Save yourself from the UGLY Parent Syndrome

A parent letter to send out BEFORE trouble starts!

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The parent letter MUST be sent home after the sports coach has been given contact details for all team members.  The quicker the letter is sent the better.  Believe me from past experience.

You have permission to copy this letter (copy and paste) to distribute to your own athletes.  You may need to alter or amended some information to be applicable for different sports and sports teams.


Dear Parents

My name is Will Locke and I have been appointed coach of the Brisbane under 11 basketball team for the upcoming season.

This letter is to invite you to a parents’ meeting where I will outline my coaching philosophy.  This is an extremely important meeting. 

I have coached junior sports teams for many seasons and I have current coaching accreditation in basketball.  I am really looking forward to meeting and working with you over the coming months to make your child’s participation in this team a positive and successful experience.

My coaching program will emphasize fun & enjoyment, skill development, and further advance players ability to work cooperatively on and off the court.

I want the children to learn all the basic skills of basketball and to become as skillful as they can.  I also believe that forming friendships, developing a feeling of belonging and learning to share experiences with others is important to children.

It is my intention to give all the team members equal opportunity to play during the season.  They will experience playing in a range of positions as I intend to rotate players and positions as much as possible.

I am inviting all parents to a short meeting at my home (clubhouse, training venue) on Tuesday March 5 at 7.30pm.  At this meeting I will further outline my coaching philosophy and we can discuss important matters such as training, fees, fundraising and how you might be able to assist the team.

I look forward to meeting you.


Yours sincerely,


Will Locke


This parent letter coupled with the code of conduct  document is your defense should you strike ‘ugly parent' syndrome.  

Most disagreements between the sports coach, parents and players can be dissolved quickly if the coach can refer back to the beginning of the season and revisit the issues discussed at meeting including the  code of conduct document.

I have had coaching colleagues who have requested parents and players sign documentation stating they have read and understood the players, parent and team code of conduct.

As a teacher I have had many 'situations' with parents. Douglas Fiore and Todd Whitaker have written an excellent publication Dealing With Difficult Parents And With Parents in Difficult Situations.

Judging by the ever growing reviews for this book I know it will be of help to any sports coach who intends being involved in sports coaching for years to come.

I should say that most of my interactions with parents are positive. This however is not by accident. By reading and of course having many years of practical experience makes the difficult moments more manageable. Educate yourself if your going to be coaching for the long term.



Return to Youth Sports Parents from the example parent letter.

Return to Training Programs from the example parent letter



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