By Dave Holt
A parent coach meeting is a great help for youth sports parents and coaches.
No matter if you are a rookie coaching t-ball or a veteran coaching high school baseball you will need to be able have the skills to deal with parents in youth sports.
You can head off many major issues going into the season by taking the time to tell about yourself and your coaching approach.
Most baseball parents are quite cooperative and level headed. But you will have some little league parents that take the youth sports experience way too serious.
Over the years more otherwise well-meaning youth sports parents expect youth baseball leagues to be their vehicle to a college scholarship or a professional career. Good intentions, but highly unlikely.
In fact a 2001 study by the National Alliance on Youth Sports says that 70-75% of youth league sports players drop out by the age of 13-14 years old.
Sports Parenting: Parents Can Kill Youth Baseball League Fun
Youth sports are stressful for parents watching their children play. No parent wants to see his or her child called out , strike out, miss a ball, or sit on the bench.
The natural instinct of a little league parent is to protect your child from harm or embarrassment. Unfortunately, that is impossible to control a game on the field.
Many highly competitive parents in this charged up tee-ball, little league, travel league, rec league, Pony League, Cal Ripken League environment are ready to explode.
If any coach, umpire, referee or other sports baseball parents interferes with their child’s success they are going to hear the wrath.
The Hoopla Around Youth Baseball is Intoxicating
It can get quite emotional at baseball games with your own kids involved in the action. A crowd, uniforms, umpires and trying to win all add to the the emotional charge in the bleachers.
It doesn't take much to get mom's a little excited when their kid is running the bases. Or dad a little worked up when the ump says 'Strike Three'!
One of the best ways to simmer everyone down a bit is to get together at a preseason meeting. This is where you can go over your expectations about the season and how things should operate.
So what can you do as the coach to help Ma and Pa youth parent avoid the little league parent syndrome and become stressed out, crazed with an unhappy kid player?
Preseason Parent/Coaches Meeting:- How to Set the Tone
Here are a couple of tips to show you how to build in your expectations for your baseball families:
• Send out the preseason baseball letter to parents to announce the parent coach meeting. Until the youth parent gets to this meeting then the player should held out of play.
• Parents have the opportunity to meet and visit with coaches, ask questions and learn the coaches’ philosophies.
1. Discuss your philosophy and code of ethics at the parent coach meeting. Parents should know how you are going to develop baseball players or are you going to be win-at-all-costs approach.
2. Do not yell anything negative at any time at your kid and do not talk to me during the game.
3. I’m out here volunteering. If you have a complaint, let us wait and talk about it after the kids are gone.
Reminder About the ride home, too
”Kids in sports just want to play with their friends, run around under the lights, and have a good time. The stress comes from parents in sports.
Help your parents and kids baseball experience avoid the dreaded pitfalls of the little league parent syndrome. Have a great baseball season! with the help of a parent coach meeting.
After finishing his professional playing career Dave spent eleven seasons managing in the Red Sox minor league system helping to develop several major league ballplayers. After leaving the Red Sox Dave managed and recruited in the Independent Professional Baseball leagues. He has also coached collegiate wood bat and high school teams. His site, coachandplaybaseball.com is a wealth of information for baseball players and coaches of all levels.