top of page

Athlete/Parent Letter of Intent

Training Log #6:

I have been in many gyms all over the world and have seen many programs from an insider perspective and one thing I see all the time is that the coaches do NOT have athletes sign a letter of intent. Most coaches are handed athletes from the front office after the receptionist has done their best sales pitch. The coach themselves naturally have their own beliefs, training strategy and behavioural repertoire that may or may NOT mesh with the parents and the athletes. On the flip side, parents and athletes may have ideologies that do not mesh with the coach or gym, which naturally will not be addressed by the administrator’s sales pitch. For this reason I tell all coaches to have the athletes AND parents sign an athlete/parent letter of intent that outlines a few things:

  1. What I as a coach believe in the best over arching training strategy

  2. What the positive reinforcements will be for athletes

  3. What the negative reinforcements will be for the athletes

  4. Rules of conduct when training

  5. What I believe will make their time with me successful compared to not successful

I bring all the parents together at the end of the first day of training and go over all of the ite s listed above, explaining my reasoning behind each one. We then have a question period where I encourage both the athletes and parents to speak up, so I'm sure they know what to expect from my coaching style. I then ask them all to sign with a parent witness. By outlining these basic things in person and in a document, you put the athletes and parents on the ‘same page’ knowing your training philosophy is set a certain way. I need the whole team to be on track and know where we are all going and what goals we are aiming for. By having a 15 minute discussion at the end of the first training lets the coach work with each athlete and talk to the parents before the meeting to ensure if there needs to be a slight modification for a special circumstance, it can be addressed and worked into the letter of intent.

By doing this simple thing, you can protect the coach, the athletes and the parents from each other. Many times parents have different beliefs about what the purpose of being in the class is from the actual athletes in the class. I try to have a representative from the gym present at least for a portion of the meeting because then everyone is starting on an even and open playing field.

When an athlete starts behaving in ways that are not approved by the coaches, parents or gym owners, they have already giving their verbal and written consent to the negative consequences which tends to push them subconsciously to not cause as many problems. After all, they all agreed in a ‘group think’ sort of way and all signed that they understand the situation. I highly recommend ALL coaches do this between themselves and the athletes/parents instead of just getting the administration at the gym to do it. It makes everyone more accountable and thereby more successful!


bottom of page