10 Things Parents Do that Drive Coaches Crazy

1. Being late to practice or competition. Stretching and warm-up are very important for the safety of your athlete. If they stretch after they arrive, then they are interrupting the practice. Being late to a competition is inexcusable! There is so much to be done before a competition - check in, makeup/hair touch ups, uniform checks and just encouraging everyone to compete! Be on time, or better yet - be early.

2. Ignore information from the gym (newsletters, text messages, etc) then complain you don’t know what is going on. Make it a priority to stay informed. When parent meetings are held- make a point to attend, take notes, and ask questions. If you cannot attend, ask another parent to take notes for you or follow up with your contact at the gym (coach, office manager, etc) for meeting notes. After all, it is your job as the parent to stay informed.

3. Ignore coaches’ recommendations and push your child too hard. Technique and proper progression must be followed for safety and to build the foundation necessary to achieve more difficult skills in the future. Rushing this process can lead to injury, frustration, and burn out. So, trust your child coaches - they are well trained, educated and have a lot of experience.

4. Being a helicopter parent.Remember this is your child’s sport, not yours. Do not get caught up in it to the point that it is more about your child pleasing you than having fun and enjoying the sport for themselves. It is also very healthy to drop your child off and pick them up when practice is over. It is ok to pop in and watch your child every now and then, but your gym’s parent viewing area should not become your second home!

5. Question our decisions. There is so much that goes into the decision making process of developing team and Level placement. These decisions are made by the coaches, who have each athlete’s best interest at heart. These decisions are not taken lightly and are taken with incredible consideration.

6. Not coming to your coach first when there is an issue. If there is ever an issue, the first course of action should always be to go directly to your coach. Spreading rumors or starting gossip among other parents is heavily frowned upon.

7. Coaching from the sidelines. Let the coaches coach. If you are not confident in your child’s coaches, then you’d better look for other options. It is incredibly distracting to the athletes if a parent is trying to over-talk the coach and offer advice. It can create an awkward tension among the athletes and coaches, cause the athletes to question their coaches, and send a conflicting message to the athletes.

8. Threatening to go to the rival gym across town if you don’t get your way. At the end of the day, you always have a choice of where you take your child for practice. Choose a place where you feel welcome, appreciated, and satisfied. And if you do feel this way, pay back by maintaining an attitude of respect and helpfulness toward gym staff.

9. Poor sportsmanship at competitions. Judging is subjective, and many times it can be confusing. Remember your role as a parent and do not ever approach the judge’s stand or member of the judging panel if you disagree with the placements/scoring. Let the coach handle this aspect - that is their job.

10. Not paying your bill on time. Financial commitments should be laid out well in advance. Tuition fees have to be paid on time to cover gym expenses. And paying your bills on time reduces your financial stress by avoiding late payment fees.

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