What Parent Meetings Should Look Like at the Middle

Middle Level Parent Meetings
By Dave Tikker
WSSAAA Executive Director
Counselor/AD/ Mt Side Middle School
Seek first to Understand, then be
• When you're entrusted with a parent's most
precious possession, their kids, they deserve
to get the best you can do.”
I’m not the Expert on Parent Meetings
• 33 years in Education- coached 60 teams- had
maybe 5 parent meetings- all in the last two
• Because?
Need to Educate Parents
• 1. Unhealthy Perspective
– At the mercy of their athletic experiences
• 2. Obligation to District to keep Activities
– Poor parent conduct compromises that
• 3. First child in activities
– Not sure what to expect
4.What are you teaching? They need to know
big picture
Basketball Parent
Softball parent
Wrestling Parent
Other Stories
Why don’t they know better?
Encyclopedia of Sports Parenting
by Dan Doyle
• 2004 in the USA- 475,000 4th grade boys playing
organized basketball
• 87,000 seniors playing high school basketball
• 59% think they will get a scholarship
• 1560 Division 1 scholarships
• 1350 Div 11 scholarships
• 1400 Div 111 opportunities
• 30 will play in the NBA
• 2.9 % HS to NCAA/1.3 NCAA to Pro
60 % of Parents Believe Their Kid is
Going to Get a Scholarship
• Reasonable to Assume that the “we” of teams
with most parents becomes an “I” really quick
when there kids start competing at middle
level and beyond. That’s always the sticky
wicket because a lot of parents have a “ plan”
for their kiddos.
• Help parents understand that the educational
mission with activities has nothing to do with
athletic scholarships and specialization.
How do you communicate that to
• Parent Meetings
• Handouts
• Both?
Communicate Schools Mission
Communicate coaches responsibilities
Communicate Parent “ Code of Ethics”
Communicate practice and game specifics
Value of Activities- teaching more then “skills”
Share with Parents What we Teach in
our Programs
Effective Decision Maker
Personal Effort and Work Ethic
Self Control
Personal Confidence
Accountability for personal conduct, roles
and responsibilities
What should you be Teaching
Academic Commitments
School Attendance
Positive Conduct
– In-School
– Out-of-School
What should you be Teaching
Exploration/ not specialization
Strengthen fundamental skills
Teamwork and sportsmanship
• Who is going to argue against this type of
instruction? What parents have really
defined this level of instruction?
Lack of Communication Schools
Achilles Heel
• Signed expectation sheet imperative this day
and age
• District Position on Controversy supportive if
you are clear with pre-season expectations
• Ex: Football Player
What Info Needs to be Shared at a
Meeting or in Handout
• 1. Positive, Positive, Positive welcome
• A. Starts with Coach or AD- Our programs are a “ good
thing” act like it.
2. Introduce staff- share district philosophy
A. Slides 5-7 teaching tips- handouts
3. Game and Practice Schedule- distribute and reference
district policy about transportation- pick up
4. Communication Process- Players and parents
5. Academic and Discipline Policy6. Parent Role in Middle School Sports
Parent Role- (Give them Tom Doyle's BookThe Sports Parent Manual if Possible)
Be a parent- not a coach
Be positive
No gossip or negative comments
Emphasize the “ fun”
Victory of “we over I” ( SPM)
– Happiest moments are the we moments, loneliest
are the I moments
Parent Role Continued
• Toms Book on Parenting- Here is some advice
from your kids that Tom has gathered over the
years- page 24 of his book
– Don’t get frustrated if I’m not playing well or the
team is losing
– Don’t become too involved in our sports lives
– Stay in the stands and don’t embarrass me with
what you say or yell
– Encourage me regardless of performance
Parent Role Continued
• Don’t talk to my coach about playing time, its
between the players and the coach
• Relax and make it fun for me by the way you
• Don’t make a scene
• Remember its our team, not yours
• Its not life or death, its just a game
• Be realistic about my abilities
Parent Role Continued
• Don’t relive your own athletic experience
through me
• Talk about my improvement
• Respect my coach
• Love me in a loss
Finish Strong
• End with Positive reinforcement of their support
and the joy of participating for their son or
• Give e-mail address but no phone #
• Reinforce getting to know parents- their support
over the years will be vital in your communities
and programs remaining strong
• Thank them for their trust and being able to
release their son or daughter to you for the
Sample Pre-Season Meeting Agenda
• Potential Meeting Agenda
Positive Parents
• Lots of great parents
• Don’t discount importance of getting to know
• We need their support
• Coaches role to nurture those relationships
whenever possible
• Find ways to be positive with parents about
their son/daughter- game interactions
Experience the Joy
• Should be fun for kids and parents
• Try and look at big picture “we”
• Middle School Could Be Last Chance to Experience a
variety of activities
• More concerned with availability then ability
• Together lets put programs in proper perspective
• Nothing Better in Sports Allowing Yourself to
Experience the Joy of Competition- help parents
reflect on the benefits of that in our programs