Survey of Alabama prep coaches highlights issues with parents

July 21, 2016 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
A recent survey of Alabama high school coaches revealed that nearly two-third of them have quit or considered leaving their positions due to issues with parents.

Turf fieldThe survey was conducted by and more than 300 high school coaches responded. Coaches were asked about their problems with parents, how they handled the issues, and how those conflicts affected their decisions and the student-athletes who were caught in the middle.

In the survey, 63% of coaches said they’ve quit or considered quitting their jobs because of combative parents.

“Many parents today don’t want their kids coached,” said one of the surveyed coaches. “They want them pampered. They want to know what’s in it for their child, not what’s best for the team.”

Here are some other highlights of the survey, which can be viewed here in greater detail:

60% of coaches say their experiences with parents have worsened over their careers.

• In characterizing the problems, 29% said conflicts were due to playing time. 18% said helicopter parenting, and 17% said criticism of strategy.

64% of coaches said athletes have complained about their parents’ conduct. “The kid stated that he is torn between doing what I say and doing what his mom or dad says,” one coach responded.

93% said the school administration had their backs during conflicts with parents.

89% said boosters have threatened or withheld funds because of a coach or his/her staff.

79% said they haven’t adjusted their style over a parent’s complaints.

68% said the growth of travel/club teams has made relationships with parents worse. “Parents assume all club team coaches must be great and know what they’re doing because it’s deemed ‘elite’ play.”

43% said a parent has threatened to transfer their child to another school.

32% blamed the pursuit of scholarships for the rise in problematic parents. 31% said it’s due to the travel/club environment.

Click here to see a slideshow of all survey questions.

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