Expectations and Protocol for the Parent/Guardian:
- Support your student athlete's efforts toward success.
- Work to promote a positive environment that is conducive to the development of your student athlete.
- Become familiar with, and review the team and athletic department rules and regulations with your student-athlete.
- Communicate any concerns in a timely manner, according to district protocol.
- Treat all coaching personnel with courtesy and respect, and insist your student-athlete does the same.
- Make every effort to accompany your student-athlete to informational meetings offered by the coach and/or the athletic department.
- Assure that your student-athlete will attend all scheduled practices and athletic contests.
- Acknowledge and support the ultimate authority of the coach to determine strategy and player selection.
- Promote and model mature and sportsmanlike behavior at all athletic contests.
- Work closely with coaches, guidance counselors, and school personnel to identify a reasonable and realistic future for your student-athlete after high school.
- Attend as many contests as possible to show support for your child, the team, and the school.
Expectations and Protocol for Coaches:
- Promote the health and safety of all student-athletes at all times. Create a safe environment.
- Be a model of appropriate language, sportsmanship, and behavior and demand this of all team personnel.
- Respect and dignify each student-athlete as an individual.
- Establish time demands that acknowledge the primary importance of each student-athlete's academic and family responsibilities. Communicate these demands in a timely manner.
- Promote among athletes and coaches a solid sense of team membership.
- Maintain an awareness of recent thinking and strategy in their specific sport or discipline.
- Assist, whenever appropriate and mutually convenient, with the post high school planning for individual student-athletes as it relates to athletics.
- Be available to parents at times that are mutually convenient and in alignment with the athletic department's parent/coach communication guidelines.
- Work with school personnel, when appropriate, to advocate for the best interest of the student-athletes.
- Encourage student-athletes to experience high school in a well-rounded manner. Foster their interests to pursue other options in addition to your specific sport. Speaking in a derogatory fashion about other sports or activities is unprofessional and unacceptable.
- Understand the prioritization that all in-season sports take full precedence over any voluntary workouts for sports that are out-of-season.
- Adhere to all PIAA and Lower Merion School District and athletic department policies at all times.
Parent/Coach Communication Plan
Parenting and coaching are both extremely difficult undertakings. As parents and coaches become more aware of each other's roles and responsibilities, all of our children benefit. When your child becomes involved in our athletic programs, you have a right to understand what expectations are placed on him/her. This is facilitated by clear communication between you and your child's coaches.
Research indicates that students involved in co-curricular activities have a greater chance for success in school and during adulthood. Many of the character traits developed as a successful participant are exactly those that will promote a successful life after high school. We hope the information provided here helps to make both your child's and your experience with the Lower Merion High School athletic program less stressful and more enjoyable.
Communication you should expect from your child's coach:
- Expectations the coach has for your child as well as all the players on the squad.
- Locations and times of all practices and contests.
- Team requirements, i.e., practices, special equipment, out-of season conditioning.
- Lettering Policy.
- Discipline that may result in the denial of your child's participation.
- Procedures for contacting coaches
Communication that coaches should expect from parents:
- Concerns expressed directly to the coach.
- Notification of any schedule conflicts well in advance.
If your child becomes involved in the programs of Lower Merion High School, they will experience some of the most rewarding moments of their lives. It is important to understand that there may also be times when things do not go the way you or your child wishes. If this occurs, you are encouraged to contact your child's coach.
Appropriate concerns to discuss with coaches:
- The treatment of your child.
- Ways to help your child improve.
- Your child's attitude, work ethic and eligibility.
- Concerns about your child's behavior.
You may become concerned that your child is not playing as much as you may hope. Coaches are professionals. They make decisions based on what they believe to be best for all students involved. Clearly, certain aspects of participation can and should be discussed with your child's coach. However, other issues are more directly the responsibility of the coach.
Issues not appropriate to discuss with coaches:
- Playing time of any student-athlete.
- Team strategy, technique, practice-organization, or play selection.
- Other student-athletes.
There are situations that may require a conference between the coach and the parent, and this is encouraged. It is important that both parties involved have a clear understanding of the other's position. When these conferences are necessary, the following procedures should be followed to help promote a resolution to the issues or concern.
Procedures to follow if there is a concern to discuss with a coach:
- Please encourage your child to speak directly with the coach. Often, concerns can be resolved at this level.
- Contact the coach to set up an appointment.
- If the coach cannot be reached, contact the high school athletic director. He/she will assist you in arranging a meeting.
- Please do not attempt to confront a coach before or after a contest or practice. These can be emotional times for both the parent and the coach. Meetings of this nature do not promote resolution of concerns.
If the meeting with the coach did not provide a satisfactory resolution, call to schedule an appointment with the athletic director to discuss the situation.