Use the 24-Hour Rule When Communicating with Parents

By Dan Guttenplan, FNF Coaches Managing Editor

Shelley Holden, Ed. D., is an associate professor of Coaching Education at the University of South Alabama. She has been published on the topic of how to effectively manage coach, parent and player relationships.

She recommends that all coaches employ a 24-hour rule when it comes to communication with parents after a game. This allows everyone to decompress before addressing any issues that arise.

“Lay it out to the parents right at the beginning of the season,” Holden said. “This way, they understand that coaches will not be talking about playing time as they’re walking to the bus after a game. Parents can call or email the coach after 24 hours, but after a game, both individuals can be heated.”

If after 24 hours, the coach and parent can’t come to a resolution over the issue, Holden recommends that a coach bring in an athletic administrator or school principal to serve as a mediator.

“Lay out the chain of command in the preseason meeting with the protocol for escalating issues,” Holden said.

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