How to Communicate with Your Child’s Coach

By Janis Meredith | Posted 2/3/2020

I’m a firm believer in the importance of communication and youth sports is one place that could use a good dose of healthy interaction.

It’s important for parents to communicate with the coach (and vice versa) but unfortunately, many parents tend to go overboard in communicating with the coach about the wrong kinds of things.

Complaining about playing time, position issues and coaching strategies are conversations that should be avoided. However, parents should be diligent when it comes to communicating information that the coach needs to hear, such as medical issues, why a child isn’t at practice if a player is struggling with studies or any emotional issues that might affect their play.

These simple guidelines will help you build a good relationship with your child’s coach:

Use their preferred means of communication. Whether it’s a text, email or a call, everybody has a favorite way to stay in touch. Instead of assuming that everyone reads their email and getting frustrated when you get no response or wondering why they don’t answer your text, find out how they want to be contacted.

Keep them informed of issues that will affect your child’s performance. Illness, missing practices or games, family difficulties, bullying and other emotional struggles will affect your child’s attitude. Although not every coach seems to care about this, they should because youth sports is about developing children as players AND people.

Don’t feel bad about reminders. Coaches are busy and often forgetful so don’t hesitate to remind them that your child is missing practice today, even though you may have told them last week. Better for them to be reminded than to have them forget and wonder why little Billy didn’t show up for the game.

On the rare occasion that parents feel they absolutely must talk to the coach about playing time or position issues, approach with questions and not accusations, schedule an appointment away from the eyes of other parents. And always let the coach know you support them, even if you don’t always agree.

When it comes to youth sports coaches and parents, it should not be an us-them mentality. Parents and coaches should be on the same team for the sake of the kids and healthy communication from parents is a positive step in that direction.

Janis Meredith is a family life coach who wants to help all parents raise champions. You can find out more at


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