Will Ferrell was a helicopter parent in the movie Kicking and Screaming

Many coaches have had to deal with with hyper-involved parents in their careers.  You know the type. They would be sitting next to you on the bench if they could.

These sports-crazed, self-appointed, wanna-be assistant coaches have been around forever -- they become super-involved in their child's success and can't believe their child isn't perfect or going to go in the first round of the draft.  

How do you manage this type of parent and what does it mean for your program?

Though it may not be obvious, it’s often the “Parent-Athlete” experience - not the “Student-Athlete” one - that can make or break your program.

Not sure you buy it? Here are 3 reasons the Parent-Athlete Experience matters more than ever and why it’s smart to get the hyper-involved parent on your side:

1.  These parents can become your biggest advocates.

Creating a positive Parent-Athlete Experience ensures continued growth for your program. Happy parents are your best advocates. Between their own jobs, community involvement and friendships with other parents, parents know people in all the right places.

At any level of competition, the rise of individual training programs and exclusive travel teams has given our student-athletes more ways to play than ever before. As a coach, you want to recruit the best players to your program. When these kids and their parents are making that decision, a happy parent will delightedly advocate for your program, increasing the chances for its success.

2.  They pay the bills.

Youth sports has become a vital part of the economy with national spending estimates in the billions. Parents are being trained as sports consumers as early as grade school.

Higher prices raise expectations.  Parents are more likely to continue supporting their child - paying for training sessions, footing the bill for club organizations - if they feel involved in the action.

By keeping them engaged, you’re able to showcase what you add to their child’s life. If they can see the return on their investment, they’ll keep supporting your program.

3.  Like it or not...they helicopter.

Thanks to technology, kids and their parents are more connected than ever. No matter where they are, Mom and Dad are no more than a call, text or video chat away.

Instead of fighting “the hover,” embrace it. Use technology to get the parents’ support. Sending email updates and sharing your successes on social media is a surefire way to keep them engaged in your program.

Still, even the most involved parents can’t make every game. You’ll really wow them if you live stream your games online. Watching a game on a phone, tablet or computer won’t replace the thrill of being in the stands, but it’s better than missing the action altogether. Stream your games live -- your “parent-athletes” will love you for it. 

Learn More About  Streaming Your Team

Published by Lena Kelly on May 14, 2015 in Sports

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