The news is filled with stories about parents behaving badly at sporting events, and coaches and game officials are often on the receiving end of that poor behavior. Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) workshops designed especially for parents focus on the specific role parents should play in creating a positive sports experience for their child and could go a long way towards redirecting parents’ energy. When parents participate in one of our workshops, they’re appreciative of the message and the tools we provide, but their number one comment on the evaluation is “every parent should be here.” Unfortunately getting parents to attend workshops is nearly impossible.
For our 2022-23 coach workshop, we thought we’d try a different approach to addressing parent engagement. Working with our partner, Hillsborough County Public Schools, we developed a workshop that gives coaches tools and resources that will help them more clearly define the role of parents in creating a positive sports culture that ultimately benefits the student-athlete.
Keys to Engaging Parents in a Positive Way
- Make parents an asset by establishing a coach-parent partnership
- Help parents support their child by encouraging empowering conversations
- Model and Reinforce “Honoring the Game”
Now available to all of our partners, the workshop, Coaching Parents for a Positive Sports Culture, emphasizes the importance of coaches engaging their parents at the start of the season, setting ground rules and expectations for parent involvement. PCA encourages pre-season parent meetings and, during the workshop, we provide coaches with several tools to use:
- Sample Parent Meeting Agenda;
- Parent Letter, outlining PCA’s key principles of focusing on Mastery; filling Emotional Tanks; and Honoring the Game; and
- Parent Pledge, encouraging parents to focus on teaching life lessons through sports while leaving the focus on winning to players and coaches.
The workshop leverages the sharing of best practices among coaches through five breakout sessions that each focus on a different aspect of the coach-parent relationship. When coaches come together after each breakout, they share their top suggestions for engaging parents in a more positive way and PCA Trainers share some of our most effective tools and resources.