Summary: Youth soccer teams require an immense amount of organization and cooperation from the parents.
As a youth soccer coach, your immediate focus might on preparing for the preseason through a series of intense conditioning, long stretching sessions, and developing new plays and strategies. While all of these factors will pay huge dividends in the long run, one of the most underestimated areas are team meetings – not just ordinary team meetings, but parents meetings.
One of the best ways to let your team know your expectations and goals for the season is to hold a mandatory parents meeting prior to the season. Doing so will allow you to communicate with the entire team and also let them know how you plan on running your practices.
Maintaining organization throughout the season can quickly spiral out of control if you’re not fully prepared. Feel free to let parents lend a hand when it comes to specific events. Most of the time, they’ll gladly volunteer, due to the fact that it’ll help them get closer to their children. Throw out a variety of options. For instance, you might want to treat the team to some juice boxes or snacks after every practice. Or, some of the members may need adequate transportation to away games – a van would work perfectly. These are only a few of the things that you’ll face throughout the season. And, when it comes to preparation, there’s no such thing as being “over prepared”, because when it’s all said and done, you know things won’t be all fine and dandy.
Discussing Costs and Fees
While everything should be self-explanatory within the contract (depending on the league) it’s important that the parents understand the costs of having their child on a youth soccer team – it’s definitely not free. Feel free to explain the total amount that each family will have to invest in items such as: soccer clothes, soccer cleats, accessories, and other supplies that they’ll need throughout the year.
Furthermore, if the league requires a specific fee for joining, be sure to communicate this among the families. The last thing you’ll want is an angry parent getting on your case for not discussing the costs of a soccer shinguard – from experience, it’s not pretty. Be realistic with all costs. You must also be strict with your policies as well. Leniency may come natural for young players, but they also need to learn that there are rules that must be followed in order to succeed. And, this can potentially translate into the real world as well – allowing them to uncover valuable life skills that will make them into a more mature individual.