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Coaching Parents for a Positive Sports Culture


The news is filled with stories about parents behaving badly at sporting events, and coaches and game officials are often on the receiving end of that poor behavior. PCA workshops designed especially for parents focus on the specific role parents should play in creating a positive sports experience for their child and could go a long way towards redirecting parents’ energy. When parents participate in one of our workshops, they’re appreciative of the message and the tools we provide, but their number one comment on the evaluation is “every parent should be here.” Unfortunately getting parents to attend workshops is nearly impossible. 

Keys to Engaging Parents in a Positive Way
  • Make parents an asset by establishing a coach-parent partnership
  • Help parents support their child by encouraging empowering conversations
  • Model and Reinforce “Honoring the Game”

For our 2022-23 coach workshop, we thought we’d try a different approach to addressing parent engagement. Working with our partner, Hillsborough County Public Schools, we developed a workshop that gives coaches tools and resources that will help them more clearly define the role of parents in creating a positive sports culture that ultimately benefits the student-athlete. 

Now available to all of our partners, the workshop, Coaching Parents for a Positive Sports Culture, emphasizes the importance of coaches engaging their parents at the start of the season, setting ground rules and expectations for parent involvement. PCA encourages pre-season parent meetings and, during the workshop, we provide coaches with several tools to use:

  • Sample Parent Meeting Agenda;
  • Parent Letter, outlining PCA’s key principles of focusing on Mastery; filling Emotional Tanks; and Honoring the Game; and
  • Parent Pledge, encouraging parents to focus on teaching life lessons through sports while leaving the focus on winning to players and coaches.

The workshop leverages the sharing of best practices among coaches through five breakout sessions that each focus on a different aspect of the coach-parent relationship. When coaches come together after each breakout, they share their top suggestions for engaging parents in a more positive way and PCA Trainers share some of our most effective tools and resources. 

Feedback from coaches who have already attended Coaching Parents for a Positive Sports Culture has been strong. Coaches appreciate the opportunity to share and learn from each other; the knowledge of the PCA trainers; and the tools and resources PCA makes available to them. When answering the question, “What’s one concept you’ll use when coaching this year?” in the post workshop evaluation, many coaches had similar responses:

“Let parents parent and coaches coach.”

“Work with parents to be on the same team.”

“How to guide parents to be ‘team players’.”

Parent Guidelines

  • Let the coach do the coaching
  • Don’t put your child in the middle
  • Let your child self-advocate
  • Have a self-control routine
  • Speak respectfully about opponents, coaches, and officials

We’re excited about this new workshop and know that all of the coaches who participant will leave with at least one idea for working in partnership with parents.

Visit for resources on creating a positive sports culture for your team.