Both parenting and coaching are extremely difficult vocations. By establishing an understanding of each position we are better able to accept the actions of the other and provide greater benefits to our student-athletes. As parents, when your student becomes involved in our program, you have a right to understand what expectations are placed on them. This begins with clear communications from the coach of the student's program.
COMMUNICATION COACHES SHOULD EXPECT FROM PARENTS
- Concerns expressed directly to the coach
- Notification of any schedule conflict well in advance
COMMUNICATIONS YOU SHOULD EXPECT FROM THE COACHING STAFF
- Philosophy of the coach
- Locations and times of all practices and contests
- Team requirements
- Procedure followed if the student is injured
- Discipline that may result in the denial of the student's participation
As your student becomes involved in the programs at St. Louis Park High School, they will experience some of the most rewarding moments of their lives. However, it is important that they understand that there may also be times when things do not go the way you or your student wishes. At these times, discussion with the coach is encouraged.
Examples of these situations:
- Treatment of your student (mentally or physically)
- Ways to help your student-athlete improve
- Concerns about your student's attitude
- Academic support and college opportunities
Sometimes it may be difficult to accept the amount of playing time your athlete is receiving and/or the role they are playing on the team. Our coaches are professionals, they make judgments based on what they believe to be the best for all students involved. As you have seen from the list above, certain things can be and should be discussed with your coach. Other situations will be left to the discretion of the coach.
Examples of these situations:
- Team strategy
- Other student-athletes
- Playing time
TIPS ON BEING A GOOD SPORT PARENT
Be supportive of coaches - In front of your student be supportive and positive of the coaches' decisions.
Teach respect for authority - There will be times when you disagree with a coach or official, but always remember they are trying their best and are trying to be fair. Show good sportsmanship by being positive.
Let the coach do the coaching, but you can do some of the teaching - When your student is on the field, court, or ice, let the coach do the coaching, but you can help teach sportsmanship and how to deal with success and failure. Develop their character and teach life skills that athletics bring to the forefront.
Let your student create their own sports memories - Separate your sports life from theirs. Let your student discover his or her own sports success. Help to calm the stormy waters, but let them handle the navigational problems. They will be their own people, which may be different then you were.
Help your child learn through adversity - The way your student handles adversity can help them face the challenges life will present them in the future. Let your student-athlete cope in their own way. The worst time for you as a parent to give advice is immediately after a disappointment. Learn to show unconditional love.
Get to know the coach - Since the coach has a powerful influence on your student, take time to attend preseason meetings, and get to know the coach's philosophy and expectations.
Focus on your child as an individual - Focus on what your student does well and where they need to improve. Forget about the progress or success of other athletes.
Listen to your child...but stay rationale - Always listen to your student, but remember to stay rationale until you have investigated the situation. Remember that students can exaggerate their woes and heroics.
Be mindful of your role as a role model - Take a good honest look at your actions and reactions in the athletic arena. These actions are a big cue to your student and to others around you.