From the Dawg Pound: Building a Proactive Relationship with Parents
~Ramona High Athletics~
This article is referenced from High School Today, Author Alex Swenson
In high school athletics, relationships are formed on a number of different levels. The player-coach relationship is often the most heavily examined and scrutinized, but there are many other people involved in the process.
Coaches must get along well with the school administration and officials. The administration must be able to relate to the players and coaching staffs, and the players must be able to respect the authority of those above them.
Perhaps the most challenging relationship, however, is the interaction between the administration and coaches and the athletes’ parents.
Understandably, a parent wants what is best for his or her child, but sometimes the parent’s actions become misguided and feelings of hostility or bitterness develop toward a coach. As Karen Coffin noted in an article she wrote for the NFHS Coaches’ Quarterly, “No parent can be impartial, even if they try.”
One area that parents need is education on how they should act at their kids’ sporting events. Sometimes the assumption that parents will always behave as adults should behave is not one that works well. Ground rules need to be laid out early, and if communicated efficiently problems are much less.
Just like you need to look for quality coaches, you also look for quality parents in your booster organization.
“Usually when you have championship teams you have championship parents. It’s important to identify parents who have the same values as the high school and let them run the organization,” said Dan Cardone.
Because of the importance of the parent relationship, the NFHS has produced an online education course. Parents who wish to be a positive part of their child’s athletic team can visit www.nfhslearn.com to take the free online course called “The Role of the Parent in Sports.”
Most parents are intelligent people who do not understand their role. The role is to support the team.
Parents should let their kids have their own experience, and parents can contaminate that experience. It’s not every parent, but it only takes a few. Most parents want to be good sports parents, but they don’t know how, says Tim Flannery, director of the NFHS Coach Education Program.
The 10-80-10 rule really is active in many sport teams. “Ten percent of the parents are thrilled with what the coaches are doing. Eighty percent are generally happy and give coaches the benefit of the doubt. Ten percent will see the cup as half empty and aren’t ever happy. They always say things could get better.”
Bruce Brown has tried to take that 90 percent and form more of a partnership with them as opposed to trying to control them. Brown is the athletic director at Lake High School in Uniontown, Ohio, and stresses the importance of communication to form a mutual respect and understanding. “Everything we do is based on relationships and communications,” he said.
In our case, parent involvement has been very constructive because we have embraced the parents as partners.
Coaches also sometimes need to get off the defensive and understand the perspective of the parent. Coaches have to start recognizing that parents have a big emotional and financial investment, and sometimes their own pride and egos are involved. The biggest thing that you can do is consider them to be a part of the team and let them know that they are considered. Involve them in the process. Don’t keep them on the outside. The coaches need to understand that sometimes the parents are right.
Parents, coaches, and administrators will not always see eye-to-eye, but Cardone thinks that, if everyone can look together at the big picture, they would realize that there is a common goal that could drive the relationships to a much healthier level. We are all on the same team.
We all want the same thing. That is what is best for your child!
Important Ramona High Sport Reminders:
•MANDATORY vacation time for ALL athletes per CIF and RHS rules. July 23 through Aug. 5. NO working with coaches or teams. No Contact…enjoy time off.
•Incoming frosh football players, be sure to be working on your lift-a-thon sponsors and get your summer camp information in and don’t forget about the AAU part of the packet. If you did not get the summer info, contact Coach Baldwin at email@example.com.
•May 23 is Athletic Physical Night. $25 covers you at RHS for the entire three sports seasons in 2012-13. All the proceeds of the donation go to our Training Room and trainer.
Thank you to all the doctors and therapists who donate their time.
•May 17 is the 7th Annual Football Team’s Lift-a-thon. This is the Football Program’s financial lifeline. Be sure to show up and watch this amazing event in the New Gym at 6:30 p.m.
•Booster Club Parent help needed. www.rbbclub.net. Please inquire into this fantastic parent help group.
•Buy Scrip! So easy if you shop at Stater Brothers or buy gas for your car. Your kids’ program can make a lot of money by using SCRIP. See the Ramona High school website for more info: www.ramonausd.net is the high school website. All parents should get familiar with it.
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- Marshal Thrasher earns Ramona High Male Athlete of the Year honors
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