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Basketball Coaching Strategy To Develop Parental Support For Your Program
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Basketball Coaching Strategy to Develop Parental Support for Your Program

Parental support of your program is an important component of your basketball coaching strategy and should not be neglected. It is important because you need parents to trust and have confidence in you to keep bringing their children back year after year. It is important, also, because parents have an investment in the process in terms of time and/or financial commitments and are looking for a return on their investment. Finally, they can also be advocates for your program and help in referring new players for continued program growth and enrichment.

Here a few tips to implement a coaching strategy to develop parental support.

First, explain your basketball coaching strategy.

Playing time isn’t a right. Playing time is an earned privilege and both parents and players need not only to be aware of this but understand this concept as well. Because I have players of all skill levels I emphasize that our goals will be to develop them as players and teach new basketball skills that they will continue to use as they progress with the sport. Playing time will not only be allocated accordinglyto support those goals but playing time will also be predicated by consistently attending practice and embracing team objectives.

1. Require players to talk with you first. Explain to your parents the intent is to encourage communication between the player and the coach and that this is a good time to help develop a players lifelong skill. Because you are on the floor and an active participant you will have more relevant information that will help the player work through his/her concerns or questions. By speaking with your players first this will minimize or eliminate a potentially angry or emotional confrontation with a parent.

2. Communicate with parents. This can be achieved by agreed upon personal meetings or use email as a means of informing or maintaining contact with your parents. I cannot emphasize how important communication is and this communication should be a two waystreet and parents should be encouraged to contact you via the method that is preferable for you. Personal interaction will go a long way in cementing the coach/parent relationship.

3. Encourage parents to watch practice. Parents observing can become an ally for you because this will give them a personal view of how you coach, how you interact with your players (their children), how you run practice, and how players behave with someone else. One picture is worth a thousand words and transparency will make conversatons more meaningful and less troublesome.

4. Create belief in your system. The philosophy that we teach is; Believe in yourself, Believe in your team-mates, and Believe in your coaches. If the players trust you and have confidence in what you are teaching, they will be your advocates with their parents on and off the court.

5. Promote a family atmosphere and designate a parent liaison. Urge parents to attend games and practice, if possible, have them sit together in the same section to cheer on the team. A parent liaison peer can assist in developing this culture and can act as a conduit for the other parents to funnel information or concerns through.

6. Calmly handle parent confrontations. While this is the least desirable situation to be involved in, it can and sometimes will happen. Unfortunately, as coaches we will have to meet with overzealous or angry parents and you need a basketball coaching strategy to manage the situation.

First, listen calmly and quietly and do not interrupt the parent.

Calmly restate a summary of the parents concern(s) before addressing them. Have you ever tried to address a question one way only to learn that is not what the parent was asking? It just adds to the confusion.

Remember, you are the coach and keep the focus on their child and not on comparisons between another child or player. Speak calmly and clearly while voicing your view. Do not attempt to match the parents tone but continue to speak in a normal volume while keeping your comments in a positive vein.

At the end of the meeting make sure that you thank-you the parent for sharing their concerns or information and advise that you will take their comments under consideration.

Good parental support will aid your basketball program by instilling confidence in you as a basketball coach, aid parental volunteerism, and create a healthy support environment for your players both on and off the court. These guidelines are suggestions to add to your overall basketball coaching strategy for long-term program support.

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