Important to take parents on football journey

words by Tackle Your Feelings, Monday 14 February 2022

Melbourne Grammar firsts football coach and former Northern Knights talent manager Rhy Gieschen says junior coaches should learn how to “take the heat out of the situation” when dealing with challenging parents.

Gieschen has more than a decade of experience in football across numerous levels and is seasoned in conversing with parents who show a keen interest in their child’s journey.

Speaking on The Coaches’ Box podcast, Gieschen said maintaining a sense of calmness and expressing a preference to meet in person was paramount in gaining parents’ trust and understanding.

“I’m sure all coaches have had situations where a parent has sent a late-night email, or a text or a voice message,” he said.

“My advice would be to approach the parent and ask to meet face-to-face. I think people are a lot more open and willing to hear you out when it’s a face-to-face conversation.

“If you are receiving aggressive emails or text messages, my response would be that you don’t have to reply straight away. Take the heat out of the situation.

“Ask to meet face-to-face or at training and explain yourself that way. Then, I think, a lot of the anger has already come out of the situation and more often than not, the parent has seen the light or the understanding of why decisions have been made. Then you can have actually have a good, really honest conversation.”

Listen to the full episode on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.