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Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays

Dealing With Negative Parents

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#1 Guest_Stacey_*

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Posted 16 January 2003 - 04:28 PM

I am a first year coach for girls youth fast pitch softball (ages 9 & 10). I played softball myself for about 10 years growing up, but have not played in many years. So our local High School team and coaches held a softball training day, and I attended to brush up on my own skills and see how the coaches at the high school level are coaching. I decided it was best for me to approach my practices with the same basic skills as they do at the high school level and teach my girls on my team to do things like they older girls are doing. I am not trying to change the world, but to instructed the team with the same skills as the high school coaches do. First practice we did not do any hitting, I had them concentrate on throwing and catching, and fielding grounders and pop flies, practice is only 1 hour and 15 minutes long. I had parents and girls complain because they did have a chance to hit. I explained to them the next practice we will be working on hitting and fielding and that we would be hitting from a tee as well as the pitching machine, I heard nothing but complaints from parents and players because I was going to have them hit off a tee so they could practice their swing. The girls, including my daughter have been coached allot by men who in the past have coached baseball, and have taught the girls to step into the pitch and to hold their bats high in the air. My daughter also being one of these girls who is trying to break this habit and try to use more of their hips and as we like to say squish a bug with their back foot, and not raise their bats so far in the air. I had parents come unglued on me and start screaming at me and yelling at their daughter in the middle of practice to just do it the way I have taught you, the way you have always done and the ###### with the new way. I have explained more than once to all my parents, that this is practice and the reason we call it practice is to practice and learn new things. I have explained to my team and parents that I was going to approach coaching this time in the same style as the coaches at the high school recommend. Once again if the girls continue to play ball and have the opportunity to play in high school they will already know how they want them to field the ball, throw the ball, hit the ball.
I guess any input or ideas on how to handle the negative input of the parents. I can handle and deal with the kids, but I am not going to have heated discussions at every practice because some parents doesn't like this or doesn't like that.
Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Thank, Stacey

#2 Guest_Roger_*

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Posted 16 January 2003 - 04:28 PM


You need a parents meeting. Stand-up for yourself and lay the law down at the meeting. Let the parents know that it is complete unacceptable to challenge your coaching methods in front of your team. If they have a problem they need to approach you outside of practice time and game time to discuss. If the parents do not like it let them know they are welcome to place their child elsewhere. It is wrong for parents to teach their children that they do not have to respect their coach. If a parent doesn't agree with what you are teaching then the discussion should happen outside of practice one on one between you and the parent. You may learn something and they may learn something.

I would not have a problem with your coaching methods if it were my daughter. I believe you are approaching skill development the correct way.

I think what you have is a bunch of ego's having a hard time with a women coaching their daughters.

#3 Coach Kinkade

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Posted 20 January 2003 - 11:28 AM

I understand completly what you are going through. At the begining of every year I have a team meeting with the parents. At this meeting I go over all of my expectations of the players and the parents. At the end of the meeting I give the parents a letter basicly going over what I just told them. This letter is to be signed by the parent and the player and returned back to me. So far after doing this I have had very little problems with the parents because they now know what is expected of there child and themselves and what will happen if they do become a problem for the team.

Good Luck

#4 Saugussoftball


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Posted 12 March 2004 - 03:33 PM

Welcome to the wonderful world of "my kid is the next....Tom Brady, Bobby Orr, Mia Hamm, ..........!"

I also give the parents a syllabus of my objectives, the kind of drills we'll be doing and how I want the players to behave, both on and OFF the field. I allow NO cheering against the other team and I expect homework to be done before practice. If they are struggling in school, I want to know about it.
My girls know that the hard work, ie drills and skills will come at the begining of the practice. If they cooperate and dont goof off, there will be time for a hitting scrimmage. It's up to them. totally. And I let them know why we're not hitting, or why we are. I never point out one girl , but talk in generalities.
Good luck with the parents. Offer to buy them a "box of Joe" from Dunkin Donuts, if the promise to drink it in their cars AWAY from the field!

#5 kjtvc



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Posted 16 February 2005 - 03:14 AM

Any parents that go ballistic after the first practice are likely going to be problematic at every practice. You may want to recruit certain parents as assistants (assuming you need any) and then tell the rest that you may watch, but if you interrupt, you will not be welcome at practice. If they say you can't ban them, then you have a choice to make here: you either allow them to dictate prcedures to you, or you ask them and their child to leave.

You might get lucky. The parent may realize they overstepped their bounds and take a step back. More likely, though, is they will take their child and go.

Obviously, this is punishing the child for the sins of the parent, but you either punish that one family by kicking them out or you punish all your families by letting them stay. Coaching isn't fair. Then again, life isn't fair, either. BUT if you want to lead the rest of your girls through a season of softball, you sometimes have to do things like this.

Good luck.


#6 2b17



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Posted 27 August 2005 - 10:44 PM

Also take time to learn that the "squish the bug" technique is not the only major hitting technique in softball. If the other players are learning the other method ~ parents may be upset with you trying to change their child's hitting technique. I am with you that they should not be using the high elbow technique, but "squish the bug" isn't the only way. I agree with the others about the parent meeting. Maybe even let the parents know that if they want to come out on the field and help, they are welcome to providing they are going to run drills in the manner you have already laid out for that practice.

Hold your ground on the tee work ~ that is one of THE best tools out there. Even at the high school and college level it's very important. I wish you the best on your season. Coaching is not easy ~ hopefully, the players have fun and continue to improve. As a parent, what more can you ask for at that age?