Kuemmel's Corner: Improving communications a constant process
The Park coaching staff works hard to keep open the lines of communication with students and parents.
Once in a while, a student may have a concern or question about his or her sport. The first thing the student should do is talk to the coach. We recommend that this should never occur immediately before or after a game. We recommend that students sleep on it and discuss it with their coach the next day. If the concern is with an assistant coach, a lot of time the varsity head coach will also be included in this meeting. If the student-athlete is not satisfied with the results of that meeting, then I suggest that the coach meet with both the student and the parent (again, never right before or after a game). If the student or parent still has concerns or questions after that meeting, then I get involved and we have a meeting with everyone involved.
I believe our coaches work hard to create a positive experience for the students. In most situations where a concern is brought up, it can almost always be solved by the coach and player sitting down one on one and discussing the situation. I realize sometime that parents may have a question that might not apply to their son or daughter. Of course they are able to talk to the coach about this. Many parents have the misperception that their son or daughter will somehow be penalized if the parent talks to the coach. This is definitely not true.
We truly have an “open door” policy at Park. One of the lifelong skills we are trying to teach our athletes is how to problem solve, so we would rather have the students address the issue than the parent. We also utilize student and parent feedback forms (that can be found on our website) to help gather information on how our coaches are doing.
Using this process at Park, we have been very successful at dealing with any issues or concerns that may come up, which helps us towards our goal of students having a positive experience.
-Phil Kuemmel, Park High School Activities Director