Do you remember being enthusiastic about your child participating in a sport or similar extra-curricular activity? Did you long for the day that your child would kick the soccer ball, wrestle on a mat, chant a sideline cheer at a football game or hit a baseball off a Tee? As children begin to learn skills and teamwork, parents take on an appreciation for the sport and the experiences their young ones are exposed to. As athletes become older, coaches and parents may differ in goals and outcomes, leading to future expectations of entertainment, competition and making money for the team or their organization affiliation. Interactions and relationships start developing between coaches and parents.
DHS Head Coach, Augustine Tiere, expressed, “It is important for parents and coaches to mutually support one another. Ultimately, we are a team trying to achieve many of the same goals; to help develop our student athletes to be the best they can be in every aspect of their lives.”
Constant communication is key and Coach Joann Tatarzycki believes that it is helpful to lay the ground rules and expectations for the program right away with parents.
Coach T, as her DHS Cheerleaders call her, said, “I strongly feel that high school students need to accept consequences and make good decisions when they are in my program.” Taking the time to offer an explanation may put a parent at ease and allow the parent to support her decision. Parent Lisa Cianflone, mother of a DHS varsity cheerleader, finds it important to work together, find opportunities to show you care and help the future of the athlete. “The smallest conversations make a difference,” said Lisa.
Parents are inclined to voice their opinions concerning where their child should play, in what position, at what weight, etc. and that is where disagreements can turn into chaos. Parent Barry Abrams, father of a DHS hockey athlete stated, “I want the relationship to be mainly player/coach, even at a young age; just as I don’t interfere in the day-to-day interaction of a teacher and child, the same should be true with a coach.”
Player evaluations should be left to the coaches. Not everyone can be the quarterback, a pitcher or a goalie and coaches will place participants where they feel each child will have success, constructing team triumph. I suppose you can say that there is a method to their madness.
Nick Kaplanis, Danbury Athletic Youth Organization president, explained, “Parents do not have to agree with a coach’s philosophy, but everyone has to work as a team, working together to make a successful season.”
It is important that parents take part in their child’s sport experience. There are many teaching moments that come from sports and you don’t want to miss out on an important phase of your child’s life.
“A team isn’t just made up of players; it includes the coaches and parents. We win together, and we lose together,” stated Lorraine Amaral, parent of a DHS varsity football kicker.
From organized sports to clubs and elite teams, all the way to high schools and beyond, don’t coach from the sidelines; let the coaches do their job. Parent Jake Muller shared that he gives his children opportunities to learn and develop with great coaches, volunteer or paid: “Parents who parent but don’t coach are my best clients. So many parents do not know the right things to say or do to help an elite athlete because they love them a lot.”
There is much sacrifice and pain in growing for an athlete and parents more often than not can be a hindrance to that process, affirmed John Degl, coach and owner of Empire Wrestling Academy. Parent-coach relationships should be enhanced for the success of the athlete. Communicate.
For additional information, please call Estela Camacho at 203-530-2457 or email her at EstelaGC005@gmail.com. You can also learn more about the organization at www.dayosports.com, on Facebook (Danbury Athletic Youth Organization) or Twitter (@DAYOinfosports) or read about us in Tribuna Newspaper.