Many times parents have a situation occur when they need to speak to their childs coach. Few have a clear idea how to approach a tense situation in the coach-parent relationship.
Anytime or place for a conversation is OK, so long as there is no immediate crisis and there are no distractions such as the coach trying to run a practice. Try to find and create a positive setting. A setting that is hassle-free, calm, and quiet helps a listener be more receptive. Face to face conversation, with good eye contact and a respectful demeanor, is better than a phone call or e-mail.
Try and practice being an active listener. Too often, coaches are braced for a flood of complaints from parents who come to talk. Fight the impulse to unload. Defy stereotypes. Introduce your concern briefly and then, sit back and listen to the response….without rebutting or interrupting. Just listen and summarize out loud what you’ve heard. This should help the intensity of the situation melt away, as the coach feels respected, rather than attacked. After he has said his peace than go into trying to persuade and explain your concerns.
Try and deliver an assertive, not an aggressive, message. You want the coach to hear you, believe you, and help resolve the problem. Describe the situation in non-judgmental terms. Explain how it affects you and your child, and then state a preference for how you think it should be resloved.
Lastly be flexible. Usually, we think we have a solution all figured out, before we know enough about the problems. There are many ways to solve a problem, try to generate as many options as possible that combine the coaches interests and your own.
Thought for the week: “If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure nine will run into the ditch before they reach you.” –Calvin Coolidge