Are You Prepared to Handle LOTS of Communication?
My teenage daughter would absolutely shrivel up and waste away if we took her iPhone away. The CONSTANT texting, SnapChatting or whatever method they’re using to communicate is endless.
I never understood it…until I started coaching. 😉
Not really. It’s not that intense. But there is a LOT of communication (and sometimes lack thereof) that goes on between you and the 12 or 13 or 15 or however many families are represented by the kids on your team.
Before I started coaching, I thought nothing of shooting a quick text or email to my son’s coach to ask about practice times or to let him know that the kid was turning into a decent pitcher in the backyard or whatever. It was really kind of just casual baseball talk or confirming scheduling…stuff like that. And I always heard back right away.
Once I started coaching, I stopped doing that with the coaches of teams he was on that I WASN’T coaching. Like, completely.
It’s not that it’s a huge bother. It isn’t, really. I mean if it was, we wouldn’t coach. But when I was “just” a parent, I never realized that, “Hey, he’s probably getting the same messages from the 13 other kids’ parents on the team.” Never occurred to me.
On the other side of the spectrum are parents who fail to communicate. I’m talking here about things like whether or not their child is available for a game or practice. Juggling lineups and rosters and figuring out who will be there, who will be late, who has to leave early, etc., etc. is so much easier when parents let you know ahead of time. Some simply don’t. And it’s usually the same ones every time.
To be fair, I’m positive that they don’t realize the kind of havoc that can cause, especially if a bunch of kids are out for a given game and you won’t be able to field nine. But it DOES happen and the sooner you know, the better. Our league allows you to “dip” into lower levels to call up kids if you’re going to be short. But it certainly helps if you’re not doing that 10 minutes before first pitch.
So, be prepared for a flood of communication from some, and a complete lack of it from others. There are only so many times you can remind someone to “please let me know” before it starts to become annoying for the parents. So you’ll have to strike a balance.
This is why I HIGHLY recommend tools to manage all the communications, keep everything in one place, and stay on top of everything. The tool I use, and that every coach I know uses, is called TeamSnap. More on this amazing tool below and in a future post. But GET IT if you’re going to be coaching. Get it now. Trust me.
Real Story from “The Trenches”One Spring was particularly wet in our area. I believe our first five games of the season were rained out, and our fields were a mess. But we still had to practice. Or do SOMETHING. Problem was, we had to search around for an open field.
Luckily our town has a bunch of facilities, but as we weren’t allowed to use our regular fields while they were being fixed up, we often didn’t know where we’d be meeting up until, literally, we were there.
For one particular practice, we wound finding a field that was at the very back of a rather large sports complex used by the high school. There’s NO WAY people would have found it, and I would have been dealing with a dozen or more calls and texts from parents wondering where practice was.
Not a super dramatic story, I know. But instructional. Get it. It’s free and they also offer upgraded paid versions that give you access to some pretty cool bells and whistles.
Here’s the link again to try it out.