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Preseason meeting topics

This is an excerpt from Coaching Youth Softball epub by Babe Ruth League & Inc..

Before the Babe Ruth local league season starts, it is a good idea to have a meeting with the parents of your players. When parents are involved from the get-go, channels of communication and expectations are established before any issues arise. Listed below is a guideline of topics for your preseason parents' meeting.

  1. Talk about yourself as an athlete, coach, or parent. Explain your coaching philosophy. Have the parents introduce themselves and include who their player is.
  2. Outline the paperwork that is needed:
    • Emergency information: Collect vital information from parents by having them provide emergency information and consent for treatment for injury or illness (see the sample Emergency Information and Consent for Treatment Form at the end of this chapter). If any parent has a medical concern regarding their child, discuss such in a private conversation, perhaps after the meeting.
    • Informed Consent Form (see a sample at the end of this chapter): This form provides permission to participate in softball and acknowledges that parents and players understand the inherent risks of playing the sport.
  3. Go over the inherent risks of softball and any other safety issues.
  4. Discuss rules and expectations:
    • Team values: Explain the core values for your team.
    • Expectations of athletes: Explain the expectations you, as a coach, hold for your players.
    • Expectations of coaches: Explain the expectations you want your players and their parents to hold for you and your coaching staff.
    • Standard of conduct for coaches, players, and parents: Explain the policies for your team, for example, late policies, unsportsmanlike conduct policies, and practice and game policies.
  5. Explain goals for the season:
    • Your goals as a coach for your team and players.
    • Parents' goals for their players.
  6. Cover logistics:
    • Schedules: Hand out schedules to each parent. Review the season practice schedule, including the date, location, and time of each practice session.
    • Contact list: If available, hand out contact information to each parent.
    • Methods of communication: e-mail list, emergency telephone numbers, website.
  7. Review the proper gear and attire that should be worn at practices and games. Inform parents of the date and time that uniforms and equipment will be handed out.
  8. Discuss nutrition, hydration, and rest for players.
  9. Discuss ways that parents can help with the team:
    • Provide snacks after games.
    • Be a scorekeeper for games.
    • Serve as a “Team Mom” or “Team Dad” to promote open communications between coaches, parents, and players.
    • Discuss any other volunteer positions that need to be filled.
  10. End the meeting:
    • Provide time for questions and answers.
    • Thank them for their time.
    • Let them know you are excited for the season to start.