The relationship between the coach and his player's parents is a relationship that is vital to holding the team together. In most cases, parents want what is best for their child and will do about anything to get it. Despite this, there are many parents out there that find the best way to do this is to be super involved in everything their child does in the game. These parents yell at referees, criticize coaches, and yell at their child when they are not performing. This ultimately can ruin the child's motivation and create an environment where they find it difficult to just have fun. It is important for coaches to establish a solid relationship with parents right off the bat so they may enjoy watching their child and players have fun and develop their basketball skills. It takes commitment from both sides and also an understanding that this is youth sport and it is in no one's interest to diminish a child's experience with sports.
The "M" cap idea in "Why Good Coaches Quit," was very interesting to me and I found that I really could see it working in the right situation and under the right control. It originated from a fellow coach on the USA team and the head coach of Texas, Augie Garrido. He used it by giving player plain orange hats and having them earn the T on the front of the cap. They Minnesota version of this started after an alcohol incident where the coaches only gave five hats with M's on them to players. They were chosen by the coaches because of their attitude, class attendance, and responsibility and only one senior received one of these five caps (Anderson and Aberman, 2006). John Anderson said, "The program is designed to teach responsibility and ownership, but it is not intended to put player in charge." You could see how this could cause problem with player's parents and the coach as it did in the first year. It needed to be clear that this was only in the benefit of the player and had nothing to do with their athletic performance. I also found the pyramid diagram in Anderson and Aberman (2006) to be a great visual aid of what the relationship between coaches, athletes, and the athletes family should be. It has coach on top with a dotted line; the athlete and family fill up the bottom of the pyramid. They say the dotted line is the coach as the consultant.
The NASPE website is a great reference for learning about how we can find ways to help improve knowledge of how to develop a child's experiences and relationships through sport. It helps parents become aware of what they can do to youth sports if they are "that parent." It is a great tool to better youth sports in many ways. I think it is very important for these types of websites to get more attention in areas of youth sport so parents can learn how to enhance their child's overall experience of sport.
• Anderson & Aberman (2006). Why Good Coaches Quit. Monterey, CA: Coaches Choice
• Through a Child's Eyes: Parents' Guide to Improving Youth Sports. http://www.sportsmanship.org/News/CTSA%20PGuide%20Final.pdf
**I could not get either of the videos to work
(The FA Parent Guide Video and The FA Background Anger Video)