COMMUNICATING WITH COACHES
We know first-hand the joys and frustrations that can accompany the parent-athlete relationship. We are glad to speak with you about your daughter, but ask that you:
- Insist that your daughter try to work out volleyball-related issues directly with her coach before enlisting your assistance. Learning to deal with authority figures is one of the supreme benefits of participation in organized sports.
- Discuss all concerns with the volleyball coaching staff first, before contacting the FAVA administrators.
- Avoid jumping to conclusions. Remember that some teenagers tend to exaggerate both when praised and criticized, and that decisions about complicated issues, like playing time, are usually the product of many factors.
Remember that independence through athletics is critical in a child’s development. Parents should consider the value of stepping back to “release their child” to their sport, except where there is clear evidence of physical or emotional concerns.
If you are concerned about a volleyball-related issue that requires you to speak directly with a coach, we ask that you wait at least 24 hours after the triggering event. Cooler heads are inevitably more productive. We always enjoy chatting with parents at the conclusion of matches, but cannot address non-emergency issues at that time. We also cannot interrupt practice sessions.
All parents (and players) are expected to demonstrate the highest level of sportsmanship while representing FAVA. Please cheer for our team’s efforts and successes. Parents and other fans should never celebrate our opponents’ mistakes.
While in the gymnasium, keep all comments positive. Remember, you are sitting amongst parents from the other clubs. Please do not compare the skill or attitude of your daughter out loud with other members of the team.
Volleyball officials are off-limits for parents. Refrain from yelling at the referees before, during and after the match, no matter what the perceived error or injustice. FAVA coaches believe players must learn to perform under adversity, and to not waste emotion or effort on things not within their control.
Take the time to learn more about volleyball rules and strategy. What sometimes seems like a blown call or a poor coaching decision often looks much different if you have a more detailed appreciation for the nuances of this sometimes complicated sport.
Consider it a sign of trouble if a player looks into the stands repeatedly for parental approval or disapproval during a game.
For coaches, delegating playing time is a zero-sum exercise. The decision to give one player more time on the court means another player will get less. As such, all good coaches know that with each decision, however well considered, comes the likelihood that someone will be disappointed.
Strong teams have strong benches. Players who keep focused on the match while not on the court greatly increase their chances of success once they enter the game. Spirited bench players almost always infect their teammates with optimism and extra energy.
Lineup decisions are primarily the result of careful consideration about our own team’s chemistry, and our opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. Playing time is earned by hard work, proven performance and an occasional hunch. Coaches take a season-long view about each player’s time on the court.
Parents should resist measuring their daughter’s volleyball experience solely by the amount of her playing time. We strive to inject each player with a love for the sport, teaching her to value the opportunity to be strong and confident, whether in practice or a game.
WORDS OF WISDOM
Game days are long. They start at 9:00 am sharp and could go for 8 hours or more. Your daughter could play as many as seven games in one day. Although this is a great time for parents and players, there will be down time. Parents should bring books, magazines, tablets, etc., and be sure to have some small toys for little ones.
“There are appropriate and inappropriate subjects that a parent can discuss with a coach. Appropriate ones are mental and physical treatment of the child, ways to help the child improve and the child’s behavior. Inappropriate ones are playing time, strategy and other team members.” –Bruce Brown (Camano Island), proactivecoaching.info.
“There are four positions on an athletic field: spectator, referee, coach, and player. You get to choose one and only one.”–Bruce Bowen