Have a meeting for parents only. Tell kids to go play out back, but make it so you have some time to work with parents. I usually try to get the players to play some whiffle ball so the time won’t go to waste and I try to do it somewhere so parents can see the kids so they aren’t worried about them.
The parents meeting is the single best means of setting the tone for the season. Try to run it in an informal manner where parents feel free to talk freely about their questions or concerns. Try to make it so parents feel welcome to contribute. You may want to do everything yourself but you’ll find if you get some parents that are willing to help, good things can really happen. Remember a practice with no parents helping is a disaster and one with 5-6 parents helping is usually a big success.
Here’s the meeting agenda that I currently use — feel free to improve on it and send me updates.
PARENTS MEETING AGENDA
Talk about your background and why you’re coaching.
Coaches Goal for the Season
I want your kid to play again next year.
Help kids learn the game
Teach kids how to listen to the coach
Teach kids how to deal with mistakes
Honor the Game
What you can expect out of me:
- Do all I can to make things fun for players so their skills improve and they truly want to play again next year.
- Practice will start on time and end on time.
- I will plan every minute of every practice to maximize player improvement and fun.
- I will do my best to play kids where they have the best chance to succeed and I will give them opportunities to play where they want to play (once they have shown me they can succeed in practice).
What I’d like from you:
- Cheer for all teams
- Work with your player or players at home
- Help me out at practice, there is no such thing as too many assistants and in T-ball, more coaches than players is definitely preferred.
- Let me know immediately if you are unhappy with anything
- Be on time for practices and games
- RSVP for games and practices
- Medical Forms
- Rubber Cleats are recommended
- Equipment for practice (whiffle balls, tennis balls, batting T, bats, gloves, etc. )
- How to practice on your own
- Local Rules
RSVP Co-ordinator (person who makes sure to get all the RSVPs for all games and practices so I do not have to look like a big nag)
- Regular practices
- Pitcher/Catcher practices
Get Parents Involved
I am shocked when I got to a practice and see one coach with 12 players on the field.
There is no hope to teach much. At that point run a scrimmage and hope you don’t get killed 80 to 0 every single game.
Scrimmages are fine if every kid knows the fundamentals. If they don’t, they need repetitions and repetitions don’t happen in a scrimmage.
To maximize repetitions you need STATIONS and to have STATIONS you need assistants. LOTS of them. Get parents to come and wear some comfortable clothing and get them to help at a station. IF you have 2-3 kids at a station its a good thing.