Grassroots Coaching

How to encourage parent participation

Taking part is what counts, but what if the problem with participation does not lay with the players, but instead the parents. We know all too well the negatives of over-involvement when it comes to coaching and tactical decisions from the sideline, but being the head coach isn’t the only way to contribute to your youth football team. Here are 5 ways we think you can entice your player’s parents and get more involvement off the pitch.

  1. Let parents know that you appreciate the help where it is necessary. For example, a coaches expertise is not regarding how goal nets are removed and how to insert corner flags into the ground. In many cases, parents will step forward. Parents may be withholding from offering help, in an effort to not appear over-involved – which is, of course, a big problem in youth football.


  1. Accommodate suggestions from parents. It’s very beneficial for a club to maintain positive working relationships with parents who want to contribute. It’s when this relationship is by-passed or neglected that negative situations can arise. By working together with parents, the coach can gain the benefit of many different perspectives, but without having to be completely overruled.


  1. Physical contributions should also be encouraged, where necessary. Many clubs across the youth leagues are not blessed with premier league bank accounts. Funding will always help a smaller club, but not all contributions need to be monetary. By giving your time or useful contacts.


  1. Support involvement on AND off the pitch. A football team can be so much more than a group of players who meet to kick a ball around a pitch. Communities are formed and friendships become part of the fun. So organise events with your team and ask for some help from the other adults.


  1. Make it enjoyable. Take the seriousness out of the situation by remembering to, first and foremost, have fun. Poke fun at other parents, make them feel like part of the team. If you show the club in a good light that is a positive experience, others will feel more inclined to join in.
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