• Coach/Athlete/Parent Relations

    An effective working relationship among the “athletic triangle” of coach, athlete and parent benefits the quality of each person's experience and contributes significantly to the success of the entire team. Establishing this relationship requires that each of the three individuals understands his/her role in the process and communicates openly and honestly with the other persons.

    To open the communication channels, the coaching staff if responsible for staging a pre-season orientation meeting at which time they will cover topics such as the following:

    • Introduction and related background experiences of the coaching staff and program support staff
    • General plans for the upcoming season
    • PIAA, District, school, department and team philosophies, procedures, rules and expectations as covered in the Athlete’s Handbook and team handouts
    • Locations and times of practices and competitions
    • Helpful tips on how parents/guardians can best support their child during the season
    • How best to reach the coach (by phone or e-mail) and a confirmation of how best to reach each parent/guardian.

    Athletes and their parents are responsible for asking questions to clarify their understanding of any topics discussed at a meeting or published in any other printed material (such as the “Athlete’s Handbook"). Athletes and parents are also responsible for confirming mailing addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses and must inform coaches of any anticipated conflicts in the proposed practice/competition schedule.

    With this foundation in place, it is anticipated that communication between any of the parties can easily and respectfully be conducted throughout the season. However, the most critical time for the working relationship to be employed is when a concern or conflict arises about an expectation or comprehension of a policy/procedure. Topics that are accepted as appropriate for discussion are:

    • The athlete’s academic performance
    • The athlete’s behavior in school, with the team or in the general public as it pertains to the team’s reputation
    • The athlete’s role on the team
    • The application of PIAA, District, department and team philosophies, procedures, rules and expectations for our athletes
    • Suggestions to improve an athlete’s skill acquisition, knowledge and attitudes relevant to the sport.
    • Information about recruiting and recommendations about an athlete’s suitability for play at collegiate levels.
    • Management of injuries incurred by the athlete.

    However, there are also topics which are NOT appropriate for discussion. These include certain prerogatives for which the coach alone has jurisdiction with the bounds of school district philosophies, regulations and polices:

    • Other player’s roles on the team
    • Selection, placement and determination of playing time
    • Establishment and enforcement for all guidelines and training rules related to the activity
    • Appointment of practice times, dates and procedures
    • Preparation and execution of all travel arrangements for the team
    • Creation and implementation of competition strategies
    • Management/determination of all awards

    In a time of question or conflict concerning an appropriate topic, the following procedures are to be followed in the attempt to resolve the problem:

    Avoid telephone and e-mail discussions if possible. Speak face-to-face with the other individual(s) so that the most complete communication takes place.

    The first level of contact should always be between the athlete and coach; however, this contact should be made at a time other than during a practice or competition. Speaking privately in the coach’s office or in a place away from other team members is preferred.

    If the problem is not resolved at this primary-level meeting, a conference which includes the coach, athlete and parent/guardian is in order. However, none of these persons should be confronted immediately before or after a practice/competition to discuss the matter; always call or e-mail to set up an appointment. If a coach can not be reached in this manner, the parent/guardian should contact the athletics office in order to obtain assistance in reaching the coach.

    If a resolution still is not gained after this conference, contact the athletics director in for his input as to how to proceed. He/she will give due process and consideration to all of the involved parties while attempting to bring the matter to a reasonable conclusion. SCASCD Policy #906 (“Public Complaints”) may be initiated at this point if dissatisfaction with the athletics director’s ruling occurs.
Last Modified on August 27, 2012