5 topics coaches and parents should be talking about

By Janis Meredith | Posted 2/1/2016

Coaches and parents need to talk.

I’m not referring to yelling, cussing, hotly debating or accusing. I’m talking about civil conversations.

Parents and coaches won’t always agree, but they can still be on the same page, and that page is this: Youth sports is all about the kids.

For that reason, these are the things that coaches and parents should be talking about:

We must make youth sports safety a priority. Coaches should be properly trained in concussion safety and CPR. There should always be a first aid kit on the sidelines and a medical person nearby during play.

We want all kids to grow strong in character. Winning is fun and kids should strive for that, but developing character is the most important lesson for kids to learn. It will stay with them long after they finish playing sports.

We want all athletes to develop and improve their skills. While kids develop character, they should be enhancing their skills and knowledge of the game. In most instances, if the player is not ending the season a better player than when he started, then the coach has not done a complete job.

What are our team goals and objectives? This is often where coaches and parents conflict. It is best that they discuss expectations for the team and come to an agreement or at least agree to disagree.

We must not take the fun out of youth sports. Hard work and fun can co-exist in sports. Find ways to keep this marriage alive.

Communication is key.It is said that people equally informed seldom disagree.

Although I’m not sure if that statement is always true, I do believe that clear and consistent communication cuts down on conflicts and problems. Good communication will not only help things flow more smoothy for the team, it makes parents happy.

Janis B. Meredith, sports mom and coach's wife, writes a sports parenting blog called JBM Thinks. She authored the Sports Parenting Survival Guide Series and has a podcasting series for sports parents. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.