Jul 20, 2023 • 4 min read
Tips for incorporating family and parent feedback into your youth sports organization.
Youth sports families and parents are more involved in the day-to-day operations of our organizations than ever before. That also usually means they have a lot of feedback and opinions to express.
Managing constant feedback can be difficult to navigate. But, that doesn’t mean we can simply ignore the feedback. Some of the best opinions come from the athletes’ families. Youth sports administrators know these families care deeply about the growth of our leagues and bring a unique perspective in preserving their child’s best interests.
Here are some best practices for incorporating family and parent feedback into your youth sports organization.
The best tactic to ensure you’re not overloaded with feedback from youth sports parents is setting guidelines. Source the best method or platform you and the families are comfortable communicating on, and stick with that. It could be the messaging feature on TeamSnap for Business.
Whatever method you go with, it’s important to relay that information to the parties involved. You may also want to set some guidelines around the timing of this feedback. Setting up some sort of regular cadence is a good bet. Try setting up a weekly office hours where you field questions and other information from the parents.
The more structure around these communication channels, including time and method, the better you’ll be able to sort through information provided.
There’s a good chance that your organization relies on the volunteers efforts of these same families. And if not, we suggest it. This is a great way for the parents to be involved in day-to-day operations, and will give them a sense of purpose and belonging in your club or league.
Parental feedback is important. And when these parents are more involved, they’ll have a better pulse of your organization. That will result in feedback that’s more accurate and based in their knowledge of the organization.
This is a mandatory practice for all youth sports administrators. Meet with your parents and families before the season starts. Not only is this a great time to set expectations, establish communication channels, and get to know everyone, but it will keep parental involvement seamless throughout the season.
It’s a good idea to go over league rules, answer outstanding questions, encourage involvement, and establish the guidelines for how parents can provide feedback. That includes the communication channels, the potential for ‘office hours, and revealing shared goals for each family involved.
As youth administrators, it’s important to listen carefully to the feedback that comes in. And that’s certainly more difficult if the feedback is perceived as a complaint. But, complaints can be warranted.
When parents complain, it should be taken seriously. Aim to get down to the facts with them. By providing the facts, you’ll be able to truly dive into the complaint, and chances are you’ll walk away with some valuable information or ways to resolve the issues.
Just like our job as administrators, parents care about the well-being of their children. And any sort of negative feedback, even in the form of a complaint, it likely brought up with that priority in mind.
Sticking to these four best practices will allow you to field family and parent feedback more seamlessly, avoid confrontations, and keep the youth athletes at top of mind.