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January 9, 2018



One of the most common thing basketball coaches have to deal with during the season are over-aggressive parents. This topic could go in a ton of different directions, but let's focus on playing time which is always a hot topic every year.


First, let's take a look at the parents perspective in all of this. I think it's safe to say that most parents think their kid, if given the chance would be the best player on the court or at least have a positive impact. Many times they have an inflated view of their value and figuring out how to tell a parent their child isn't as good as they think they are is extremely difficult.


This becomes more prominent when overall team success isn't good or the team is struggling to get wins. The most important thing that coaches have to accept is that they will never be able to completely please every parent. The hope is that you can make the parent honestly understand exactly where their child is competitively and where there is an opportunity to grow. The most important thing with this is making sure you are giving accurate feedback able to somehow track the success of that player over time. 


One way Dr. Dish has helped solved to this problem is by creating our Training Management System in which coaches can see players progress over time and get the analytical feedback that they need. This is also a great way to show parents exactly where their kids are in regards to other players on the team and also where improvements can be made. As a coach you can help lead this player in the right direction by creating workouts based around strengths and weaknesses.


At the end of the day, there is only so much playing time that can go around. Make sure to reiterate that no matter the minutes the player receives they need to maximize their time on the floor and continue to prove they deserve more. Playing time can be earned during practice and also by simply outworking everyone else on the court. Ultimately, it is your decision as the coach to make these tough decisions. If these decisions are made based on actual numbers and data, it makes parents understand a little more. Give players a standard or bar to reach and when they achieve this goal reward them with an opportunity because they will have earned it. 



Some coaches have parents that want to have a sit down conversations every time there is something negative or even positive going on in their child's life. This may pertain to basketball or other situations outside of basketball. It's important to make time as a coach to understand each and every kids situation. However, time for most coaches is extremely limited and over anxious parents can take this to another level.


The best route coaches can take with this is to set weekly or bi-weekly meetings with the parents that are the most outspoken and opinionated. This gives them a great opportunity and official forum to voice their opinions. This also allows both parties to be on the same page. The worst thing a coach can do is ignore parents even though it can be frustrating at times. This will limit chatter between parents and it is also a great way to get parents on board with what you are doing as a coach.



One of the most prominent issues coaches face is figuring out how each player can help their team. The players that are your leaders and best players will naturally fall into place and likewise the players that are not ready to play at the highest level will hopefully understand their role.


The toughest part is figuring out how to get the most out of the players that are in that middle area. These are the players that could possibly play more but may not have the opportunity or sometimes don't show they deserve it all the time. Typically, parents are the most frustrated when their kid falls into this category. Admittedly, it's a tough situation because they are so close to being a starter or getting a decent amount of playing time. Of course parents of these players are the best at picking apart weaknesses of other players and your coaching style.


Once again, communicating why a player is in the position they are in is huge when dealing with parents. It's tough to do, but worth it in every way. Always promote competition within practice and truly give the border-line players the opportunity to get more minutes or expand their role if they are out working everyone else. It sets an example within the team and will keep every player on their toes. Complacency in practice  leads to losses in games. The best way to avoid this is competition. 


Coaches: If you find yourself dealing with parental issues more and more try to do some of the things listed above. It's important to set standards and over-communicate to players. Always understand the reasoning and the "why" behind a parents frustration. Once again utilizing tools like Dr. Dish shooting machines paired with TMS with help provide you with the stats and numbers which will help back up your decisions. At the end of the day you can't please everyone, but you can mitigate your issues through throughtfulness and data. 

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