game during the second half if you wanted to hear them.

You know, those parents.

Although working with these parents is never going to be our favorite thing, it is something that we have to learn to get better at. The good news is that there are steps you can take to cut down on the number of unpleasant instances during a season.

These steps and tips can help you not only retain your authority and credibility as basketball coach, but help improve communication between you, your players, and their parents. And open communication is the most important tool you have when it comes to working with parents.

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The Details Depend on Your Situation

Below you will find excellent strategies to prevent parent problems and actually get parents on your side.

However, the exact details of your strategies will depend on the age of your players, the type of league you are in, and your coaching philosophy.

For example, a youth team that allows for equal playing time will use a completely different parent letter than a high school varsity team that is expected to win. So choose the tips below that apply to your situation.

And although this report teaches how to handle difficult parents, it's important to realize that you can't, and shouldn't try, to please everyone. It's vital that you stand up for what you believe in and stay true to the coaching techniques you think work best. After all, you're the coach, not the parents.

So, let's jump in and learn how to make our coaching season go a bit smoother!

20 Surefire Strategies to Work with Difficult Parents (And Avoid Problems Before They Arise)

1. Have a Parent Meeting Before the Season Starts

You can nip a lot of problems in the bud simply by meeting with parents at the start of the season. Get to know them, and spend some time talking about your past coaching experience and how you're going to manage this season. Make sure you go over what you expect from players, and what kind of practice schedule you're going to keep.

What else should you bring up in the pre-season meeting?

  • What you expect from the parents . They need to understand that they have the responsibility to get their child to practice on time, that their child will need equipment to play (like shoes, uniform, etc.), that they need to support their child by attending games, praising their hard work, etc. Make them understand that they're part of the team, too.

  • Review your guidelines for playing time. If you make sure all the kids get equal minutes, let the parents know. If you base playing time on attendance, work ethic, off season participation, skill level, or anything of those things, let the parents know. Lay down the law now and avoid issues in the future.

  • Go over your school's athletic department policy. If there are any fees or rules parents need to know about, now is the time to go over them. As an example, player eligibility is an important topic to cover.

  • Go over your own rules and expectations. What are your rules about being late to practice or missing practice? What are your rules about communication? Do you require players to always approach you with issues before the parents? Do you allow parents to talk with you before or after games? Go over all these things so parents know what to expect.

  • Make it clear you can't drop off players. You're the coach, not the carpool service. Make sure parents understand that they must be there to pick their kids up after practice. Dropping off your players isn't part of your job.

  • Set guidelines for game days. Make sure parents understand that you expect them to behave on game days. This means positive cheering, not putting down other players, no yelling at the refs, and no criticizing you or other coaches. And, put your foot down about "sideline coaching" from parents. This only confuses their child. Some coaches even create a "parent code of conduct", that lists rules for how parents should conduct themselves through the season.

  • Review the key points of your documents. You'll want to review the key points of your player handbook and parent letter. You might even want to read it to them. The point is that you want to be sure each parent has been exposed to your rules more than once. (Samples of player handbooks and parent letters can be found below.)

  • Review your team goals, priorities, and philosophy. If your goals are to focus on your player's basketball development and personal development, then tell the parents. Explain what this means. Tell them about the fundamentals required to improve players in the long run. Tell them you are trying to teach honesty, work ethic, teamwork, and things that will help your kids be successful in the future and at the most important game of all - the game of life. What are your priorities as a coach? What are your priorities for the team?

2. Explain Your Coaching Philosophy

Parents and players both need to understand that playing time isn't a right, it's a privilege. So make sure this is clearly explained in the pre-season meeting with parents. Lay out exactly how you dole out playing time. Yes, it's probably going to go to the hardest workers, but what do players really have to do to earn playing time? What do they have to know? Spell it out so that there's no confusion.

If you coach a youth team and playing time is equal, parents need to know that. If not, you'll get parents that think their kids should be playing more than others (so they can win the game).

Coach Koran Godwin, of www.JumpStartHoops.com and author of "Everyone Hates a Ball Hog but They All Love a Scorer", says that it's important to tell parents how much you truly love all the kids on the team. Emphasize that the lessons you'll be teaching them over the next few months will not only develop them as players, but as men and women. Bringing this up will help them remember that the biggest benefit of the sport isn't about winning or playing time, it's about personal development.

It's also important to explain how you feel about things like sportsmanship, honesty, and ethical behavior. These values are important in sports, and parents should know that you'll be on the lookout for these things in their kids.

It's critically important for parents to understand your philosophy. This will eliminate countless problems down the road.

3. Require Players to Talk With You First

It's important to explain that if someone has a problem with their lack of playing time, the player, not the parent, should talk with you first. In the real world, people must know how to communicate. And, this is a skill your players have to learn on the team.

This should be a rule that you explain during your first parent meeting, put it in your handbook, and remind parents during the year.

Parents and players also need to know that you're going to be treating their kids like young men and women. Many younger players are used to having their parents "take care of things" for them (like calling the coach to get them more playing time!). Again, however, you need to make it clear that players need to speak with you first about any issues they have. If a player feels they deserve more playing time, then they should bring it up with you.

4. Create A Player Handbook

If your school or sports program doesn't have any kind of player handbook created, then you need to make one before the season starts. The handbook needs to explain the rules of behavior, punishments, scheduling, and practices times. It also needs to detail game day expectations. For instance, will your players be required to dress up for travel to and from games? Will travel with the team on the bus to and from games be mandatory?

The more players and parents know about what you expect, the fewer problems you'll have later on. See the next tip for some sample handbooks.

5. Create A Contract

After you create the player handbook, you need to create a contract for players and parents to sign. The contract will say that the players and their parents have read through the handbook, and promise to abide by the rules you've laid out.

Here are links to a few sample contracts and player handbooks for you to take a look at. You can use these contracts as examples and then change them to fit the needs of your athletic program.

www.breakthroughbasketball.com/coaching/mustangtryoutpacket.pdf (Provided by Shane Matzen of www.mustangroundball.com)

6. The Coaches Constitution

Coach Koran Godwin has an interesting way to handle these issues in the pre-season. Some of these suggestions have already been mentioned in this report, but I think he has a very interesting approach to attack the problem. Here's how it works in his own words:

In the pre-season every parent is happy. Their son just made the high school team and no one (including the kids) knows who is going to get the bulk of the playing time. This is the perfect time to let the parents and players know your philosophy and guidelines.

a. My number one goal was to show the parents that I love each and every one of the kids the same and that playing time has nothing to do with my personal views on a kid. I emphasize my will to develop them as young men and the lessons that they will learn over the next few months will prepare them for life.

b. After I dispel the myth that coach just doesn't like or care about my son, I give the parent the Law of the land. "Do not call me about any playing time issues unless your kid talks to me first!" I explain to the parents that in order to prepare these kids for the future, the player has to be willing to communicate with adults and ask what they can do to earn more playing time. As parents they only see 10% of what their kid is doing. The 90% is in practice where John has to compete for playing time everyday. He knows exactly why Larry is getting more playing time than him but he doesn't want to tell his parents he isn't working as hard.

c. I tell players that I am going to treat them like young men and allow them to compete for playing time. If at any point in the season they feel that they deserve more, please approach me after practice and state your case. The player knows that once he states his case, the spotlight is now on him to perform and compete with the person in front of them. This method is especially effective for those kids who are used to having their parents get things done for them.

d. The coaches' constitution fosters an environment of accountability and responsibility. I let the parents know that growth in these two areas will help mature their kids into productive members of society. I have had many conversations with kids over the years that have thanked me for giving them a platform to compete and mature as men.

7. Send a Parent Letter

You should write up a good parent letter (or maybe even contract) and send it to everyone. Not only can this prevent problems down the road, but this can also be a powerful tool that you can refer to when parents start complaining. The important thing is to document the proper things and give them to the parents so you can refer to the guidelines at a later date.

Here is a good sample letter for you to consider:


8. Implement the Value Point System

For experienced and more competitive teams (NOT early youth teams), one of the best ways to get parents to stop complaining about playing time is the implement the Value Point System. It's a simple statistical system used in conjunction with simple coaching tactics and practice drills to improve player performance.

The system is a coach's dream because it puts an end to disagreements about playing time. If someone does not agree with your decisions, simply show them the player's rating.

The players will all know why they are not getting playing time. If parents don't like the amount of time their child is getting, just tell them, "All your son or daughter needs to do is raise their VPS score. Here it is right here. If he/she does, then I'll find them minutes."

To learn more about the system check out this link:


9. Know Your System

Before you start your first practice make sure you clearly understand the rules and policies that are in place in your school district and athletic department. How do they enforce school policy and behavioral problems? Do any of the rules/procedures you have in your handbook conflict with school district or athletic department rules?

You need to have complete support from the administration if you're going to be handling parental complaints. If a parent goes go over your head, then your administration needs to refer them right back to you.

10. Let Parents Watch Practice

Now this might sound like a recipe for disaster, but it's not. Letting interested parents watch practice time will enable them to see how you run the show, how players behave, how you critique, and how you make decisions about who gets to play and who doesn't.

Most importantly, parents will begin to "buy in" to your philosophy and tactics. As we all know, a big part of coaching is selling. And while you are selling your players on your philosophy, with enough repetitions, the parents will get sold on your philosophies and on you as a coach. Sometimes they just need to get to know you, understand you, and learn about your program. Letting them watch your practices is a great way to do that.

If you let them watch, however, make sure they understand that they have to be quiet.

11. Sell Your System

You want to know who your biggest fans are? Your players. If they trust you and believe in what you're doing, then they're going to defend you against their over-zealous parents. So, make sure your players understand why you're doing things the way you are. Sell your system to them, and they'll sell it to their parents.

12. Get Tough On Complaints

Coach Don Kelbick, of www.donkelbickbasketball.com, has been coaching for over 20 years. He says that it's vital coaches lay down the law.

Although it's important to listen to what parents have to say, it's also important to stand up for what you're doing. Remember, you're the coach. If parents don't like what you're doing, then they can put their child in another school system to play under another coach.

Sound extreme? Well, sometimes giving parents a dose of reality can help bring them back down to earth.

13. Promote the Family Atmosphere

Many coaches try to promote a family atmosphere during games. If you want to, and you can pull it off, it could very well endear you to many of the parents. So, let them attend practice, and create a special section for them to sit in during games. This extra effort on your part might go much further than you think.

14. Find Opportunities and Playing Time for the Second Team

If you're in a situation where you are not able to get everyone playing time, then you need to find opportunities for everyone. As a basketball coach, you owe it to the players on the team to get opportunities.

Find more JV games. Play a 5th quarter with the second group. Contact other coaches to arrange "2nd team" games. Arrange scrimmages.

Some kids just need an opportunity and need confidence. You'd be amazed how many players develop late and you never know who those kids will be.

If you never play these kids you are taking away their opportunity. If they bust their butts in practice, then you owe it to them to find them games! Not enough coaches make the effort needed to get all their players plenty of experience.

15. Designate A Parent Liaison

Coach Koran Godwin says that having a parent liaison is vital. Think about it; you're basically the end-all, be-all of the team. A parent can start talking to you after practice about the upcoming holiday schedule and end up screaming at you because their kid isn't getting enough playing time.

This is why you should assign one parent, preferably the parent of a kid who plays a lot, to be your point of contact. Any communication from parents needs to go through your liaison first. He or she filters out the fluff and then sends the rest on to you.

16. Provide Parents with Tips to Contribute

Simply offering parents some tips and guidance can improve the attitude and moral of everyone involved. All most all parents truly want to help but they don't usually know how. By educating them you can divert their energy towards things that will be positive to your program.

17. Stay Out of the Stands

Coach Godwin also recommends that you stay out of the stands during the season. After all, plenty of parents will want to talk with you before or after games. But, is this really where your attention needs to be?

Probably not. You need to be focusing on your players, not their parents. If you want to get to know your players' parents, then summer and fall leagues are the best time to do it since those are generally looser and almost everyone has a chance to play.

18. No Talking on Game Days

You should establish a rule that parents are not allowed to speak with you about playing time or any issues on "game day". Those conversations must be scheduled for another day. Emotions are too high during game time and these issues can be handled much more effectively at a different time.

So, make it a rule that you won't talk with any parents before or after games unless it's an emergency. And, it's smart to bring this up in your initial parent meeting, as well as putting it in your handbook. Remind parents the reason for this: you're there to help their children become better players.

19. Schedule A Private Meeting

If a parent comes to you and wants to start yelling on the court, absolutely insist they set up a private meeting with you the next day. It's not good for the players, and the other parents, to witness an argument. So, take it off the court. Setting up a next-day meeting will also give you time to prepare.

Before you meet with that parent, spend some time thinking about why they might be upset. Is it their child's playing time? Is there a conflict with another player? Coming up with various scenarios can help you see things from that parent's point of view.

It's also a good idea if you can get someone else (like an assistant coach or athletic director) to sit in on the meeting as well. This might help the parent be more objective, as well as providing you with another set of ears.

20. Calmly Handle Blowouts

No matter how hard you work to prevent it, there are always going to be some irate or overzealous parents to handle. It just comes with the territory of being a coach. So how can you handle the big blowouts when they happen?

First, listen. Let the parent have their say and don't interrupt them.

When it's your turn to speak, then explain your point of view slowly and clearly. And, keep your focus on their child. Don't do comparisons between their child and another player.

If the parent starts raising their voice, then resist the urge to match their tone. Keep speaking in a calm voice at normal volume. And, try to keep your comments on the positive end.

You can even offer to allow the parent to come to practice so they can see what is actually happening. Besides, how can the parent have an opinion unless they have been to all the practices?

At the end of the meeting, make sure you thank the parent for voicing their concerns with you, and let them know you'll take them under consideration. After the parent has left, ask the person who sat in on the meeting how they thought you did. Was there anything you could have done better or differently? Getting this honest feedback can really help you handle these challenging situations in the future.

Coaches / Resources Contributing to this Report

Here's a list of coaches and resources that have somewhere along the way contributed or given us ideas for this report.

Coach Koran Godwin - www.JumpStartHoops.com

Don Kelbick - www.breakthroughbasketball.com/aboutus.html#DonKelbick

Shane Matzen - www.mustangroundball.com

Jim McGannon - http://mybasketballbasics.com

Ronn Wyckoff - www.top-basketball-coaching.com

Positive Coaching Alliance

Ken Sartini

Please leave your comments and suggestions below...


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Thomas Clarence says:
7/9/2020 at 1:03:49 PM

You made a good point when you talked about how you can prevent a lot of problems by simply meeting with the parents before the season starts. My brother is wanting to coach a youth basketball program for his church, but he doesn't have much experience working with younger kids. I think it would be a good idea for him to find an online resource that offers tips on how to work with kids when coaching basketball.


Dp says:
8/19/2018 at 1:01:04 PM

I have a 9 year old son. Who has been getting attention from AAU, travel, and now a jr nba coaches.

Recently at my sons game, one coach whom I agreed to let my son tryout with saw me speak to the coach of a different organization.
He later asked the question “how many teams we were trying out with?”
I told him I hadn’t committed to any team and was looking for a spot for my son to play in the future.
I then said something to the effect that he didn’t want any of his players playing or working out with any other teams and it was coaches etiquette.

I didn’t like this because my son hadn’t been offered anything other than a tryout from this coach. So I asked him what he meant he made some excuse up and said he’d be right back with me then went to talk to someone else.
This isn’t my 1st time around the block and I happen to personally know atleast one basketball player who plays with multiple organizations.
What do you think of a coach saying he doesn’t want me to even tryout with any other organizations just because he offered a tryout?

  1 reply  

Jeff says:
8/22/2018 at 9:05:24 AM

Hard to say without hearing the context. A good club organization will have clear expectations outlined for you (whether he can play for other team, consequences for missing practice/games, etc). 9 years is also really young to get too concerned with this stuff. Let him play and have fun. I think having a good coach that teaches fundamentals and character is most important thing. If you are concerned with a coach character, go somewhere else.


Matt says:
2/13/2018 at 10:35:36 PM

Wish I read this before my 3rd season with this group of girls now in 7th grade travel basketball. I am dealing with discouraged players and parents trying to clear obstacles out of their child's way, instead of preparing them for what bumps might be in the road ahead. We did start a b team this year for the first time and that seems to drive the parents nuts. I was warned that this age you start to see tension rising. I even made the girls promise last year that we wouldn't get to this point like the older girls did last season. Yet here I am, yielding complaints about how all the plays go to this one girl on our team, and other parents telling me who tries hard and who gives up, and my daughter isn't having fun, she cries in the car after games because she doesn't feel part of the team. How do you salvage a season with 3-4 tournaments left ?

  1 reply  

Jeff says:
2/15/2018 at 1:24:03 PM

Take it one game and one practice at a time. There will be ups and downs. Try to build up the players confidence. Maybe ask why they are upset? Maybe there is miscommunication. Maybe explain it's ok to make mistakes... the best players in the world make mistakes all the time.

I think you solve one problem at a time and do the best you can. If you have questions on specific problems let us know.

Next season hopefully you can set expectations early on and avoid some of the issues. With that said there are some rules you can implement now: like no talking to coach about issues until 36 hours after game, etc.


drew says:
5/14/2016 at 9:04:07 PM

Great website awesome advise and comments. My comment is...Iv'e often wondered why coaches go to seminars and or consult with other coaches on game strategy but if a parent has a idea or strategy it is automatically excluded as a viable idea to take action on. I guess it's that same dynamic you find in a disfunctional businesses where the subordinate has a great idea but the company culture says...it's not a good idea unless it's the bosses idea. John Lennon was right "There are no problems only solutions" It shouldn't matter where the solution comes from. #youregoisyourdownfall


MI parent says:
3/6/2016 at 4:40:56 PM


I am in the midst of a difficult season for my 10th grade daughter. She made varsity this year and has struggled through a season with a few minutes (7 games with no minutes). Maybe as a surprise, I am not mad about playing time. She is behind some college bound players and thought this was a great opp for her to learn. I am angry though that the coaches have given 0 time developing or even verbally encourage her. After a recent practice, I met my daughter at school and when I saw her she broke down. In one of the last practices of the season the coach spent the entire practice yelling at her virtually no one else and chiding her when she struggled to make some end of practice free throws (this was confirmed as teammates sent her texts after). I have no issue with yelling/tough coaching but this came at the end of a season where there has been no positive feedback and zero atta girls. She is good player, great student, known as the hardest worker and loves the game but the coaches are destroying her. I did speak to the coach and asked for a meeting to understand what happened, explained she was emotionally wrecked and borderline on quitting. His response, "It's called coaching", and walked away. Next day at practice the staff never spoke to her once. Our AD loves the coach and unsure if going to the principal is the right move as I am afraid of retribution for her with other sports as this is a small private school. Any perspective would be appreciated.

  1 reply  

NDG says:
2/5/2020 at 9:49:30 PM

Just curious how this ended for you guys.


Bill says:
9/21/2015 at 4:47:34 PM

Is there a possibility we can update parent letter links that no longer work?


CoachB says:
1/22/2015 at 12:01:00 AM


This article was helpful but things have gotten out of hand. First I would like to say that I have coached softball for 3 three years and won 2 championships. Second, I am now coaching girls JH basketball. (Each because my daughter plays).
At the beginning of the season I explained to those parents who asked, as well as to the girls, that I will focus on playing as a team because each girl is at a different level and they need to learn to work together. I also teach fundamentals in the process. I also told everybody involved that I am open to ideas or questions... They can join a practice or watch. (A few parents used to coach)
Today I was given a letter stating that parents are complaining that I swear, I yell and I threaten these kids. Also that the girls are not learning anything.
1. The parents did not follow the chain of command.
2. I do not yell... My girls thank me for that because other coaches do yell.
3. I do not swear. I am a coach with high regards on the softball field.... Does this sound like a coach who swears?
4. Threatening the girls? Telling them they will run laps if they do not listen and are goofing around instead is not a threat but something all coaches do.
5. If there are girls who feel they are not learning anything, then they are not listening when I talk or they think they are better than everybody else. However each of the 10 girls have improved greatly!
6. These other parents have coached these girls and never won. We have only won 2 of 7 but we have also been playing teams with 9th and 10th graders where mine is 70% 7th graders and the others in 8th.
7. One parent has 2 girls on the team.... And this is the parent stirring the pot. Her girls do not listen to me at all because they listen to her. Even at our games which honestly messes everything up. When 2 do not listen then the other girls become confused.

Everything I am being accused of is so absurd!! How can people be so horrible? Why lie to cause problems?

I have an MBA and a BS in Communications. Coaching sports for my children has always been a dream and something I was good at. I feel it being crushed over nothing. What can I do?

  2 replies  

Joe Haefner says:
1/22/2015 at 8:52:47 AM

That is very unfortunate, Coach B.

I have a read a book called the Politics of Coaching by Carl Pierson that seems to have a lot of good advice. Maybe you should check it out.

I am no expert in this regards, so I feel a little hesitant to give advice on the topic.

Personally, I would talk to the administration. Have the parents and administration attend your practices. Heck, have them video tape them if they're worried.

But be very calm and almost giggle about how silly the letter is.... "Oh jeez. Tell them to video tape the practices if they want."

Unfortunately, if you want to keep your job in today's environment, you do have to play the politics game. That's why I recommend the book.

That's part of the reason I stopped coaching teams the last couple of years and just focus on player development currently. It wasn't worth the headaches.

If a parent has influence, the negative talk can spread like a virus with frustrated parents. Groupthink is very common and critical thinking is not so common.


jeff says:
1/22/2015 at 8:52:50 AM

This can be frustrating. Most parents are great. But every coach will experience parents stirring the pot at some point.

This would be for the future, but at the beginning of the season I tell the parents via meeting and/or letter that it's critical for them to be supportive of the coach and the program, even if you disagree with the coach. By complaining about the coach, only one thing can happen... it will hurt the team. Nothing positive can come from it for your child or the team.

We also tell parents there is NO coaching and yelling instruction from the sideline. Only positive cheering.

Regarding this letter, is it signed by other parents? Who is it coming from? I would review this letter with the person(s) that wrote it. I would then go through it line by line... can you give me an example of when I have done this? Can you tell my why you think I have done this?

If it's truly a lie and this parent is getting everyone against you based on lies, I would put a stop to that immediately. I would seriously consider removing the players from the team if this parent continues this. You have to take into account what is best for the entire team. It's rare you have to remove players from a team, but there are some occasions when that is best. Those are tough decisions. You just try to help as many kids as possible. That's all you can do.

  1 reply  

CoachB says:
1/22/2015 at 10:53:51 PM

Both of you gave great advice. The letter was written by the superintendent and she is the only one who signed it. I talked to her today and things were strange. I told her that everything in that letter describes a different coach whom my players have thanked me for not being like. Everything I had to say was truthful. She told me she had to do her job in writing the letter and it is just a little reminder. It is 2+ parents. Honestly I know which three and that two jumped on board because one started things. Ironically, I have the mother of my captain ready to step in because she has known these parents for years and they always cause problems. However this parent also hears positive things about me because my captain tells her.
After talking to the administration today, I was told that they were investigating me by talking to my girls.

In the end it comes down to keep doing what I am doing. I have not lost the position but I feel as if I have.

  1 reply  

Joe Haefner says:
1/23/2015 at 8:31:14 AM

Don Kelbick game some great advice as a coach a few years back...

1/3 of the players are going to like you. 1/3 of the player are not going to like you. 1/3 of the of the players are going to be indifferent.

The key is to keep the indifferent ones away from the ones that don't like you.

I think the same holds true for coaching.

Focus on the fact that the majority of parents do NOT have a problem with and probably even like you.

As humans, we tend to remember/focus on the negative aspects of situations... it's a survival trait we developed when tigers used to chase us through jungles.

I'm certainly guilty of this. I think you need to constantly remind yourself to analyze the situation objectively.

Okay... two parents want me fired? That's probably a good thing only two want you fired. That means the majority of people want you there. I've had worse situations.

Focus on developing good relationships with the ones who don't want you fired. Forget about the others.

There are things beyond your control that will make it nearly impossible to influence the ones that don't like you. It could be something as stupid as your eyebrows remind them of a horrible ex boyfriend/girlfiend and it triggered negative emotions when they first met you... it sounds silly, but if you study human behavior.. crap like that happens.

It could be that they've had some horrible things happen to them in their lives and they redirect those negative feelings to other parts of their lives.

  1 reply  

CoachB says:
1/23/2015 at 7:51:33 PM

You are right. I should not focus on the negative parents or aspects of the situation. One parent whom I believed to be involved, showed up to practice and watched the last half hour. She did not have anything to say other than she was glad that the letter wasn't what I thought it was. I mentioned to her that today we worked a little on shooting form... With each hand. She saw me blow the whistle a couple times to show the girls what went wrong with certain drills. This mom picks her daughter up every day.... She sees me and is not afraid to talk or listen.

In the end I do know that the girls themselves are happy and having fun. Although the one mom who started all the drama .... Her daughter was out of control today and I can't do anything because I'll lose my job.


Coach Frustrated says:
1/8/2015 at 6:42:14 PM

I know this is a coaches forum (fraternity), but I wanted to vent a little as a parent/basketball coach.
Coaches . . . EGO's need to be eliminated. Open communication is the key. Every kid is different and it's the coaches job to find out what makes each kid special and bring all the players together as a unified team. No reason that almost all kids can't see enough action, if thought out ahead of time. I don't mean the last 10 seconds of the half or game! That's an insult to any player, . . .right coaches? I'm dealing with my sons coach right now. He took their uniforms away, and told them some players may not get one back, (tough guy) and were told that they cannot use the team locker room anymore because they are not worthy enough. Why, because they lost a game. These are high school kids, how about talking with them intelligently and having a two way discussion. My question is what responsibility are you going to take for the loss coach? (How about we take your pants away). Coach probably read this tactic in some coaching manual he picked up at a garage sale. What can I say or do as a parent that will not jeopardize my kids playing time? Probably nothing! Visit the AD, I'm not sure, could be a relative. Principal? Don't have the answer here because we are dealing with a coach that is unreasonable and has a supporting cast. I guess I can comment to this website like I'm doing now. Child abuse, is that going too far? I know my kid is starting to hate the game he's been playing since he could walk. One of the best point guards in his high school class in our state. His dreams are slowly being snuffed out. What is the school going to do about it, probably nothing. A change needs to be made not sure what. This is only a couple of issues I have of many with our current coach. We are 2-8 right now.
A pattern which has been going on for years. You might ask why did we decide to go to this school (mistake). Because we liked the idea of helping turn the program around at his home school. This coach is good at telling you what you want to hear! We fell for it. Coach UP not DOWN coaches!

  1 reply  

Joe Haefner says:
1/13/2015 at 1:30:28 PM

I'm going to be blunt. That sounds like a crappy situation.

The coach probably thinks he's doing the right thing. But these tactics are very old, outdated, and they don't work.

I would do some research on the relationships with the administration. They may not approve of that behavior... AT ALL. Any decent administration would take immediate action.

Also, I wouldn't complain too much about it with your son. Try to focus on what you can control and that's staying positive and proactive with him.

"All you can do is play as hard as you can and do the things the coach asks."

"Sometimes, you are going to face situations you don't like, but what reveals real character and whether you'll be successful or not is how you handle things when they start to get tough."

Even though, it stinks. I would try to teach him some life lessons from it.


Coach JS says:
9/5/2014 at 12:26:19 PM

I have read many comments. I starting coaching when my daughter wasn't getting enough playing time she played in a recreational league we paid for registration so it wasn't free. she was 10 yr old

As a Parent you go to see you kid play not sit on the bench not to see any other kid. and if a kid of any age from 8-18 doesn't have the skills set to play on the other kids level and that's the reason why they don't play Shame!!! on the coach!! yes I said it (Shame!!! on the coach!! ) if you are going to have 10-12 players in you team teach your kids show them the ropes don't find excuse that you don't have time for basic fundamental because 98% of the coaches all they care is about W/L and not creating the love for the game, also put them in the game you have 10-12 player used them!! ( look at the Philosophy of the Spurs.) what it would happen if the coach only have 5 player then what ? exactly that what happened to that coach I stop taking my daughter to the game so the other parents as well and lost game by forfeited not enough players.

I started coaching after that season even though on records doesn't seem quite great we have won 4 championships in 4 yrs we never won on the first 8-10 games in all 4 seasons ( all teams makes play-offs) I had players from great players to players that doesn't even know how to dribble the basketball to me is not about winning or losing (nobody want to lose )when you are building a house you always start from the bottom and up with great solid foundation and then very strong pillars and walls and you have a well structure home.all the players I coached play equal playing time by far I haven't had any parents approach me with any issues or concern and by the way I do not have any rules ( on what the have to do to earn playing time) i don't have meetings with parents if you always do the right thing and in your heart you are doing it not for you but most importantly for the kids you have accomplished Greatness.


Coach Mistretta says:
8/20/2014 at 9:34:08 AM

Started out at youth level, 3rd grade and going into our 2nd Modified season I have kept the same core of players during Summer AAU also.
Some problems that I've seen over the years comes mainly from the parents themselves Jeff.

1.] I'm not a taxi driver nor do I play one on TV.
This has gotten out of control over the years.
Yes I want a full 10 kids at my practice so I can go over both offense and defense and not have me or my assistant having to play because of not enough players. We have done more than enough over the years.

2.] Your #11 is a bad idea ... Never let parents watch your team practice if possible. Judging parents are always looking to second guess your decision making. I understand if they don't want to waste gas driving back and forth.
Find another set of parents and carpool.
The only parent that should be watching is a nurse or parent with first aid knowledge.

3.] Institute the 24 Hour rule before season starts. If a parent or coach is upset wait 24 hours and calm down before making that telephone call.

4.] When your elementary kids grow up and are entering the 7 and 8th grades (modified) and they play for both the school program and a travel team, make it easy on them and try to use the same offense the school coach was teaching them. If not you will have mass confusion at times.

5.] Summer Basketball camps, best thing for both player and parent. Send them with another team member or friend. They will love it and they start to learn independence.

6.] Remember parents ...!!! We volunteer our time, don't make us miserable and let us do our jobs.


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