As a youth soccer coach, you probably know that the pre-season parent meeting is incredibly important. This meeting is your chance to let the parents know what their child can expect in the upcoming soccer season and how they can help. It’s also a great opportunity to address any questions or concerns parents might have before the season starts. Conducting a soccer coach/parent meeting can be a daunting task, but don’t worry! Include these 7 essential items in your soccer parent meeting agenda and your season will be off to a great start!
Soccer Parent Meeting Agenda
1. Introduce Yourself
Parents are entrusting you with their most prized possession, their child! So, introducing yourself should be first on the agenda. Telling parents a little about yourself is vitally important if you want to start the season on the right foot. Be sure to tell parents about not only your soccer coaching and playing background, but also a bit about your personal life, too. This will help parents get a fuller picture of who you are as a person and as a coach and help build trust between you and the parents. Just like in a job interview, don’t be afraid to talk up your achievements and make sure your enthusiasm for the sport and coaching shines through!
2. Ask Why Their Child Wants To Play Soccer
Asking parents why their child wants to play soccer is a great way to find out about a child’s motivations and what they want to get out of playing the sport. This is important because once you establish why the children play soccer, it is easier to judge what constitutes success. For example, if you’re coaching 5-year olds the children probably just want to have fun and make new friends. So, any training session or match in which the kids have fun can be considered a success. If you’re coaching 10-year-olds, then perhaps players want to develop their skills and so success could be judged on how players improve throughout the season.
There has been a significant amount of research into why children play sports and the vast majority of parents when asked, will say their child wants to play for fun, to exercise, to improve their skills, to compete, and to be part of a team.
3. Discuss How To Measure Success
Now you’ve established why children play soccer you can move on to how to measure success. The two go hand in hand so you can use all the answers from the previous part of your agenda to act as goals for the team and for the children. For example, if the goal of playing soccer is to have fun, then success could be measured by asking “Do the players smile and laugh at practice?“, “Do the players look forward to coming to practice?“, etc. If the answer to these questions at the end of the season is ‘yes’ then you have had success in relation to the goal of having fun!
4. Explain Your Coaching Philosophy
Next on the agenda is to tell parents about your coaching philosophy. By communicating your own coaching philosophy you can help parents understand what objectives you have for the team and the individual players and how you would like to achieve them. Your coaching philosophy should include how you measure success, how you intend to grow and improve the teams as players and people, the style of soccer you intend to play, what your practices will look like, and what your philosophy is around playing time for each of the players.
5. Explain The Communication Guidelines.
Along with being clear on your philosophy around playing time, establishing clear communication guidelines for parents is probably the most important thing you need to include on your agenda if you’re hoping for a happy and (relatively) stress-free season! Key things to include are:
Your Prefered Method Of Communication
Would you like parents to communicate with you via text, email, over the phone, or in person? Personally, I would choose email as responding back and forth to text messages, or constantly answering phone calls from parents can be exhausting.
24-Hour Rule On Game Days
If parents are going to get upset it’s most likely going to be on game days when tensions can run a little high. A great rule to have is the 24-hour rule. This is a rule in which parents should wait at least 24 hours after a game before contacting you to express their concerns. This gives everyone, including the coach, a little time to cool off and keep things in perspective.
Who To Contact If You Cannot Address Parents’ Concerns
There may be times when parents are not satisfied with how you handle a particular situation or concern. So, it is important to tell parents who they can contact if they want to escalate an issue. This would usually be a director of coaching or someone on the club board. When telling parents about this, however, you should make it clear that they should first approach you directly and give you a chance to resolve the issue.
6. Inform Parents Of The Schedule For The Season
Like all of us, parents are exceptionally busy! Informing parents of the schedule for the season as soon as possible will help them plan accordingly and avoid any future conflicts for you and your team! Practice days, when the season starts and finishes, and any in or out-of-state tournaments you might have planned should all be communicated in your pre-season meeting so parents and players know what to expect for the next 6-12 months.
7. Fill Volunteer Roles
Last on your soccer parent meeting agenda should be to fill any volunteer roles. Perhaps you’re looking for an assistant coach or manager to help with administrative and logistical tasks. Some teams like to have a social secretary too who can help organize any team bonding activities or parties for the group throughout the season. If you’re a competitive team that is planning to go out of state a lot, having someone to help with the hotel and travel arrangements is an absolute must and will enable you to focus on what you do best, coaching!
Thanks for reading, and good luck with your soccer parent meeting! Before you go, be sure to check out our vast library of fun soccer drills where you can find lots of fun activities for your soccer coaching sessions.