One of the easiest ways you can make the Parent-Coach relationship better is start and end your practices ON TIME! Manage your time and make your coaching life easier for yourself!
Many coaches cite the parent-player-coach relationship as the most difficult aspect of their job. Much more difficult than X's and O's. This can be especially true if you're coaching youth lacrosse. Don't add fuel to this fire by being lazy with your practice and game planning and scheduling.
Some of the best coaching advice we can give to help make your teams run more smoothly is to plan your practice and game schedule, and stick to it! Show up early, be prepared and organized, and finish on time. This is the best and easiest way to buy yourself some goodwill with your parents. Stay on schedule, keep your parents happy, and make your job a little bit easier.
Keep the big picture in mind! Remember that your players and parents have other responsibilities to attend to. Dinner might be on the table. Siblings might be waiting in the car to go home. Kids still need to do their homework, chores, and bathe or shower before bed time. Allowing practice to run 20-30 minutes longer while you talk and talk, or finish one more Fast Break is just not acceptable. This is especially true in bad weather!
Time Management is often the #1 skill that successful people credit for their achievements. It doesn't matter if you're a Fortune 500 CEO or a youth sports coach. Use your time wisely, and you can accomplish more than you imagined! Even top college coaches stick to their practice and game schedules.
Plan your practice, and stick to it! Think about last game or practice. Write down a few notes about what you want to work on. What needs the most improvement? What are the most important things to focus on? Without a plan, you'll never get to everything. Or you'll spend way too much time on Warm-Ups and Line Drills, and not enough time on Position-Specific or Game Situation Drills. Plus you might want to leave enough time at the end to scrimmage! Everybody loves to scrimmage at the end of practice.
Use this simple rule of thumb: Your players' attention span is about the same number of minutes as their age: 10-year-olds, do every drill for about 10 minutes. 12-year-olds, 12 minutes. Even college coaches don't spend more than about 20 minutes on the same drill or game.
This helps you build in water breaks in between each timed drill. Or you can sneak in some push-ups, sit-ups or Burpees before the next drill starts. It also gives you time to set up the next drill or game.
Keep everyone happy! Make a plan, stick to it, and get your kids home on time for dinner. Wear a watch. Set timers and alarms if you need to. Get through all your drills at practice so you get everything covered. Most importantly, keep your parents happy, and you'll be a much happier Coach!