Liberty Mutual Responsible Sports on talking with coaches

Jan. 26, 2011, 12 a.m. (ET)

Each month we take a look at a topic in youth softball that we get a lot of feedback about, then highlight in our weekly articles. This past month we had a large amount of questions center around the best way to approach a child’s coach and how to do it in a productive way that doesn’t put the child in the middle, or cause the parent/coach relationship to become strained.

Responsible Sports has an entire section dedicated to this topic, Responsible Conversation: Parent & Coach. Research shows when we as parents support our children's teachers, students learn more. This concept can be transferred to sports, where kids will have a better sports experience if we work in unison with the coach to create a positive youth sports environment.

The first thing to recognize is the coach’s commitment. Coaches commit many, many hours of preparation beyond the hours spent at practices and games. Recognize that they do not do it for the pay! Try to remember this whenever something goes awry during the season. Make early, positive contact with the coach. Meeting the coach early and establishing a positive relationship will make conversation easier if a problem arises during the season.

We have a number of other tips to practice as well as an intervention strategy to help for when you need to approach the coach on a subject.

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The Liberty Mutual Responsible SportsTM program supports volunteer youth sports coaches and parents who help our children succeed both on and off the field. We offer many youth sports resources including $2,500 community grants, instructional videos, weekly tips, peer and expert advice, and coursework for those interested in improving the youth sports experience for all involved.