How to Talk to Your Child's Coach

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Participating in organized sports gives your child physical activity while developing sportsmanship and a sense of teamwork. A supportive coach who understands how children learn creates a positive team environment, but you may need to talk to the coach about a concern. Whether a major or minor situation, the way you approach your child's coach can affect how he responds. If you need a moment of the coach's time, planning your conversation can maintain a positive relationship and help resolve the issues.

  • Initiate communication from the beginning of the season to develop a positive relationship with the coach. Respond to his inquiries and get to know him as the season begins. If you already have a rapport with the coach, you'll have an easier time bringing up issues if they arise.

  • Choose the method of communication that works best for the situation. If you have a quick question about the schedule or an upcoming game, an email, text message or phone call works well. If you have a problem related to the team, an in-person meeting allows you to better communicate and work together to solve the problem.

  • Contact the coach to schedule a meeting to ensure you have enough time to fully address the issue. Trying to talk to him after a game or practice may mean you feel rushed. He may not feel like talking, especially if the game or practice didn't go well. A scheduled meeting also allows you to speak to the coach when the players aren't present.

  • Gather your thoughts before you meet with the coach to ensure all of your concerns are addressed. Make notes if you have several points you want to discuss.

  • Present your concerns calmly using facts instead of letting your emotions take over, especially if you are upset about a sports-related situation. Use the meeting as a way to encourage collaboration to resolve the issues instead of blaming the coach. Stay calm and watch what your body language says to the coach. If you have jaws clenched and arms crossed tightly, he sees you are angry and may feel cornered.

  • Listen to the coach's response to your issues. Avoid interrupting or thinking of your response while he is still talking. Give his response consideration instead of simply defending your position or continuing to argue.

  • Work with the coach to find a solution when issues arise. Consider his perspective, which may give you a different opinion on the situation. For example, if you feel your child is the best player and doesn't get enough playing time, you may discover after talking to the coach that his approach is to give players equal time regardless of skill.

References

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