Setting It Up
Create a table for the roster to keep it neat and tidy. You can use a spreadsheet program, make a table in a word processing program or draw a table on lined or unlined paper. Write the team's name, the season and the coach's name across the top of the table. Next to this include contact information for the coach, assistant coach and any other official staff members who can be contacted in an emergency. You can insert the team’s logo or emblem at the top of the table, too, if you like.
Laying It Out
There is a range of information you can include on the roster. Make one row for every member of the team and one additional row to label the columns. Create at least seven columns. Label each column across the top row. You'll want to include a column for each child's name, the child's team number, the position played, a parent or guardian's name, the parent's contact phone number and the parent's email address. Use the remaining column for emergency information, medical notes, parent cell phone numbers or other contact information.
Filling It Up
Now that your rows and columns are ready, all you have to do now is fill in the information. List the name of each child in the first column, beginning with last name, and filling in the roster in alphabetical order. Record each child’s information across the row. You can make the roster comprehensive by including a picture of each child to the left of his name. You can also include a column on the far right to record detailed player performance notes. However, if you're keeping performance notes on the roster, keep it out of the reach of others.
Sending it Out
In addition to the coach, you can provide a copy of the roster to athletic directors or the assistant coaches so communication still runs smoothly even when the coach isn't available. If you’d like to post the roster on your team’s website, modify the online copy to limit the information for security and privacy. Include the child’s name, position and team number. All other information should only be displayed with parental permission.
It is the role of the parent to cheer on their child as she plays baseball. It is not the role of the parent to coach from the stands. Coaching from the stands places the child in an awkward position. A child's mind is accustomed to following parental rules, so coaching from the stands causes the child to have to decide whether to follow the parent's or the coach's instructions.
No parent is allowed to yell, badger or confront an umpire at a baseball game. Coaches are the only people who should have discussions with the umpire. The umpire is positioned to see the entire game, which generally allows them to call the game in a fair and equitable manner. The parent should talk to the coach after the game if issues arise with the umpire.
Conversation with the coach or coaches should be prohibited from the stands. This allows the coach or coaches to focus on the game. Coaching calls, child placement on the field or general coaching practices are all areas of concern for parents. These areas of concern should be addressed with the coach or coaches at an appropriate time. Appropriate times include before or after practice and before or after the game.
Good sportsmanship is a skill coaches should teach to players during the season. Parents should promote good sportsmanship conduct before, during and after the game. Players watch the stands and know how their parents are behaving. It is not uncommon for players to tell coaches about inappropriate displays by parents in the stands. Embarrassment, anger and frustration are only a few of the feelings children have about their parents when bad sportsmanship is displayed in the stands. Examples of inappropriate sportsmanship include swearing, inappropriate body gestures, fighting and name-calling.
Before your child starts playing, you can participate by helping him choose a sport and the type of team. For example, you might steer him toward a recreational soccer team as an introduction to the sport instead of a competitive league. Youth sports leagues often use volunteer coaches -- usually parents -- to teach kids the basics of the sport. If you choose to coach, keep the players as the focus. Treat your own child the same as you treat other children to keep the experience positive for him. Other participation options include fundraisers, cheering from the sidelines and volunteering for tasks, such as providing snacks or keeping score. Your participation shows your child that you care about him and his interests.
A parent's attitude on and off the field affects the child's sports experience. A child who constantly receives criticism about his performance from his parents might feel discouraged or incompetent. Keep conversations about the sport positive, and let your young athlete guide the conversation. If he doesn't want to talk about the game, don't force the topic. Your behavior during the game is also an influence. Displaying poor sportsmanship such as harassing refs or booing the other team teaches your child to do the same. To create a positive experience, cheer on your child and his teammates without being mean-spirited to the other team.
The Women's Sports Foundation describes the relationship among coaches, players and parents as a triangle. To create a positive experience for the kids, the coaches and parents need to take a support role at the bottom of the triangle, with the kids' needs at the top. Being a supportive parent means being there physically for your child as a spectator and supporting him mentally. This means celebrating victories and helping your young athlete handle defeat. You also create a positive experience by supporting and trusting the coach -- as long as he is responsible and keeps the young players safe.
A 2012 "Psychology Today" article emphasizes the importance of balancing sports participation with other activities for better development. As the parent, you have control over your child's participation in sports. If you provide the means for him to consistently play a particular sport, you can support the development of his skills. When you notice his schedule is out of balance with too much emphasis on sports, you have the power to scale back his participation.
Choose your time and place wisely. If you have an important or delicate matter to discuss, call the coach to set up a meeting at a convenient time when you can meet privately. This ensures that the coach has time to devote to discussing what’s on your mind.
Approach the meeting with a calm and respectful demeanor. Be friendly and explain your concerns or thoughts with the coach. Avoid using a confrontational or angry tone as you speak with the coach, because this may put her on the defensive.
Listen actively as the coach responds to your concerns. Active listening involves maintaining eye contact, paraphrasing what you think you understand, asking questions and staying respectfully engaged.
Work to resolve the situation and assuage your issues. Perhaps the coach will agree to resolve your concerns or explain her motivations behind a decision or an action. Ask questions as necessary and be ready to compromise or accept less than you wanted.
Thank the coach for her time after you finish discussing the issue. Invite the coach to follow up with you in the future if necessary. Be sure to thank her for her work and effort with your child as well.
If appropriate, you might offer your assistance and support for your child’s team and the coach. If you have time, you could provide whatever help the team needs before, during or after events. This volunteer support can relieve pressure and make the coach’s job easier, suggests the American Sport Education Program.
Leave coaching issues to the coach, advises Michael Taylor, recreation and facilities director with the City of Saratoga, California. As challenging as it might be, support your child and the coach from the sidelines, if possible.