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Parent Involvement

By the end of the year we hear –

  • Coaching is a full time job!”
  • I was overwhelmed by all the work a coach has to do”
  • Getting people to help me is almost more trouble than doing it myself”

The good news is that in the same breath these same coaches will go on to describe how outstanding the experience was for themselves and their team.

So what can you do NOW to avoid a lot of work later? Call a Team Parents meeting to talk about what parents can do to support the team.

  1. Identify one or more parents who are willing to occasionally supervise a meeting if you are unavailable or just need a break. As long as everyone understands the limits of outside assistance, there is no reason why another parent can’t run a spontaneous practice or supervise a long term work session. You may find that parents are excited about this opportunity to watch their kids in action.
  2. Consider designating a parent who is willing to assume the role of Spontaneous Co-Coach, collecting practice problems and associated materials (for hands-on and hands-on verbal problems) and/or leading the spontaneous practice sessions. Be sure to tell this parent about any Coaching Spontaneous workshops or training sessions that may be available.  These can be found in the Important Events column on the NoVA North web site.
  3. Identify a parent who agrees to recruit a volunteer to serve as a Judge on the team’s behalf. Because the team-designated judge is prohibited from watch its own team, parents generally do not want to volunteer for this role. Often, teachers are willing to serve as judges and are able to earn credit for it. Each team needs to supply someone who:
  • Will participate in a 6 hour training session on on a Saturday in February; when the date is set it is posted in the Important Events column on the NoVA North web site.
  • Will commit to the entire day of the tournament – a Saturday in March; when the date is set it is posted in the Important Events column on the NoVA North web site.
  • Understands that he/she will not be able to watch your team perform.
  1. Identify someone who is willing to serve as a tournament helper for a few hours on the day of the tournament, serving as hall or competition site door monitor, helping with team check-in, controlling traffic, or some other task to make the tournament run smoothly. We recommend identifying a volunteer and one or two backups. Each team will be assigned a specific time slot, so it helps to have a few people available in case of scheduling issues.
  2. Snacks : Set up a rotation schedule or designate someone who will take on this job for the season
  3. Driver/Shopper : Take kids to and from stores, garage sales, etc. Make sure the driver/shopper understands outside assistance.
  4. Treasurer: Keeps track of how much money is spent by each family so a fair accounting can be made at the end of the season. Note that this is different from tracking the value of the solution, which must be done by the team itself.

If you do this at the beginning of the year you will not only be helping yourself but you will be actively engaging the parents appropriately in a program that is known for its hands-off messages to parents.

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