Development Zone®


PCA Resource Center

Joe Ehrmann On Coach-Parent Relationships

Share This Resource

Joe Ehrmann (@JoeEhrmann76), a PCA National Advisory Board Member and winner of PCA's Ronald L. Jensen Award for Lifetime Achievement, is a former NFL Pro Bowl defensive lineman, founder of Coach For America and author of InSide Out Coaching. Ehrmann gained additional prominence when Parade Magazine dubbed him “the most important coach in America” for his unorthodox, but highly effective, coaching at Gilman School in the Baltimore area. Ehrmann was also the subject of Season of Life by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Marx.

In this clip, Ehrmann talks about how critical it is for parents to develop a relationship with the coach of their child’s team. He urges parents to think about the fragility of a player and the power of a coach. Instead of “rolling the dice” on your child’s confidence and sense of self, both heavily affected through sports, parents need to do more than just drop them off. It is the responsibility of a parent to keep that coach accountable to ensure the safety and success of their child. It is also the responsibility of the parents, and the coach, to get to know each other to avoid any parent/coach conflict.

Parents also shouldn’t feel shy or afraid to challenge the coach. Part of the parent-coach relationship is a mutual understanding of a child’s needs. A questioning parent forces coaches to evaluate their philosophy, and allows both parties to be on the same page.