A lot of people may right off the bat ask what the purpose of arranging a parent meeting in a youth league serves. People automatically assume that youth league means fun, and means that there should be no organization or no formality to it.
That is incorrect, meetings with parents allow a coach to get to know the parents and vice versa. It allows a coach to get insight on their potential player, and the support system behind that player, and allows parents to get a look into the plans that the coach has for the team. Sometimes parents may not like certain plans, and sometimes their fears will be put aside because this one on one time provides the perfect chance to get everyone on the same page.
This interaction also allows for information exchanges that benefit everyone involved. It can give coaches new ideas, parents may end up volunteering to help the team, and also allows both parties to get their chickens in a row and get everything out there so there are no unpleasant surprises. Some youth teams are run harder and more professionally then others, and some are run for fun and recreation. This meeting can establish where on that scale the team fits, and if it fits with the potential player.
The meetings will go well so long as the purpose of them is kept in mind, while some socializing is in order; you have to realize that gossiping is not in order. Trying to jockey your child a better position by bad mouthing another person can end up hurting your own child in the end. These meetings serve as both meet and greet, and informational. They are meant to not only get the information out there, but to exchange it, to bounce ideas around, and at the end of the meetings, allow the coach to come out with a better overall picture of his team, and a better overall picture of his players and their families.
A coach will be able to tell from these meetings if certain parents may be “trouble makers” or may be the “super fans” that can sometimes push their children too far. As much as a coach is responsible for his players, sometimes a coach may have to talk to the parents in a same manner as a player to ensure that corrections are made. It sounds a little silly, but in today’s age of competition it is completely true.
Arranging the meeting is something that both parties are responsible for, but before the start of the season, a coach should have made the effort to meet with all of the parents, and should ensure that parents know he or she is available at any time for discussion of any positive feedback or concerns and will be happy to address them and even give them status reports of their kids. Some parents are very hands on, and some just like to know their child is being taken care of.
Photo credit: susieq3c
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