Coaches How to talk to coaches

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Proud Parent
I would love to get your coaches perspective on something. I know from reading somes coaches posts is that one of the least fun things about your job is dealing w ith parents who are pushing or whining. While I consider myself none of these I am concerned about a situation with my dd and want to discuss it with the coaching staff but don't want to be seen as this type of parent. What is the best way to discuss with the coaches my concerns about her class without being labeled as a problem parent?
Talking to coaches.

Good day to you. As a coach who has been around longer than history, i give my athletes a pre season questionaire, mid season questionaire, post season questionaire. Included in this package is short & long term goal setting, etc.

I schedule quarterly meetings with the athlete and parent and the conversation is always positive.

I also do my best to hold a practical workshop as soon as i can after the beginning of the season with athletes and parents and go over what is expected of the athlete on each event.

I believe that open and positive communication is important between coach, parent, athlete. I do however have a rule that i will never talk to a parent before class, during class or at the gym. Meeting must be after coaching hours in a neutral location.

If the talk is in the gym the coach has the power advantage , if the talk is in the parents home the parent has the power advantage, so the meeting is held in a cafe/restaurant if alcohol.

Hope i did not ramble on too much off the topic and i also hope i answered your question.

I would email/call the coach to set up a meeting. Trying to talk to the coach either before of after a workout, if they are not anticipating it, will make things more difficult.

At the meeting, state your concern, and hopefully your coach will respond the same way he/she was asked - w/ respect.
Good luck!
It really depends on the gym and on the coach.

Sorry, that's probably not a particularly helpful answer.
There is no "perfect" or "right way" to approach a coach, but there is definitely a wrong way.

The parents who I have the best relationships with never assume that they know what is going on on the gym floor. They also tell me how their child feels without telling me that I am making their child feel something. They ask questions instead of questioning me (ie asking leading questions looking for a specific answer).

It's just a matter of respect. I really appreciate that you respect your child's coach enough to ask these questions.:)
I agree that you should ask the coach if you can sit down sometime - give them warning that you want to talk and make sure they have time. Sometimes before or after class isn't a good time to talk for more than a few minutes because the coach has to prep for the next class.

It's all in the way you phrase things. I don't mind at all if a parents asks a question about the class or my coaching philosophy. It shows they're interested in their child's development, admitting that they don't know everything about coaching gymnastics but want to learn about the sport if their child is going to be involved in it. Asking a question like "I noticed this class never vaults, why is that?" is much different than demanding their child vault every week and stating their child isn't being properly trained because they're not vaulting.
I agree its all in your approach. Phone or email ahead and ask when they coud meet with you. Maybe having a few things written down might help. Avoid comparing and keep discussion/concerns about your daughter. Good Luck:)

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