As a pee wee soccer coach, I’ve lucked out with the parents. I’ve never had a pushy, obnoxious parent or one with poor sportsmanship. But you never know what you’ll get, especially if you coach older soccer teams. Even though I’ve had an easy time, I find that lots of communication and a proactive approach to problems is best.
I always contact my soccer parents before the season starts. I send an email with all of the important details — practice time, location, game schedule, uniform requirements, medical release form information. But I also like to call each parent to have a personal connection. I introduce myself and give a few of the details I share in the email. It also gives the parents a chance to ask any questions they may have.
Another effective technique is to have a parent meeting. If you can’t meet ahead of time, take 5 to 10 minutes at the beginning of the first practice. I have my assistant coach start the warm-ups with the kids while I meet with the parents. It’s an informal meeting. I usually cover expectations, game procedures and any other things I need to cover. I include a section about being supportive both when the kids are on the field and after the game. The meeting is also my time to emphasize that we aim to have lots of fun and learn the basics of soccer.
I like to keep my parents in the loop throughout the season. They get a copy of the schedule at the beginning of the season, but I always remind them of changes as they occur or anything out of the ordinary. For example, most of our games are on Saturday morning, but one is on a Tuesday evening. I email my parents a couple days before that Tuesday game so they don’t forget.
Type of Communication
Most of my communication takes place via email. I get all of the relevant information to all of the parents at once. They also have a copy for reference if necessary. I use phone calls if I have an urgent matter — such as a game cancelled due to bad weather. I also like to touch base with each parent after all practices and games. It helps build a positive relationship.
If you do have an issue with parent conduct, address the issue immediately. The longer you wait, the more difficult it is to bring it up. Don’t call a parent out in front of other parents or the kids. Pull the parent aside or call the parent so you can talk privately.
Stay In Touch
Proactive communication is key to a positive year coaching pee wee soccer. Keep the parents in the loop and encourage communication both ways to keep the season running smoothly.