The Roadmap For Parent-Club Communications

If you are involved in a club/travel sport at Lifezone Sports Academy, you’re in a close relationship with us. You are trusting our Academy coaches and staff with your player’s future and we are investing a tremendous amount of time and energy into giving your player the best possible outcomes.

That said, there are times when questions, comments and even frustrations arise. Here is the protocol on how to deal with that.

  1. If it has to do with your player’s development (or your need to get some input on their progression), please request a meeting with your head coach – giving them advance notice on the topic(s) you would like to cover. This gives both you and the coach an opportunity to think and plan the best possible discussion. Approaching the coach during/after practices or games is not acceptable – as the coach has many other things on their mind at those times.
  2. If it has to do with how a particular game was handled (playing time, tactical decisions, coaching approach etc), parents are required to wait a minimum of 48 hours before contacting a coach for a meeting and discussion. Approaching a coach at the end of a game to provide any feedback (especially negative feedback) about how the game was handled is inappropriate and a very poor example for the players. We understand that coaches make mistakes. We want to learn from those mistakes and improve. There are also plenty of times where a parent’s biased view of a situation clouds judgement. Nothing good comes out of parent-coach battles after a game so please don’t be part of that problem. Give it time, think it through and then set up a time for a rational discussion on the matter.
  3. If a discussion with a coach appears to get no good outcome, please email the Director of Coaching/Player Development and schedule a call or meeting with them. Voice your concerns as objectively as possible – stating as many facts as possible. Then allow the DOC to conduct some background research and come back to you with their findings and decision.
  4. If it has to do with scheduling, communications, uniforms, game locations, hotel details, field/court numbers etc, talk to your team manager first. Coaches seldom get involved in those areas and find it hard to give good answers when asked about these things.
  5. If it has to do with billing, scholarships, how the club operates, policies and procedures or general feedback about culture, please direct that feedback to the club director(s).

All families enrolling in Lifezone Sports Academy agree to our parent code of conduct. Please read it and agree to follow it for as long as you are part of us.

  1. Regarding Your Child: Recognize that your child has a set of physical attributes and genetics that pre-dispose them to certain abilities as an athlete. Nobody can over-ride their God-given capacity. We expect you to be rational, realistic and wise with your expectations. If pride drives you to want more for your child than they can deliver, you could be causing emotional and functional damage that is irreparable in the long term. So please commit to trusting and submitting to our coaching staff on the decisions they make for the benefit of your child. These decisions include what level they are invited to play at, how much playing time they get in certain games and how they are developed during practice.
  2. Regarding Sideline Conduct: If you are negative on the sidelines toward players or refs, you will be provided warning from coaching staff, other parents or our DOC. If warnings are not heeded, a multi-game ban from the sidelines will be issued. If abusive language or behavior is exhibited, it is an automatic 3 game suspension for the offending party. If the abusive behavior is excessive based on multiple accounts, the suspension/ban from the sideline can be extended for up to 10 games. More than one abusive action is grounds for removal from the club.
  3. Regarding The Competition: At some point your child will be on the field of competition and get fouled (or worse). How you respond in that moment impacts your reputation – and the reputation of our club. More importantly, it leaves a lasting impression on your child – and sets the stage for the person they will become. Chances are, you’ll make a mistake here or there. We’re ok with that. But if you become a consistent trouble maker on the sidelines, you’ll be asked to leave the field – and eventually – the club.
  4. Regarding The Officials: The hardest job in all of soccer is the job of the referee. Every call they make is met with pleasure on one side and extreme disdain from the opposing side. You will be at games where parents from the opposing sidelines yell, badger and often verbally abuse the referee. That is completely unacceptable from our families. We cannot raise character-driven, wise players if parents are acting like fools on the sidelines. We must set an example to our players and other teams about what makes us different. There will be situations where the ref needs to hear some displeasure on a call they make. But doing it in wisdom and with respect will earn a lot more favor from the ref than a negative or condescending outburst.
  5. Regarding Your Obligations: When you join the club, we make a commitment to you to deliver the programming that will build your soccer player. You make a commitment to us to do your part. That includes having your player at practices – consistently and on time – prepared with the gear required. It includes having them at games – prepared and at the time set by the coach so that proper pre-game activities can take place. It includes making sure any financial arrangements we have made are handled with the highest priority and promptness. When we call for a parent meeting or special event, make it a priority and join us there. When you do your part with excellence, you drive us to work even harder to make sure your child gets everything we promised – and more.
  6. Regarding Club Culture: The sidelines are a place where a lot of conversations happen amongst parents. Those conversations can be guided to be positive and uplifting or pushed into the sewer of gossip and complaining. We look to you to choose the former and walk away from the latter. If you have a concern or complaint, bring it to us directly. Let us do our best to improve or resolve the issue. Discussing it amongst parents who can’t do anything about the issue simply kills club culture.
  7. Regarding Leaving: The reality is that we will not be able to serve every family’s needs, wants and desires completely. Some players may actually outgrow our capacity – or not progress at a rate that is satisfactory to you or the player. The good news is, you can “vote with your feet” and find another home quietly and respectfully. Talk to us about your plans – we’ll even provide guidance and make private introductions to respected clubs in the area. If you, however, choose to get negative – and start poisoning our well, we’ll take it upon ourselves to make it very uncomfortable for you. We want the best for you and your player – and if we can’t provide it, we’ll graciously hand you over to someone else. Just do your part in ensuring a healthy exit. You and your child will be the better for it.
  8. Regarding Engagement and Fun: We want and need you to have fun with this whole experience. Trust us – your child will have a blast. Nothing would make us happier than to see you doing the same. What that means is – you need to engage in the process of having fun with parents, coaches and kids. If you have a gift of promoting, administration or hospitality, put it to use within the club. If you cook a great meal or have an amazing swimming pool, invite the coach and players over a few times over the summer. If you have a great man-cave or cabin on a lake, invite the families of your team over. That is the essence of club sports. Families come together, have fun together and engage in the process of building the next generation of leaders and athletes.