Branded Parent/Coach Communication Guide For High School Athletic Directors

A few high school coaches and former athletic directors here at BigTeams collaborated with some colleagues to develop a comprehensive guide aimed at fostering a positive and cooperative culture among parents and coaches.

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Below are a few copies of the guide in various formats:

Parent / Coach Communication Guide

[School Name] ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT

Communication You Should Expect From A Coach

Both parenting and coaching are extremely difficult vocations. By establishing an understanding of each position, we are better able to accept the actions of the other and provide greater benefit to children. As parents, when your children become involved in our program, you have a right to understand what expectations are placed on your child. This begins with clear communication from the coach.

Parent / Coach Relationship

  1. The coach’s philosophy.
  2. The expectations the coach has for your child as well as all the players on the squad.
  3. The locations/times of all practices & games.
  4. Any team requirements (i.e. fees, special equipment, off-season conditioning).
  5. The procedure followed in the event that your child is injured during athletic participation.
  6. Any discipline that results in the denial of your child’s participation.

Communication Coaches Should Expect From Parents

  1. Concerns expressed directly to the coach.
  2. Notification of any schedule conflicts well in advance.
  3. Specific concerns in regard to a coach’s philosophy and/or expectations.

As your children become involved in athletics, they will experience some of the most rewarding moments of their lives. There also may be times when things do not go the way you or your child wishes. At these times discussion with the coach is encouraged.

Concerns That Are Appropriate To Discuss With Coaches

  1. The physical & mental treatment of your child.
  2. Ways to help your child improve.
  3. Concerns about your child’s behavior.

It can be hard to accept that your child isn’t playing as much as you’d like. However, coaches are professionals who make decisions based on what they believe is best for all students. While some topics are appropriate to discuss with the coach, others should be left to their discretion.

Issues That Are Not Appropriate To Discuss With Coaches

  1. Playing time
  2. Team strategy
  3. Play calling
  4. Other student-athletes

There are situations that may require a conference between the coach and the parent. These are to be encouraged. It is important that both parties involved have a clear understanding of the other’s position. When these conferences are necessary, the following procedure should be followed to help promote a resolution to the issues of concern.

What can a parent do if the meeting with the coach did not provide a satisfactory resolution?

Call and set up an appointment with the Athletic Director to discuss the situation. Together, you can determine the appropriate next step.

Since research indicates a student involved in co-curricular activities has a greater chance for success during adulthood, these programs have been established. Many of the character traits required to be a successful participant are exactly those that will promote a successful life after high school. We hope the information provided within the booklet makes both your child’s and your experience with the athletic program less stressful and more enjoyable.

Call to set up an appointment. If the coach cannot be reached, call the Athletic Director. The athletic director will set up a meeting for you.

Please do not attempt to confront a coach before or after a contest or practice. These can be emotional times for both the parent and the coach. Meetings of this nature do not promote resolution.

Do not circumvent the coach when it comes to expressing concern. The coach should be the first point of contact when an issue develops.

If You Have A Concern To Discuss With A Coach

  1. Support your child’s efforts toward success.
  2. Work to promote a positive environment that is conducive to the development of the student-athlete.
  3. Become familiar with and review the rules and regulations of the sport with your student-athlete.
  4. Communicate any concerns in a timely manner, according to the district protocol.
  5. Treat all coaching personnel with courtesy and respect and insist your student-athlete do the same.
  6. Encourage your child to communicate their concerns in a respectful manner to the coaching staff. Athletes who do not feel comfortable discussing an individual problem with the head coach may consider talking to an assistant coach.
  7. Understand that not all athletes will like their coaches. However, athletes should accept the concept that you can still work with others toward a common goal, despite your personal feelings towards the individual.

Expectations of Parent / Guardian

  1. Support your child’s efforts toward success.
  2. Work to promote a positive environment that is conducive to the development of the student-athlete.
  3. Become familiar with and review the rules and regulations of the sport with your student-athlete.
  4. Communicate any concerns in a timely manner, according to the district protocol.
  5. Treat all coaching personnel with courtesy and respect and insist your student-athlete do the same.
  6. Encourage your child to communicate their concerns in a respectful manner to the coaching staff. Athletes who do not feel comfortable discussing an individual problem with the head coach may consider talking to an assistant coach.
  7. Understand that not all athletes will like their coaches. However, athletes should accept the concept that you can still work with others toward a common goal, despite your personal feelings towards the individual.

The Next Steps

If you have a concern to discuss with a coach:

  1. Support your child’s efforts toward success.
  2. Work to promote a positive environment that is conducive to the development of the student-athlete.
  3. Become familiar with and review the rules and regulations of the sport with your student-athlete.
  4. Communicate any concerns in a timely manner, according to the district protocol.
  5. Treat all coaching personnel with courtesy and respect and insist your student-athlete do the same.
  6. Encourage your child to communicate their concerns in a respectful manner to the coaching staff. Athletes who do not feel comfortable discussing an individual problem with the head coach may consider talking to an assistant coach.
  7. Understand that not all athletes will like their coaches. However, athletes should accept the concept that you can still work with others toward a common goal, despite your personal feelings towards the individual.

If the meeting with the coach did not provide a satisfactory resolution:

  1. Call and set up an appointment with the Athletic Director to discuss the situation. Together, you can determine the appropriate next step.
  2. Since research indicates a student involved in co-curricular activities has a greater chance for success during adulthood, these programs have been established. Many of the character traits required to be a successful participant are exactly those that will promote a successful life after high school.
  3. We hope the information provided within the booklet makes both your child’s and your experience with the athletic program less stressful and more enjoyable.

Call to set up an appointment

If the coach cannot be reached, call the Athletic Director. The athletic director will set up a meeting for you. Please do not attempt to confront a coach before or after a contest or practice. These can be emotional times for both the parent and the coach. Meetings of this nature do not promote resolution.

Do not circumvent the coach when it comes to expressing concern. The coach should be the first point of contact when an issue develops.

Actual High School Athletic Director Salaries That Mean Something

Doing a Google search for “High School Athletic Directors Salary” narrows it down to somewhere below the poverty line and somewhere among the top 1% of Americans. Websites like “Salary.com” aren’t helpful either, so we have started to compile hard data.

Here is our first attempt at providing hard data that a person can actually wrap their head around, including demographics, school type, etc. We are happy to add to this list if you’d like us to focus on a specific area of the country, larger schools, private schools, etc. We can pull source material from actual government websites. It takes real digging to find it, but it’s possible.

Click here to see the data.

Click here to request more schools and/or give us some advice on how to make the data set better.