Questions to Ask a Coach Before the Season Starts

By Peter Schwartz | Posted 11/10/2020

When parents are deciding on a youth football program for their child, there are a number of questions that you have to ask when you look around at the options. Once you come to a decision on a program, there are a number of steps to go through including registration, training camp and then meeting the coach that will guide your child and the other members of the team through the season.

Once the team is assembled, the questions for a parent don’t end but instead shift to what could hopefully be a meaningful and informative chat.

Based on the experience that my wife and I had with Bradley’s journey throughout youth football, it’s probably a good idea to try and carve out some time to have a conversation with your child’s coach before the season starts. This is important especially if this is your child’s first year playing or first year with a new coach. Even if your child is returning for another season with the same coach, it’s always good to have a brief chat just to see what the expectations are for the season. 

Some questions you could ask the coach include:

  • How did my son/daughter do in training camp and what does he or she still have to work on?
  • What position do you see my child playing during the season?
  • Does the program adjust the weight limit for a player as the season progresses? 
  • How do you handle playing time for everyone on the team?
  • What days during the week will practice generally take place?
  • What can parents do to help out during the season either at practice or on gamedays?
  • On game days, when should the players arrive at the field?
  • What is the playoff format and does every team make the playoffs?
  • Are you USA Football certified?
  • What is your experience in coaching and what are the expectations are for the team?
  • You will want to make sure that the coach has your contact information to make sure that you will be notified of team news.  Ask if there will be a contact sheet of the parents' information.

The start of a season can be exciting for everyone. But before things get underway, it’s generally productive for parents to have a conversation with the coach to get a lay of the land before the games begin.

Peter is a sports anchor for the CBS Sports Radio Network and WFAN Radio in New York.  His son Bradley is a freshman in high school and is a participant in the U.S. National Team program while his younger son Jared enjoys playing flag football.   Peter, his wife Sheryl and the boys are busy cheering on the New York Jets when they’re not at a high school or flag football field.