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Old 06-21-2011, 11:05 AM
 
5,945 posts, read 12,742,905 times
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I have a 16 year old son who plays on a club sport (not affiliated with this high school). The coach is a college student. It's a co-ed team that travels for games, often out of state.

This past year was his first year being involved with this team. He LOVES it.

We love that he loves it, and we do everything we can to support him. However... we have been having some major frustrations.

Seems the coach relies only on Facebook and word of mouth to get information out to the team and the parents and families.

We don't have Facebook. Our son has FB but he doesn't check it regularly - he doesn't have time and honestly isn't interested in social networking much (and we are thankful for that, actually).

So... (I'm sorry this is getting long...) each time there was a practice, a game, a tournament, a dinner, a pick-up game, whatever.... getting details regarding the event - date, time, place, who's driving, who's paying, how much do we pitch in, etc. - was like pulling teeth, or finding needles in a haystack, or whatever.... in a word - frustrating!

Even when we began checking the FB page to try to get info, it was chatoci. For example... in planning an out of state trip... somebody would post on the FB site: "Are we camping?" and another person would say "Not sure, I think my mom is booking hotel rooms" and then two days later... "Coach got KOA cabins..." and then two days before the event, I would call the coach asking what the details were and she would refer me to another parent. I'd call that parent and she would say, "Oh, yes, I'm checking hotel rates... I'll let you know when I know more." Then the day before the event, at practice the kids would be told... OK... everybody pitch in $45 for the hotel room. But nobody was told where the kids were staying/what hotel!

Not only was dealing with thisteam frustrating, but there were a few times when I thought it was rude as well. When it comes to out of state games, and we are talking about quite a bit of money spent for hotel, transportation, food, etc. Plus work schedules and trying to plan around jobs, etc. I found it really rude and inconsiderate to not inform families ahead of time so they could plan accordingly. This team is so disorganized that we would find out perhaps one or two days before the details. Once we found out the night before that he needed to go online and join this particular group and pay a $60 membership fee in order to participate in a game he was scheduled to play the next morning!

It was like this the whole year. But my son loved his team, loved playing the sport, etc. So we tolerated it, tried to go with the flow, etc.

Well, the other night our son had a dinner with his team. It was another half-assed disorganized event. Somebody posted on the FB page "Dinner at my house. Somebody bring hot dog buns. Everybody bring something." And that was it. No address, no phone number, no time, etc. So my son sent out a text message asking for more info: date, time, address...

People started posting on FB that he was a pain in the a s s because he did this. Which hurt his feelings a little bit. And then at the dinner, one of the team players made a comment that we were overprotective parents because of how we needed to know the name and address of the hotels they stayed at when they go out of town for tournaments. ??

I guess I'm partly venting here, but also wondering if any other parents have experienced anything like this before. Is it being overprotective to try to get all the information ahead of time before your kid travels with his team? Or has dinner with people?

Last edited by haggardhouseelf; 06-21-2011 at 12:33 PM..
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:19 AM
 
Location: here
24,477 posts, read 28,802,318 times
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No, I don't think you are being over protective. I can see why you would be frustrated. My number one complaint with coaches and teachers is lack of communication. Maybe you could politely ask the coach to please send an e-mail to the team and parents for events instead of or in addition to using facebook. Maybe you could take charge of some aspect of the planning, like finding the hotel. If you are in charge, you get to decide how to inform the other parents. Ask around and see if you are the only one who finds this frustrating. If you are the only family who doesn't use facebook, then you might just have to start using it. Logging on to check for team messages doesn't mean your son has to start using FB for anything else.

If none of this works, complain to whoever is in charge of the team or league. Maybe there should be guidelines for how coaches communicate with players and parents.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Denver area
21,154 posts, read 22,157,419 times
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Maybe you could volunteer to be the communication coordinater for the coach - college aged young men are not parents and don't necessarily think like parents. That way you are offering to be part of the solution...
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:28 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
1,392 posts, read 2,322,537 times
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My 16 year old son is on a club team (swimming) and they travel in and out of state. For official club events and travel meets information is initially e-mailed with preliminary information (to determine who will attend, etc.). Information regarding where they will stay, where they will swim, how much it will cost initially, who will room with whom and additional details are given to each swimmer attending about a week ahead, along with a bunch of forms for parents to sign.

Casual dinners or parties (not offical club dinners, but rather dinners or parties given by one of the athletes) are spread word of mouth as well as through private messaging from kid to kid. For those events, I only find out from my son where and when (and my son handles the rest).

Last edited by twins4lynn; 06-21-2011 at 11:36 AM.. Reason: .
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:34 AM
 
1,173 posts, read 3,974,053 times
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I don't think you are being over protective wanting to know where and when your child is and how much $$ is expected and by what date. Those are perfectly reasonable expectations.

That said...just because your family doesn't frequent facebook does not make it an ineffective form of communication, actually I tend to think it is a VERY effective tool for reaching a group of people when used properly. It's just like someone complaining that the team is only communicating by calling your house but YOU rarely check the answering machine. The problem is not with the method it's your interaction with said method.

On another note, you said the person in charge of planning is a college student. They seem to have a pretty full plate if you ask me!! They have to go to class, study, turn in assignments, have a social life, maybe work AND coach this team? They are most likely overwhelmed which is why details like location and times are being left for the last minute, maybe they could use a hand?? Someone to be the planning commitee, secretary, treasurer, event planner, whatever you wanna call it. You know who I'm about to nominate right?? You have time to complain about the way things are being done and have ideas on how they should be done properly so...step right up!!

Do I think things are being handled incorrectly, sure! It could be run much more efficiently and effectively by someone who notices these details are missing and is bothered by communications not going out until the last minute. Please don't say you don't have the time, because obviously neither does this college student but they are at least TRYING.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:43 AM
 
2,596 posts, read 4,648,612 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
Maybe you could volunteer to be the communication coordinater for the coach - college aged young men are not parents and don't necessarily think like parents. That way you are offering to be part of the solution...
This is a good suggestion. First off, I agree that while this person may be a great coach, it doesn't sound like they're very good at organization, or as others have said, if they're simultaneously in college, they may have a lot on their plate. It's always better when someone can wear both hats, but sometimes you're stuck with what you've got. If they're successful in coaching the club sport, the kids like them, and other parents aren't bothered by the sporadic communication (which would drive me batty, but I'm very Type A), then you don't have a lot of options except to withdraw him, or, like Maciesmom suggested, make yourself more involved as the contact/info person.

As a side note about only communicating via Facebook, for sponsors and other organizational leaders, communicating with a large group of people can be such a hassle. Everyone has their idea about how they would best like to get the information, but if the coach/sponsor has to put the information out there multiple ways for every single little announcement to satisfy every preference, it becomes very time consuming. We used to do that with my organization, and it's gotten to the point where our supervisor has thrown her hands up and said enough. We are to send it out by only one method and people can either choose to get with the ball game or not. There are not unlimited hours in the day. Granted, I agree with you that they seem to be a supreme example of disorganization and you are not being over-protective to know where your kid will be, but if their primary form of communication is Facebook, it may be that you need to sign up for a family account and check it nightly like email for any updates. And, as others have said, this would be a great chance for you to volunteer hours as a parent contact person and take some off the coach's plate while offering other avenues of communication to all.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:54 AM
 
Location: colorado
2,788 posts, read 4,245,656 times
Reputation: 3312
Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
I have a 16 year old son who plays on a club sport (not affiliated with this high school). The coach is a college student. It's a co-ed team that travels for games, often out of state.

This past year was his first year being involved with this team. He LOVES it.

We love that he loves it, and we do everything we can to support him. However... we have been having some major frustrations.

Seems the coach relies only on Facebook and word of mouth to get information out to the team and the paretns and families.

We don't have Facebook. Our son has FB but he doesn't check it regularly - he doesn't have time and honestly isn't interested in social networking much (and we are thankful for that, actually).

So... (I'm sorry this is getting long...) each time there was a practice, a game, a tournament, a dinner, a pick-up game, whatever.... getting details regarding the event - date, time, place, who's driving, who's paying, how much do we pitch in, etc. - was like pulling teeth, or finding needles in a haystack, or whatever.... in a word - frustrating!

Even when we began checking the FB page to try to get info, it was chatoci. For example... in planning an out of state trip... somebody would post on the FB site: "Are we camping?" and another person would say "Not sure, I think my mom is booking hotel rooms" and then two days later... "Coach got KOA cabins..." and then two days before the event, I would call the coach asking what the details were and she would refer me to another parent. I'd call that parent and she would say, "Oh, yes, I'm checking hotel rates... I'll let you know when I know more." Then the day before the event, at practice the kids would be told... OK... everybody pitch in $45 for the hotel room. But nobody was told where the kids were staying/what hotel!

Not only was dealing with thisteam frustrating, but there were a few times when I thought it was rude as well. When it comes to out of state games, and we are talking about quite a bit of money spent for hotel, transportation, food, etc. Plus work schedules and trying to plan around jobs, etc. I found it really rude and inconsiderate to not inform families ahead of time so they could plan accordingly. This team is so disorganized that we would find out perhaps one or two days before the details. Once we found out the night before that he needed to go online and join this particular group and pay a $60 membership fee in order to participate in a game he was scheduled to play the next morning!

It was like this the whole year. But my son loved his team, loved playing the sport, etc. So we tolerated it, tried to go with the flow, etc.

Well, the other night our son had a dinner with his team. It was another half-assed disorganized event. Somebody posted on the FB page "Dinner at my house. Somebody bring hot dog buns. Everybody bring something." And that was it. No address, no phone number, no time, etc. So my son sent out a text message asking for more info: date, time, address...

People started posting on FB that he was a pain in the a s s because he did this. Which hurt his feelings a little bit. And then at the dinner, one of the team players made a comment that we were overprotective parents because of how we needed to know the name and address of the hotels they stayed at when they go out of town for tournaments. ??

I guess I'm partly venting here, but also wondering if any other parents have experienced anything like this before. Is it being overprotective to try to get all the information ahead of time before your kid travels with his team? Or has dinner with people?

Well apparently you guys didnt take the mind reading 101 class..
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:05 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 89,161,157 times
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You're not being overprotective. But the only way you can improve things without ruining your son's reputation with the team is to get involved via volunteering as a coordinator.

We had a similar problem with our Lacrosse Club and a few parents overtook the board during an election. NOT THE WAY TO GO because then your son is hated by the kids who have an alliance to the teammates whose parents were voted off the board. I've watched it happen. It's not pretty.

Volunteering. Positive volunteering. You don't want to be the complainer, you want to be the helper. That's the only way you can get the info you need without it causing your son embarrassment.

You have every right to want and have the information, but you have to also do your best to protect your son's reputation or he'll end up hating the team. This crap happens on almost every club type team so it's not like you can just shop around for one that is better organized and doesn't have these factions. Even the school run teams can have problems with coaches taking it out on the kid.

What works best is team website where a parent is communication coordinator and updates the website regularly with information and announcements, along with a phone tree chain.
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:28 PM
 
2,258 posts, read 4,321,947 times
Reputation: 3731
If I was playing on team that I absolutely loved and knew the people on the team primarily communicated on Facebook, I'd make sure to log in so I didn't miss anything. I don't see what "he's not interested in social networking" has to do with anything. His team communicates there and if he wants to be in the loop, then he either signs in and finds out the deal or chooses not to and misses out.

The thing about travel trips is frustrating if you have to make arrangements, set aside money, etc., but then you are dealing with a college student that is probably very busy and disorganized. It's not being done in a mean way. Maybe the coach is a bit of a flake. Maybe everyone else on the team can just jump at a moment's notice and head off to a game/practice/whatever. Like others have said, you could volunteer to coordinate the schedule if it's not working for you but prepare for them to tell you they think the situation is fine just as it is if no one else has a problem with it. Your son might get the "Mommy wants to do the schedule" barbs from the team too.

If you do become a coordinator for them, they may want you to post the details on Facebook if that is their communication tool of choice. Also, you might be coordinating the trips and agenda, but I think your son will still have to check into FB if he wants to know if the gang is meeting somewhere for burgers or whatever.

Welcome to the way young folks communicate. Hell, I'm older and sometimes miss out on impromptu gatherings for a bbq or bowling if I don't log into Facebook at the right time.
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:38 PM
 
1,017 posts, read 1,696,782 times
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Quote:
Maybe you could take charge of some aspect of the planning, like finding the hotel. If you are in charge, you get to decide how to inform the other parents.
This.
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