Communication is key for a team to run smoothly. This applies for practice, games, or organizing an event. The Coach and Team Manager will be in communication often through email and text (TeamSnap or Remind). Between them, they will ensure changes to games and/or practices are conveyed as quickly as new information is confirmed. As events can change on short notice, parents are encouraged to check their email and phones often to ensure they are up-to-date with team arrangements and commitments.

Parents and players should direct any questions to their coach. Please ask about anything. The more you learn about the game and coaching process, the better your understanding and enjoyment of the game.

The Coach and Team Managers should be in regular and ongoing conversation. More communication equals less room for misunderstanding or confusion.

Game day communication is great but under no circumstances is there any shouting or coaching from the touchlines. Encourage the players, but there is ONE coach who is responsible for player instruction and coaching, let him or her do the coaching, let the game be the teacher…

Parents have both a right and responsibility to inquire about all activities in which their children are involved. Fostering two‐way communication means mutual respect and freedom to express positive feedback to the coach or perhaps genuine concerns with the assurance that they will be heard by the coach.

Communication Protocol – How to Discuss Problems

There will be a time when you have a legitimate complaint or concern and it must be heard. Follow this communications guide and make sure you have read the policies beforehand. When making your comments ask yourself: Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it kind? Is it a matter of safety? Is it going to improve my child’s love of the game or his or her personal development or success?

Age: U11 & Younger

Who Talks and to Whom?
Parents talk to coach

Communication Route: 

  • Wait 24 hours to communicate, a cooling off period (See 24-Hour Rule)
  • Wait until AFTER practice, NEVER interrupt practice. Our coaches try to maximize their instruction time with players and oftentimes, have another practice or commitment immediately following your player’s event
  • Email, text or phone call (coaches should communicate at the beginning of the season the best way to reach them)
  • Face-to-face appointments, if personal issues
  • If your complaint/concern is legitimate, and not properly or fully addressed, initiate the escalation process, described later

Age: U12-U14

Who Talks and to Whom?
Players and parents talk to coach together

Communication Route: 

  • Wait 24 hours to communicate, a cooling off period (See 24-Hour Rule)
  • Wait until AFTER practice, NEVER interrupt practice
  • Email, text or phone call (using coaches preferred way of contact)
  • Face-to-face appointments, if personal issues
  • Please encourage your child to show the self‐confidence to approach the coach, perhaps you may want to rehearse with your child the first few times.  Young players are likely to be nervous, but should never feel afraid to speak with their coach. The coach’s job is to help nurture their love of soccer and help develop their skills
  • If your complaint/concern is legitimate, and not fully or properly addressed by the coach, initiate the escalation process

Age: U15 & Older

Who Talks and to Whom?
Player talks to coach

In these age groups, the players will most likely want to be handling their own problems themselves. We encourage self-advocacy and want the players to take the initiative.  That being said, we understand that parents may have problems/issues as well and those are appropriate to direct to the coach.  If a player has an issued that is not resolved after following the outreach steps listed here, the parent can initiate the escalation process and address the matter from there.  Parents should also follow the escalation process for any matters that they have been unable to get resolved directly as well.

Communication Timeframe and Expectations

Feedback and responsiveness to player and parent communications is part of setting a good example and contributes to the type of experience players have. Thus, it is important that Coaches and Team Managers respond to texts, emails, or phone messages from players or parents within a reasonable timeframe. That would normally be within 2-3 days of the player or parent outreach. The Coach or Team Manager may not have every answer available to questions or issues raised, but will follow up with the player or parent to acknowledge the communications, and will follow-up in a timely manner with the answer if not immediately known. If the Coach does not know how to answer the matter, he or she should reach out to the Director of Coaching for additional advice or guidance.

Responsiveness to questions or concerns raised set an example of how Sierra Surf officials show their respect and sensitivity to player or parent matters. Communications not addressed may be escalated by the parent (for himself/herself or player issues unresolved) by contacting the Director of Coaching. As a club, we are trying to create a climate fostering better communications. As noted, communication is a vital piece in helping ensure a better experience for our players, parents, coaches, and our entire soccer community.

If a Sierra Surf official (Coach, Team Manager) does not acknowledge a communication within 2-3 days, the parent/player should follow up to confirm that the communication was received.  The recipient should respond that the message has been received and is being researched or reviewed further.  The contacted Sierra Surf official should set a timeframe for providing a full answer or lay out a plan for addressing the issue/concern raised within a reasonable time (up to a week). Multiple offenses of not addressing matters raised in a timely and professional manner may result in disciplinary action against the official who has not taken appropriate action to acknowledge and address communications.

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