Gordon Maclelland is the CEO of Working with Parents in Sport which supports organisations, parents and coaches in working together to provide children with the best possible sporting experiences. MORE
Who’s to blame – the players or their parents?
This week I have been reunited with parents and players from my teams because the club I coach at has used the Easter school holidays to give back to the players what they have been missing for the last four months.
So this week I have been coaching full days – around 7 hours – in three sessions. I’ve coached U9s, U10s and U13s boys and U11 girls. I really enjoy it but it does come with some very obvious problems.
Take for example brothers and their preparation for a whole day of training. One brother had his water and snack but the other brother hadn’t! They are very young so who’s fault is that? And the parent who sent her 6 year old daughter running across the pitch to her brother in the U13s because he had forgotten a drink.
Total chaos! I find dealing with parents begins right at the start of the journey and any new parents that come along must fit right in and behave in the correct way. Players too can be problem. We have one very enthusiastic goalkeeper but one who will constantly be playing the fool trying to trip team mates up or land a football on their heads.
And I’m not looking forward to the next few weeks when streaming within the age groups means players moving from one team to another… friendships broken. It isn’t easy.
I thought now would be a good time to have a review of how coaches should look to deal with parents and players. Check out below some of my advice.
I will start with an article from my blog Dealing with critical parents. As we all know, parents cause problems because they only watch one thing – their own child. So the criticism you will get from parents should be listened to but not taken at face value. They can also be a nuisance on the touchline, shouting at the referee and their own child. Read Red card the problem parents for some tips on dealing with them at your matches and coaching sessions.
One of the other problems I am always asked about is how to tame a team of players that just complain and moan all the time. They would rather joke around than listen to the coach. My 8 tips to tame an undisciplined team will help you deal with them.
Also during an AskDave surgery I was asked How do I prevent disruptive players ruining my sessions? Read my answer to this coach’s problem.
Finally, to end on a positive note, look out for the 5 telltale signs your players are enjoying training. You want to get them coming back every week enthusiastic and raring to go.
There are lots more areas of advice in the Team Management section so go check it out and find an answer to your particular problem.