Parents : How Do You Feel About "obeying"younger Coaches/directors

Discussion in 'Discussing the Cheerleading Industry' started by Fierce_Elite, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. Fierce_Elite

    Fierce_Elite Last Pass... on International Open 1

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    I want to know how you guys feel about having to follow the rules of the younger coach and/or director of a program, whether it's All star cheer, recreational , or Pop warner , even high school . If the coach seems like a well educated , & professional individual and seems to have the experience in cheer to know what he/she is talking about , do you feel comfortable taking the coach seriously enough to listen to and obey what they have to say about purchasing items, when practices are , what should be done at competitions , etc . Just over all, how do you feel about being told what to do by an younger coach ?


    I'm asking this question because when I coach my school team for the first time , I want to know what to expect . They will have to pay for a lot of things through fundraising and out of pocket since it isn't declared a sport at that school yet . I just don't know what to do if a parent completely disobey me just because I'm in my early twenties . I am aware that some parents feel the need that it's okay to act like they are the boss because they are the oldest . In my opinion , no matter how old the coach is , if you are a comfortable with having your child on the team , you should abide by the rules as well . I just want to know other parents in take and how would you confront a younger coach about an issue without being or sounding disrespectful . I'm really just trying to prepare my self because I am young and I know it's not gone always have a positive impact on parents .


    PS: at my old gym CEA , we had a lot of professionalism from parents and they listened no matter what and followed rules. However , every gym and situation is different so I want different views







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  2. Jenniturtle

    Jenniturtle They call me Susie

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    All my kids coaches are younger than I am and I consider them to be the experts. As long as you treat the parents with respect you should be just fine.
     
  3. Official OWECheer

    Official OWECheer Most likely to post anywhere

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    This is an interesting question... I wonder if parents are disrespectful to younger coaches. I wouldn't be surprised if some were because of their ego and inability to let go of their role as (everybody's) parent.
     
  4. Fierce_Elite

    Fierce_Elite Last Pass... on International Open 1

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    I do plan on giving the parents the utmost respect as I possibly can as they are the ones paying for this program . I just know that every parent thinks like some parents do on here . I just want to be prepared so I'm not in shock about anything that may happen .


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  5. Fierce_Elite

    Fierce_Elite Last Pass... on International Open 1

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    I agree. That's why I asked the question to get a true inside feel on how they really are about younger coaches these days . When I was younger , like early 200's all of the coaches that I experienced were well above early twenties . Very few 20 year olds coached or assisted their own teams. So I never really had to deal with this issue before or experience it in any way , shape or form .


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  6. dawgshow

    dawgshow Slow your roll, Sparkle. National Champion

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    I treat any professional with respect as long as they act professionally, if that makes sense. Age doesn't play into it.
    I will add that what many in the younger generation consider "rude" or "disrespectful" really isn't. Many times it's just the truth. The delivery may not be sugar coated but that doesn't make it rude. It takes a mature person to realize that, so while age doesn't play into the respect aspect of a relationship, maturity does.


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  7. 12stepCheermom

    12stepCheermom Best Parent and Grammar Teacher '14

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    Respect is earned...not given. That is truth regardless of age. If you earn their respect you'll have no problem. If they're "disobeying" you (I'd suggest not using that word) it's because they don't respect you. That will have very little to do with your age.


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  8. soundsofblakely

    soundsofblakely I'm new. Don't Hurt Me

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    Treat the parents as allies. With that being said, lay out all of your expectations and team rules at a parent/athlete meeting and any consequences (demerits, probations, dismissal, etc) that way it is clear and not a vague 'guideline'. When it comes down to it, the kids are the ones participating in the sport but if something happens with a parent that affects the athlete and a consequence is involved they knew what they were getting into. Having been a coach in my early twenties myself, it's very rarely come to anything but the odd time it has everything was clearly outlined in an 'athlete contract' which had a athlete and a parent signature as well that was required by the school.


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  9. Fierce_Elite

    Fierce_Elite Last Pass... on International Open 1

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    I agree. I think the reason why us younger coaches take non-sugar coated answers or responses so defensively, is because we often times feel embarrassed or degraded.

    For an example : let's say I wanted the school team to buy cheer shoes for the first time ever. A parent comes to me and says the following, " last year, or the year before that, or as long as my daughter has been on this team, we never had to purchase team shoes. Why is it an issue now"?

    To a young coach, with little coaching experience , that may come across as overreacting and rude, because as a coach you expect parents to be okay with purchasing mandatory team items . As a young coach, we are going to want to change things for the better of the team to keep them looking uniformed and neat. Why have your kid on the team if you're not going to want to make changes ? and waist my time and yours, if you're not willing to do whatever is it is you need to do to keep the team at a successful rate. We also find it humiliating because if kids sees parents acting like that towards the coach, the students will eventually stop taking the coach seriously as well. That's where I'm getting at.



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  10. Cheer Dad

    Cheer Dad Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    Act professional and responsible and should not be a problem. You'll find the ones that may give a young coach a hard time are the ones that give all coaches a hard time.


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  11. dawgshow

    dawgshow Slow your roll, Sparkle. National Champion

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    Jumping off of this specifically. To be successful you cannot have the attitude of "if you don't follow me blindly then you're (wasting) my time" attitude. If you are making changes you need to be prepared to give reasons and listen to feedback or you will not be successful long term.



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  12. Fierce_Elite

    Fierce_Elite Last Pass... on International Open 1

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    I understand , I was just that as an example as to what some one might say .


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  13. FlexyTumblerMom

    FlexyTumblerMom I'm an announcer on CBS for Worlds (or should be)

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    I have dealt w/ younger coaches and teachers a lot over the years, sometimes they act even more professional and courteous than their older counterparts and I don't even realize how young they are for a while, and sometimes they act immature and petty and their age really shows quickly and is an issue.

    One time my CP had a very young gymnastics coach who was too buddy buddy w/ a few of the older girls on her team - shed literally sit there and chat w/ her "friends" during practice and wouldn't focus on the other kids in the class. It was perceived that the friends would sometimes get out of conditioning because of their friendship too. She even seemed to take sides in the little pre-teen squibbles that the girls would have like she was one of the girls, and not a professional, if you get what I mean? She was a skilled coach, and most of the girls liked her a lot, but she didn't run the class professionally IMO, and I had an issue w/ this as a parent.

    It never rose to the level that I felt it was worth complaining about though.
     
  14. mollymags

    mollymags I'm an announcer on CBS for Worlds (or should be)

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    I started coaching at 23 as a head coach. Our program director is in her early 30's, but aside from her, we have 2 out of 13 coaches who are the same age or older than the parents. The rest of us range from 20-27. I don't know that any of us have had issues with parents thinking they are above us because of age.

    Stay educated in the industry and make it clear that you know what you're doing. Treat the parents with kindness and respect. Treat the kids with respect. There are going to be parents who are going to fight with you about things, but as long as you act professionally, your authority will be respected far more often than not. Hear them out if they bring something up to you or complain. Answer their questions, explain why you made a certain choice, and really, honestly take the time to consider serious suggestions. Some parents may ruffle your feathers but a lot of times, they just want to vent a little, or they want an answer so they can explain something to their child.

    The most important thing to keep in mind is to be accessible. One thing I really pride myself on as a coach is that I have an awesome retention rate with the kids that have been on my teams and I think a huge part of this is based off the relationships I've worked to form with parents. My co coach and I make sure we are around before and after practice to chat with parents and answer questions. We return calls and texts and emails quickly. The parents feel comfortable in approaching us. We give honest answers and avoid sugar coating things as much as we can without being too brutal. Last year we had a mom that was always angry about everything and would stomp in and yell. She was terrifying, but we answered her questions and did everything we could to make her understand why we did things the way we did. It was hard, and we didn't always want to have to face her. But as time passed, she got better. Things got clearer. This year she is one of my favorite parents to talk with. She asks how her kid is doing and what she can do to improve.

    Sometimes it takes time, but if you show you are good at what you do and you act professionally, you will win people over.


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  15. 12stepCheermom

    12stepCheermom Best Parent and Grammar Teacher '14

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    I became an assistant principal at 29 and was in charge of supervising and doing formal performance evaluations on people who had been teaching longer than id been alive. Literally.

    I thought this would be an issue.

    It never was.

    If you earn respect, you don't take every comment and question as a personal attack, stay the most educated person in the building and behave respectfully and with professionalism age really doesn't make a difference. I know this from experience.



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