Fastpitch Masters Blog
Pre Season Parent Meeting
It’s the start of the season, and you’ve sat your parents down to have preseason meetings. These meetings are usually for travel teams, and their purpose is to put everyone on the same page for the upcoming season. Travel teams have different coaches, expectations, players, and rules, so it’s vital to prepare the team for what could happen in the upcoming season. One way to compile this information is by creating a contract for parents and players to acknowledge they understand the rules and expectations. Below we’ve compiled a list of things that should be discussed during this meeting.
- Budget. Softball is not cheap for tournaments, gear, facilities, and sometimes travel. Some teams may be more expensive than others, depending on what the coach and parents want to do for the season. Traveling with your team is a fun experience, but 3 to 4 out-of-town tournaments will add up. Try to compile a number or at least an estimate to give parents an idea of the financial responsibilities of the team. Within budgets, you can also include any fundraising ideas to help parents pay these finances.
- Playing time. This is a must-have conversation with parents, especially if you believe playing time should be earned. Some parents want this to be pushed on their players, while some may just want their players to see the field no matter what team they’re on. Establishing your views on playing time can save you some tough conversations down the road.
- Conflict resolution. When parents have concerns or input on their player, whether it’s playing time, or anything else, it is essential to give them a clear outlet for their concerns. One way to implement this is through the 24-hour rule, which states that any complaints or suggestions can be heard after the parents and coach have had 24 hours to reflect. This is essential so that both parties can have a conversation with a clear head rather than with emotions.
- Player Expectations. During this meeting, players and parents should both take an interest in team expectations. Coaches may set specific rules for players regarding phone usage or dugout behavior. Contracts may include statements regarding how much interaction a player can have with their parents during game time or other team rules. Many teams state in their contracts that parents won’t argue with umpires during games.
- Breaking of Contract. Once contracts are signed, it is a written agreement between two parties, which means there must be a course of action to take if contracts are broken, including how funds are split up. If a player leaves your team during the season, they must know what’s expected of them, including giving uniforms back and sorting out what money is owed.
- Schedules. This meeting is where parents, players, and coaches should figure out what days they’ll practice along with the number of tournaments they’ll play in. Some teams will come together and decide on a holiday weekend they all don’t want to play like Fourth of July.
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