Thursday, 23 May 2024

Volleyball Parents FAQ

If you ask most junior volleyball coaches about the challenges of coaching, they will often mention dealing with parents. As an experienced coach and teacher, I have found that most parental concerns stem from a sense of fairness rather than tactical or technical issues. Over the years, I have learned the importance of engaging with parents and educating them about my philosophies and coaching approach. By fostering open communication and setting clear expectations, coaches can alleviate many of the concerns parents may have.

Tips for Coaches

As a coach, there are two crucial tips that I believe can greatly benefit younger coaches:

  1. When addressing any issue involving a player, it is helpful to have the parent present as an observer rather than an active participant. This approach ensures that there is no miscommunication between coach, player, and parent.

  2. Conducting detailed parent meetings at the beginning and middle of the season can help address any questions or concerns that may arise. These meetings should go beyond logistics and payments, allowing coaches to share their philosophies and principles. It is essential to create a space for open and honest discussion.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why do I disagree with the coach so often?
A: Remember that your perspective as a parent will always be focused on your child’s interests, while the coach has to consider what is best for the team as a whole. It is natural for these views to differ, but finding positive ways to work through those opposing views will ultimately benefit your child.

Q: Why does the setter not set my child well?
A: There are multiple factors that influence a setter’s decisions, such as pass location, offensive plans, matchups with blockers, and who has the hot hand. It is crucial to trust that the setter is making the best decisions to optimize the team’s performance.

Q: Why does the coach not call a timeout?
A: Calling timeouts is a judgment call based on the coach’s assessment of the game’s flow. Sometimes, two consecutive bad points might warrant an early timeout, while several great plays by the opposing team may not. Coaches do their best to make these decisions, but it’s not solely about the score.

Q: Why is my child not playing?
A: There can be various reasons for this, including disciplinary issues or poor practice performance. Another possibility is that your child is currently not among the top players in their position and needs to continue working on their skills. It may sound harsh, but it is essential to confront the truth and encourage your child to improve.

Q: Why is my child being substituted for making errors while others are not?
A: Not all errors are equal in their impact on the game. Some errors, like serving or hitting in the net, carry more consequences than serving or hitting out. Additionally, coaches often have a deeper understanding of their players’ abilities, even if a particular player is going through a slump. Making substitutions is about the overall impact on the team, not just the performance of one player.

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Q: How can I support the coach and the team appropriately as a parent?
A: There are many ways to contribute positively, such as offering to carpool, organizing food for tournaments, assisting with fundraisers, and avoiding negative comments about the coach or other team members. Showing up to tournaments with a positive mindset, cheering for all players, and refraining from recruiting other parents into your dissatisfaction or frustration are all ways to support the team effectively.

Q: Why does my child’s coach not see that my child is better than their teammates?
A: It’s important to understand that different coaches may have different perspectives. Sometimes, people judge coaches based on personal preferences or biases. Consider the source and their potential motives before accepting their feedback. Remember, there will always be differing opinions about player abilities.

Q: Why does the coach appear to play favorites?
A: Coaches naturally gravitate toward players who embody certain qualities: showing commitment, asking thoughtful questions, prioritizing the team, being one of the top performers, helping with equipment, and demonstrating a positive attitude. Being a “favorite” is not limited to a select few players but is open to anyone who exhibits these traits. When parents accuse coaches of playing favorites, it often stems from a difficulty accepting their child’s skill level.

Q: Why does the coach seem mean or try to hurt my child?
A: It is crucial not to confuse coaching style or personality preference with actual harm. If you genuinely believe that a coach is intentionally trying to hurt your child, it is best to remove your child from that team. No coach should ever try to harm a player, and if you feel strongly about it, you should prioritize your child’s well-being.

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Understanding the dynamics between coaches, parents, and players is essential for a positive sports experience. By creating open lines of communication, addressing concerns, and setting clear expectations, both coaches and parents can work together to support the growth and development of young athletes. Remember, while not every decision may align with personal opinions, it is crucial to seek understanding and approach each situation with empathy and respect.

For more information and resources, visit Alpinetgheep and join our community of sports-loving parents. Together, we can create a supportive environment for young athletes to thrive.