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PCT Meeting, Parents Coaches Meeting The PCT Meeting
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The Parent / Coaches Timeout Meeting

This website describes a best practice in Youth Sports called the Parents-Coaches Timeout Meeting- the "PCT".

The PCT is a framework that allows coaches and parents to communicate clearly, such that Parents, Coaches and Kids can learn from experience during the season, make adjustments, and have much more FUN in pursuit of shared objectives.

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The PCT is a tool for coaches, parents and especially kids get much more satisfaction and fun out of youth sports.

The PCT is a tool for organizations to systematically collect feedback and inspect that feedback-- to learn and adapt. The PCT can help your youth sports organization get better at delivering on intended results.

The PCT is a repeating, periodic meeting between coaches and parents. In this meeting a few simple simple ground rules provide a structure for healthy and productive interaction between groups of parents and groups of coaches.

The PCT concept has roots in the best practices of some of the most innovative companies on the planet, including Google, Yahoo, Toyota, and Microsoft. The PCT employs an 'empirical process' that allows for adaptation and learning by the entire team throughout the entire season.

The PCT an easy-to-use framework for interaction that allows coaches and parents to learn together, and act, from shared experience. In doing so, parents and coaches can align results with stated intentions. When this happens, kids can get the most from their participation in youth sports and everyone involved can have more fun.

This web site describes the process and benefits. It also provides some resources that you can take away to help you get started with the PCT process.

Effects of the PCT Process

When you implement the PCT, you may experience:

o Coaches paying more attention to the Parent group

o Parents who act as a team, and self-organize around preparing for and attending the next PCT meeting

o Coaches who exhibit a much more adaptive style of coaching than previously

o Players who become more relaxed and have more fun playing organized sports

o Players who advance skills more rapidly than previously

o Individual Parents who tend to get more engaged in volunteer activities inside the Organization

o An Organization that is steadlly growing

o A tendency for individual Parents to perceive Team-level concerns as FAR more important that any one individual Player-level concern

o Player teams that are highly adaptive and execute better in game situations

o Parents groups who become highly adaptive and better at helping the entire Player team evolve

o An Organization that is highly adaptive and better aligning overall efforts with intended overall results

If you want these effects for your team or organization, consider the PCT Process as a way to achieve them.

Mission Statement:

To make the world a better place, by helping to make youth sports an activity that improves the lives of Players, Coaches, Parents, and Organizations.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed people can change the world..."
-- attributed to Margaret Mead (1901-1978)
US Anthropologist, Author

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Enjoy the site and please contact us if you have any questions or experience to share.

Glossary of PCT Terms- The list of terms used to describe and discuss the PCT process.

Frequently Asked Questions- The list of questions commonly asked by Coach and parents.

Are you using the PCT Process in your Youth Sports organization? Please contact me and tell me more-- I am keenly interested in receiving a report of your experience with the PCT Process.


Kids, Parents, Coaches, and Organizations:

More than meets the eye

Everyone starts out wanting and hoping to have FUN in youth sports.

The leagues are organized and led by well-meaning volunteers.

Coaches dedicate untold hours to the task of teaching kids the game, and how to play as a team.

Parents bring children to play, and hope they make friends, learn athletic skills, and receive valuable life lessons about teamwork and perseverance.

The kids themselves show up to have FUN learning and playing a game.

Often, the coaches avoid the parents, the parents snipe about the coaching, and kids are caught in the middle. How does this happen?

  • Coaches generally avoid parents as a group. Coaches know that meetings with the parents as a group can quickly become a train wreck, and so coaches logically avoid this type of meeting. Even though a meeting with the parent group has the potential to help the coach tremendously, the risk is high that the coach will be attacked in an us-them scenario. Coaches therefore avoid meeting with the parents as a group and miss a big opportunity to improve results.
  • Parents self-organize. Parents develop social bonds and self organize as a group. With no outlet for the parent group to communicate with the coach, parents turn to each other and end up discussing their frustrations as the season grinds on..
  • Parents fund everything, but have limited options in terms of influencing the team. Parents fund EVERYTHING but have no real voice as a group. This again encourages group-level behaviors that work against overall team goals.
  • Kids know where loyalties lie. The kids know that parents rule. The kids generally do what parents say to do on the field or on the ice. When parents are not aligned with coaches, drama is the result with the child in the middle.
  • A long season-- with no loops of feedback. Parents attend games and notice things, but are never consulted about what they notice.
  • Ineffective structure for providing feedback. The Parent Manager role (on hockey teams) makes sense for managing team details, but not for managing differences between parent and coach. Parents rarely if ever use the Parent Manager to deliver messages to coaching teams. Organizations pretend that the Parent Manager can be an effective facilitator for parent group- coaching group interaction. The reality is that this just does not work.

What is needed is:

0. Periodic meetings with the parent group and the coaching group;

1. Tools and ground rules for coaches to manage meetings with the parent group.

2. Repeating, interative loops of feedback during the season...such that the parents, coaches, kids and organization can LEARN together from experience.

4. A process for coaches, parents and players to inspect short-term results and make adjustments.

The Parents-Coaches Timeout meeting provides all the structure necessary to accomplish these objectives. Teams that use the PCT can be more effective in reaching stated objectives without adding any expense or added effort. All that is needed is a willingness to attend a periodic meeting and adhere to clearly defined ground rules for attendance.

Learn more....