Monday, December 11th, 2017

Mr. and Mrs. Parent

April 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Coaching

Here’s a quick tip that can avoid some problems down the road – don’t call parents by their first names.

Inevitably, when you coach a team, you will know some of the kids’ parents better than others.  You may know them outside of baseball.  You may have grown up with them.  You may have coached their other children in the past. Because of this, you may be at a point in the relationship where using first names are the norm.  But this familiarity may come back to bite you.

Let’s say two players play shortstop and, of course, one starts over the other.  In the parking lot after the game you say goodbye to the parent of the non-starter by saying, “Have a good night Mr. Jones.”  You immediately see the starter’s dad and say “Have a good night Bill.”  What’s the non-starter’s parent more likely to think?  You guessed it .,.. “My son is sitting the bench because the coach is friends with Bill.”  There may not be a shred of truth in that thought but it really doesn’t matter.  For many people, just the appearance of favoritism can lead to problems.

There have been times where parents have said to me, “Just call me Bill.”  I reply by saying that I call all my parents by Mr. or Mrs. Such and Such.  When the player graduates, then it’s time to use first names.

It’s one of those little things that nip problems before they even begin.

Tomorrow’s post: Addition by subtraction

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