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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2010, 18:56 

Posts: 4
Need some advice. Do you have any information on how to approach a coach if parents and kids are unhappy with them? This is a very uncomfortable subject and I want to make sure I handle it appropriately and be sensitive to everyone's feelings.

PostPosted: 10 Sep 2010, 06:03 
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Posts: 3139
This IS a tough subject ..... most coaches have big egos (me included LOL) so tread lightly. Pick ONE representative and set up an appointment to discuss your problem areas. DO NOT go in with an ATTACK MODE..... try to make this a question and answer session. Do not do this on the practice floor or anywhere near the gym if you can - that is HIS territory, he will DEFEND it.

You might go in with a few areas that you are unhappy with... list 3-4 BUT go in with some things that you are happy with, talk about them first.... and leave AT LEAST ONE GOOD one to end your session with, leave on a positive note.

I would start by asking him what his philosophy about the game is - belive me, most people in the stands DO NOT understand what the coach is trying to accomplish.... (been there) Try to understand what he is trying to do, that might solve some of the problems right away. Keep this conversation very low keyed, if it starts to become heated move on to another point, preferably a positive one. IF he thinks he is being attacked he will shut you down... I know I would.

If you could give us a few specifics we might be able to give you some better answers. Good luck

PostPosted: 10 Sep 2010, 20:49 

Posts: 176

I think it all depends upon the age group and what kind of team it is. You'll need to handle it differently for a volunteer coach in 8,9,10 YO rec. league vs. a varsity HS coach. In addition, it will depend on your complaint. For example, if it is playing time you'll have a better chance with the rec. league as they probably have some rules. At the HS level, the best you might get is an understanding of what it takes to earn playing time. Good luck.

PostPosted: 14 Sep 2010, 17:05 
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Posts: 314
This is indeed a very delicate topic and you need to follow the advice of both Coach Sars and Golfman. I have some of the same questions, for example, is it only one unhappy parent and player or is the entire team unhappy, what is the cause for your concerns? Is it the coaches personality? his innability to motivate the team, is he inexperienced? is he abusive? take some time to analyzy the problems and if they cant be worked out in a simple meeting then you may have to take other steps. Remember, many of these problems are slight but can become a festering wound if left unnatended. But I caution you, dont take in a bazooka to kill a mosquito. Hope this helps Coach Mac

PostPosted: 14 Sep 2010, 19:12 
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Posts: 3139
Welcome back Mac... haven't seen you in ages. Good advice here.

PostPosted: 14 Sep 2010, 21:25 
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Posts: 41
Location: San Antonio
If I could add to the already great advise.

Man to man absolutely!!

Don't worry about plays, but instead interactions.
Although young it would be great if they learn how to pass efficiently in a well ran fast break.
It's not early to learn how to down screen, pass and cut, ball screens and especially FEEDING THE POST! A lost art in youth basketball.

Much success to you.

Coach Springer
Founder/Head Coach
Spartan Basketball

PostPosted: 15 Sep 2010, 07:16 
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Posts: 3139
Could you please give us some specifics regardng the problems as you see them..... we might be able to give you some advice that relates to each problem.

PostPosted: 23 Sep 2010, 23:08 

Posts: 4
Good evening. I sent an e-mail to the team today with the agenda for our parent's meeting this weekend. Here's a copy of the agenda.

- CYC Philosophy and Basketball Guidelines
- Coaches philosophy and goals
- Communication
- Practice/discipline/rules
- Expectation of players
- Expectation of parents
- Summer vs. Winter league vs. Tournaments
- CYC Coaches’ Code of Ethics form for Winter League
- Upcoming VFW Tournament
- Future Tournaments
- Uniforms
- Open forum

Here's how the coach responded back to me. Very defensive. Should I bother to reply back? I haven't even had the meeting yet. This meeting is meant to be positive, productive and information but the coach assumes he is going to be attacked and that is not my intention for this meeting. Also, I don't have an issue with the othe coach. Everyone likes the other coach. The parents do not feel comfortable in talking to him and that's why they have opened up their feeling to me (the parent rep).

There is too much on the agenda. I think that we should just have an open forum to discuss any issues that anyone has. If someone has an issue with the communication then just bring it up. I think that everyone knows what the philosophy. The first 6 items could be one issue, are there any issues regarding the coaching of the team? Are there any questions on the direction? With the first 6 agenda items it looks like a meeting where I am just defending myself and everyone who has an issue will criticize the coaches and the team. If thats the case, I have been there before and I will quit and Jay or Bill or Eddie can coach. If anyone has an issue on how Jay and I are coaching the team they should feel comfortable discussing it with me or Jay.

PostPosted: 24 Sep 2010, 03:26 
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Posts: 314
I have reviewed the return email from the coach and in my opinion, you are correct it is a highly defensive reaction. Its as if he feels or knows he is not too popular and this is his response. It seems as if he wants to reject you before you reject him. I have coached every level for close to 40 years and I have never had any problems discussing the first six items on your agenda. Perhaps his defensive reaction is because he really doesnt have any guidelines in place in regards to philosophy, parents, team expectaions, practices etc. Your letter to him and the parents regarding the meeing is more than fair, and as a coach I personally would take no issue with it. My advice is to have the meeting conduct it with the agenda you have designed, dont attack the coach, caution your parents not to attack the coach handle it in a clean professional manner and I believe, he will hang himself. Problem solved..please keep me posted...Coach Mac

PostPosted: 24 Sep 2010, 07:01 
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Posts: 3139
I agree with Mac, this coach is feeling the pressure.

He could have avoided this by having a pre season meeting - explaining all of those items. We held a meeting every year, with the players and parents from all levels... Freshman through Varsity. To me, an open forum is a way for all "disgruntled" parents to vent and really take away from the positives that can come out of a meeting.
I tried to cover all the things that I knew were important from District/school rules to the rules for the program... I left very little unconvered. This solved a lot of problems. ( we covered all of your items ) we had our meeting after what we called a Blue _ White game so they could see what we were trying to accomplish... nothing is very good after just 7-8 days of practice but they got the general idea.

I might suggest that you talk to this coach yourself and ask him to write down the philosophies / rules and expectations down so the parents know up front what to expect. Then at the beginning of every year, he can pass that out in a pre season meeting... that way the coaching staff will have everything covered.
Do you have that kind of relationship with him? Try to come across as someone who wants to help him and the program and NOT someone who wants to attack him...... and while YOU might not want to do that it is obvious that he thinks the parents will.

My advice is to have the meeting conduct it with the agenda you have designed, dont attack the coach, caution your parents not to attack the coach handle it in a clean professional manner and I believe, he will hang himself. Problem solved..please keep me posted...Coach Mac

THIS part is very important -

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