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Thread: Dealing With Annoyed Parents

  1. #1

    Default Dealing With Annoyed Parents

    Last edited by shin; 17-03-2014 at 11:33 AM.

  2. #2


    At the end of the day you are the coach and its your opinion that counts not that of a parent. It is very disrespectful of that parent to put her childs need above that of the greater good of the team. It's a shame when rep trials occur that you can't trial the parents as well.

  3. #3


    20-30% court time is fairly decent for a bench player in a tight game. I think that's more than enough time for players to prove themselves. I would try and get them in in the first and every quarter.

    6 bench players is a joke. Heavens knows why you're even permitted to run with 11 players in a rep game. Isn't the 11th and 12th player normally train on reserves, and only play if someone is injured? Next time I'd sort that out up front, rotate a reserve if need be. Allocation of court time is hard enough with 10.

    Devils advocate. As a parent, I don't think it's fair to rock up to a rep game and play just 2mins of a 32min game. I've made that mistake in the past, and had a player in tears. When it comes down to it, even the best players won't remember the result in 2-3 years time, whereas the benched player, the parent, and the coach remembers it much longer. I'll remember that experience for the rest of my coaching days. If you haven't got the confidence in playing all your team enough to show their stuff, they probably shouldn't be on the team.

    I had a similar reaction to you with my parent when it first happened. The fact you are reflecting on it means you have at least some guilt. I think you'd have less guilt if you played your team and still lost the game.

  4. #4


    I've been the Coach who has parents & players to deal with after games when Court time has been lacking but I've also been the annoyed parent when a Coach has significantly reduced one of our kids court time due to some issue.

    As Coaches we should not be selecting a squad so big that players are not able to get at least 5 minutes a half. I would aim for about 7 minutes for my weakest player which allows them enough court time to actually improve and that may not be the same player each week as you may have 2-3 players who are relatively level in ability so you should vary the rotation for some games.

    Your best 1-2 players may be required to give you 30-40 minutes a game depending on the opposition and game situation and the match-ups. A squad of 8-9 players usually allows you to manage your player rotations properly to allow you to maximise team results.

    As it is U12's I think there is an expectation from Parents that players will be given reasonable court time as it is usually the introduction age group to rep basketball so development of players and the team is the key objective.

    But as Coaches we all can fall into the trap of trying to win at all costs even if it means some of your players lose interest or quit the team.

    I've been the parent of player who the coach had decided to make an example of by not putting them on the court in the first half because they couldn't train due to not feeling well.

    When you see your child get quite upset not knowing what they have done wrong because the coach has said nothing to them up until half time when they normally play 25-30 minutes a game - it takes a lot of effort as a parent to remain calm and not take the issue up with the coach during the game.

    The Coach was out of line in this situation but the only thing as a parent that you can do is either talk to the Coach after the game or else leave the team.

    No one is forced to be involved so it needs to be enjoyed by all players therefore make sure you can manage the playing minutes reasonably.

  5. #5


    These are 10 and 11 year old kids you're dealing with. I sat play them all, every quarter! Yes, you have too many on your roster which makes it hard but compare these two situations. 1 - how'd have been feeling today had you won (still basking in the glow of an u12 rep win?). 2 - how you feel or more importantly how those kids feel about the game having gone for the win and failed (sounds extreme perhaps but if you are win at all costs that's how you'll be judged)

    Most of your 'studs' at u12 Jhave one of two things going for them - early puberty or compromised technique which allows them to excel. Neither equips them very well for post U14's basketball. You owe it to all players at that level to allow them to develop and enjoy their game. They don't care about winning. The only people who care about winning are coaches and parents of 'studs' (whose kids will lose minutes if court time is more evenly shared - they really don't care about winning,like dverybody else they care about their kids and use the team winning as a cover).

    It can be tough, particularly when other coaches are win-at-all-costs but I coached lots of teams who got towelled up by win-at-all-costs teams. Three things make that worthwhile - almost all of the parents are grateful for the respect I showed their child, almost all of those kids are still playing (now seniors) and two of them made Australian squads this year (ps - not the 'studs', they're long gone!!).

  6. #6


    i am totally with falcon in the previous post.

    It is ~10 yr olds we are talking about. All kids in the team pay the same rep fees, all kids attend training, all kids want to improve at basketball and all kids want to have fun. All kids deserve "fair' court time.

    I try to give all kids 'close to" even time thru the season. If the team is good enough, they will still make the finals, where court time can then favour the best players. All players have had good court time thru the season which should also show in a closing of the gap between the best and weakest players.

    Having the kids return to play in U14's to me is an important goal.


    is the priority

  7. #7


    Good points, but lets not be too harsh. 8 minute quarters and 11 players would be insanely difficult to get everyone on each quarter. With a low foul count, an entire quarter could rush by before you have a chance to get everyone in.

    Give everyone a go, but I'd also try and just have 10 on the roster for each game.

    Don't feel too guilty Shin, every coach makes these types of mistakes. Best thing to do is own up to it and move on.

  8. #8


    Many very good points.
    In the end though, the coach is the boss, and they can?t allow parents to be telling them how to coach the team, even if they are coaching badly.
    As a parent you have to put faith in your association to only appoint quality coaches ? but if you do get a bad coach, and proper discussion can?t resolve it, and you can?t see the season out, the only right thing you can do is leave the team.

    I only wanted to add that as a coach, right after your team is first selected, I think it is a good idea to get the parents and players together and explain to them how you will be coaching the team, what they can expect of you, and what you expect of them.
    Sure every parent should be able to speak with you directly about their child?s development.
    But I would suggest telling them to never do that before or after a game ? instead before or after training or at some other arranged time.
    I would also suggest it is a good idea to give them all your phone number and your email address ? so they can contact you directly in their choice of format. Coaches who insist on parents always going through the team manager to talk to the coach are just making a rod for their own back.

  9. #9


    shin, could you fix the problem by giving the non-starters a decent run in the next game, and letting them close out the game?
    Go, Gary Go, Ervin puts on a show

  10. #10


    Parents always get my mobile number and email from the get go and an open invitation to talk to me any time. I also make them very aware that there are several non negotiable rules regarding the operation of the team.

    1. Playing time is at the discretion of the coaching staff and is earned through effort and application
    2. Minutes will NOT be shared equally. If you're looking for equal time you should not be playing rep basketball
    3. No discussion of any player other than your child will be entered into.
    4. If you wish to discuss your child's playing time be prepared to discuss it on a basketball related level only. If your only argument for your child to be getting more minutes is because they're your child then you're wasting our time.
    5. Winning and development both have their place in a rep program. Neither should be sacrificed for the other.

    Now I've never coached U12's like the original poster, 14's is the youngest I've had. I've also had very few problems over the years as I make it a point to play every player as much as possible. The only discussions I've had this year were with a group of about 6 parents over a few beers who thought I was too fair with allocating minutes, and a 1 on 1 with a parent who thought I was playing his (bottom age) son too much!! That one was a first!

    Of course you are always going to get the odd parent who is just a flat out looney and can't see any other kid on the court but their own. I always remember a few years back a gutsy little fella with a birth defect which basically meant his left arm was withered and useless. He tried hard...but...
    His old man collared me at the end of the day after he'd been cut and started telling me I was a useless coach and his kid was "the best kid out there"

    As to the other poster who mentioned about cutting a starter's minutes because they hadn't trained because they were ill???? That coach is a fool. (Assuming you'd told them beforehand the kid couldn't train, obviously)
    Early in my coaching career I learnt the lesson that if you're going to mess with someone's regular minutes you better tell them beforehand and explain yourself very carefully. I thought it might motivate a kid who'd been down on form to leave them stew on the bench for the first half but I didn't explain it to them first. Big mistake....the girl ended up in tears and useless by half time. I learnt from that mistake

  11. #11


    Just to throw a spanner in amongst things, I've gone to play weaker kids in a tight game to go down the fair path in the past and then copped a "Why did you do that - it lost us the game?" bunch of questions from about half to 3/4 of the other parents saying that the stronger kids should be playing the tight games etc and more minutes.

    I've learnt to deal with this but just adding another flip side to it.

  12. #12


    I have used 2 approaches in the past and apart from 1 incident with a parent when I was overseas the parents have been very supportive.

    When coaching Div 2 teams I treat that as a development league and run my 5s with a mix of 3 "starters" and 2 "subs" from the outset and rotate trying to maintain a consistent level of performance as a team. That tries to make sure that subs do not inadvertently become the reason for a dip in team performance. I then establish a finishing 5 with the best performers (and least fouled) finishing the last 4-5 minutes of the game.

    I also let my assistant do the subs based on a plan and constant comms between us. That also means that I don't lose sight of players while focussing on the game, especially in the close ones.

    We also sub based on execution of fundamentals that we are teaching for example, if we have asked the girls to focus on defensive stance and for some reason they can't we determine that they must be tired and need a rest and that is explained to them.

    Last week I rested a key player because of too many coast to coast runs and while 50% of the time we scored the tempo of the game started to get manic and Our offences fell way - so it was rest time and a seat next to the assistant. We never sub a player who makes a mistake only a tired one.

    I have also been known to sub a player who jacked up a prayer ball, off balance, totally the wrong shot to take and made the basket to great applause, they were obviously too tired to set their feet so they sat for a little. We also spend time communicating to parents, even do mid year reports like they do at school and offer the opportunity to discuss where we may have differences of opinion - so far just thanks and agreement.

    As a parent of 4 players, I always appreciate feedback on what coaches think my child does well and what they don't do so well and that's where it stays.

    When coaching Div 1 we play a little more seriously and we try to maintain a fair spread. Sydney Juniors over the last few seasons has generally been a 4 horse race in the main and that gives you 8 games a season to develop the bench further.

    Learning to sit on th bench is also a valuable skill and to be able to support the team while not playing is fundamental to team spirit. Where we anticipate a close one we first talk to the parent and then explain what is likely to happen during the game to the player.

    Just a couple of approaches that are supported with plenty of effort on the inter-personal side with parents and players.

  13. #13


    Hey Shin,

    I had a similar situation to this in my first game coaching a u14 girls rep team a few years back. One player just made it into the team and the next age group up has less teams so it would seem this would be her last year at the club. I didn't play her much at all in our first game, her father came up and just said unless she plays she isn't going to get anything out of it or contribute to the team. Essentially saying it is pointless her playing for such reduced court time.

    I thought about it and he was right, I played everyone every quarter from then on in. In juniors it is the way to go, everyone puts in the work at training, everyone pays a ton to play, regardless of div 1,2,3 rep, they should all get maximum experience. This girl ended up going all the way to u18's with the club and graduating from the program. Had I not of changed my ways and played everybody, she wouldn't of.

    When they goto State team nationals they can be more tough on the court time, although even there I would play everybody, to make everybody better and give them a better shot at moving up the pathway.

    I am thinking of coaching a team again this coming season here, if it is u18.1 boys or u12.2 girls everyone will play, it is just the best way to help develop the group and build a team that works together.

  14. #14


    Quote Originally Posted by Coach X View Post
    I thought about it and he was right, I played everyone every quarter from then on in. In juniors it is the way to go, everyone puts in the work at training, everyone pays a ton to play, regardless of div 1,2,3 rep, they should all get maximum experience. This girl ended up going all the way to u18's with the club and graduating from the program. Had I not of changed my ways and played everybody, she wouldn't of.
    I think that is a great story. Shows a maturity in being able to listen to and even accept an alternate point of view that I find is all too often lacking in coaches and especially administrators. If the latter were better at it then there would be more of the former who could do it.
    Good luck if you do coach this season.

  15. #15
    Back Again? We'll see. Southern Joe's Avatar
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    Oct 2004


    ... Funny story.

    Patrick has started playing reps for the Pacer's u12/2s side. He had his first grading game last night where they played Craigieburn's u12/1 side .

    We'll come back to this morning after this background story.

    During his tryouts, Patrick & I noticed a coach from one of the other Saturday morning u10 teams who is not very well liked because he does not instill the right spirit with his players & also teaches them niggle practices. He was hanging around the tryouts & talking to a couple of the boys. My heart sank as I thought he may have been one of the assistant coaches. I asked Pat afterwards whether he was coaching or was just hanging around like a bad smell. "I think it was the 2nd one, Dad" was his reply.

    After his regular Hornets game this morning we saw his rep coach. We talked about last night & I asked him if he & Peter( another good guy) were the only coaches . He said yes. I gave Patrick a thumbs up & Robin( the coach) asked what that meant. I told him that I was worried that a certain other not to be named bloke was there & that I didn't think his attitude was befitting our core values of sportsmanship. He understood what i meant & said that if any parent was saying something that wasn't in line with what they're teaching the kids then that parent would be spoken to.

    See what happens.

    Good luck Derek.

    InkSpot Preston Market

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