Although the coach often sets the agenda for a team or athlete, they aren’t the only ones with a say.
As a coach, what has worked for you when resolving conflicts with parents and family?
Share your tips and best practices!
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Coach Chris C. – Basketball/ Volleyball – Burlington – 15 Years
“The best way I solve parent conflicts is to avoid them. By
this I mean by setting the expectations very clearly at the beginning of the
season. No matter the sport, the usual conflicts involve playing time. At the
beginning of the season be very clear about how you will be dividing up playing
time and stick to those guidelines. Just because a game is important in the
standings does not mean you change your substitution patterns or how you play
your players. If you have a plan, communicate that plan, and stick to it you
can eliminate a lot (unfortunately not all) of your parent conflicts.
Communication is the key to resolving conflicts properly so
that things do not get blown out of proportion. You can use a web site to
communicate your goals and expectations so that parents can access them when
needed. If you have clear goals communicated then you can refer back to them
when a conflict occurs.
Also, remember to take your time responding to a complaint.
As coaches, our first reaction is often’ ” how dare they say that, look at the
time I put in”. If you take a moment to remove the emotion of the situation and
look at the root of the complaint or problem then maybe you can come to some
resolution. Finally, build support within the coaching community as it can
help, not to solve the conflict, but to lessen the impact it can have on you.
My experience has taught me that if you can demonstrate you have the player’s best interest at heart and not some hidden agenda or your own ego as motivating factors parents will generally recognize this and let you, coach.”
Coach Mike D. – Soccer – Ottawa – 3 Years
“Being open and transparent with regards to my coaching
decisions and style is important when it comes to resolving conflicts with
parents and family. Then when/if a conflict occurs I have clear facts and
reasoning to use when addressing the issue. Sometimes it can be difficult to
separate personal problems from conflict, but keeping it about the facts often
Coach Sean Ferguson ChPC, RGP – Swimming – Region of Waterloo – 17 Years
“Communication, communication, communication; it can’t be
stressed enough. Often, whether the conflict is our mistake or not as the
coach, we are put into a mediator role and need to have the right tools at our
fingertips to deal with situations (good and bad).
One way that I have approached conflict in the past is to:
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