20 Responses to “18 Surefire Coaching Strategies to Deal with Difficult Parents (And Avoid Problems Before They Arise)”


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  1. John wood says:


    Good advice. However what happens when the coach does not stick to his code and lappes into the favourate seven or eight players to the detriment of a better playing participent?

    Thanks for a good well informed site.


  2. Willem says:

    I agree with a lot of it. I, as a coach, handle some things differently. I don’t let de parents attend trainingsessions. Actually, I try to keep the parents as far away as possible because otherwise they think they actually have something to say. I let the parents be close as a supporter, not as a person with influence.

    The main thing is that you are very clear about what you’re doing. Don’t say one thing and do another. Even if parents disagree, they will accept it because that’s just the way I work as a coach and if they want it differently they have to become coach.

  3. Thomas says:

    These ideas and thoughts are good from the competitive side of coach soccer but not for the recreational side of coaching soccer or many other sports. Depending on the age you are dealing with, will depend on you handle the kids. Let’s face it, some parents “force” the kids to play. Let’s all remember the main reason why kids quit sports, IT’S NOT FUN ANYMORE!

    Make it fun! At the recreational level, how important is winning? For me, it’s nice but not required. All players play all positions except goalie. I have dealt with parents who think their kid is the next superstar and my question to myself is, why are they play recreational soccer?

    Remember the level you are working with, the rules are different and so are the situations. Set basic ground rules with the parents then be flexible. Life gets in the way and your coaching and dealing with parents will have to change to meet the needs of your players.

  4. Keenan says:

    I’ve had a parent approach our bench and ask their child when she would be subbed on, with me as the coach standing right there, and then saying they dont turn up to watch her sit on the bench (with a few other words thrown in). Parents always respond when their children are involved so we sent an email out to all saying that their children wouldnt play if it happened again. Funny enough, it hasnt happened since. Lesson learnt for me, it’s been added to my pre-season parent meeting

  5. Robin says:

    Excellent advice as we come across this on a regular basis although we have in the past set up meetings prior to the season commencing to explain the ground rules which involves our Child Protection Policy and Codes of Conducts, the problem is getting all the parents to attend so in order to get round that when we issue the information packs under Child Protection we request a signature for same and refer to this if and when any difficult situation arises, we still want it to be fun for all!

  6. Ivan says:

    a problem i have is that parents do not meet on parentmeetings. for the children i have to take decisians for the parents and e- mail it to them. then the parents coms to game or practis and have ideas about things, a specially during the game.
    i avoid speeking to them during the game and consentrate on the kids. al informations i most send by e- mail, on paper with the kids and by sms on the phone to make sure that everyone gets the informatin.

  7. steven says:

    thanks for making us grow in the game and the usual handouts you give us.

  8. kennedy boboye says:

    It,s a goodone thanks

  9. Alan says:

    Good article, this is something that every coach should be aware of as they will undoubtedly have to deal with these issues at some point.
    Completely agree about setting out code of coduct and coaching philosphy beforehand – a lot of probelms arise when parents are not aware that there is a coaching style in place or dont understand the ethos of a club.
    If parents cant make pre season meetings then ensure that the kids have paperwork outlining all of these things to take home for mums and dads

  10. Robert Brown says:

    Some good points, but make it fun for the kids. The commenters have some good points too. The coach has to stick to what he tells the parents if he expects them to stick to their side of the agreement.

  11. Dexter Marshall says:

    Very good points, I love them I think that they can bring about a positive change between coach and parents.

  12. Julie says:

    I have a parent constantly coming into our team huddles. Doesn’t say anything but it really bothers me that he is there. Any suggestion as to how to handle this?

  13. Jeff Haefner says:

    Just let the parent know that as a general rule we don’t allow parents in huddles. If I let one person I need to start letting others that ask. If you have that rule in your parent letter or documented somewhere, all the better.

  14. Patty says:

    Its all very good advice however, what do you do when the Athletic director supports the decisions you make as a coach but the Principal doesn’t? I’ve found with my ten years as a coach it has been getting more difficult because the parents are getting more difficult. Parents want to be too involved and sometimes it crosses the line of whats appropriate for them to bring up to me. The more the parents become more difficult the more the Principal tries to “make peace” which isn’t always the best for me or my team. How would you handle that situation? Some times its Parent and Principal against me.

  15. Croyus says:

    The one fun parent I had would come to practice, but saw what he wanted to see and not what actually was happening. Football player trying to learn soccer… didn’t quite work.

  16. Olajide says:

    This is number one advice for we coaches. thank you so much.

  17. Mark Beacom says:

    I find that every bit of information coming from you is good & look forward to your next, all the info I find is excellent. Thank you.

  18. Irma says:

    Good information. My grandaughter is 12 and was on a AAU team for a couple of years and because of her busy schedule she took time off, but her coach told her when ever she was ready to come back she could. Well she asked and coach told her the team and parents would have to vote her in or out.She is an excellent player in any sport she plays and so the team voted not to take her back because then it would cut their playing time.The coach told her parents the team belongs to the girls and he had to go by what they voted. What happened to you’re the coach? How can you deny a 12 year.

  19. Rick Baker says:

    This was very insightful. I am in the process of forming a team of high school boys that don’t play for the local high school and being a teacher never thought about writing a handbook or philosophy of soccer. Thanks for all the information you guys provide. I have learned so much and still have a ton to learn.

  20. J Sanford says:

    Do you think it is unreasonable for parents to be upset at a coach who plans practices that end in the dark? No lights, pitch black, a good 30 minutes of falling all over the place, just so he can get in more time. Am a being a wimpy mom for thinking this is dangerous. All the other teams gone….field waiting for him so they can close.

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