Communication is pinnacle for a team to run smoothly. This applies for practice, games or organizing an event. The coach and manager will be in communication often through email.  Between them, they will ensure changes to games/practices/changed are conveyed as quickly as new information is confirmed.   As events can change on short notice, parents are encouraged to check your email often, to ensure you are up to date with team arrangements/commitments.

Parents and players should direct any questions regarding training, practices or games to the coach. Please ask about anything of which you are unsure. The more you learn about the game and coaching process, the better for your understanding and enjoyment of the game, your player(s) and team.

The coach and managers should be in regular and ongoing conversation.   More communication equals less room for misunderstanding or confusion. 

Game day communication is great but under no circumstances is there any shouting or coaching from the sidelines. Encourage the players, but there is ONE coach who is responsible for player instruction and coaching, let him or her do the coaching, let the game be the teacher…

Parents have both a right and responsibility to inquire about all activities in which their children are involved. Fostering two‐way communication means mutual respect and freedom to express positive feedback to the coach or perhaps genuine concerns with the assurance that they will be heard by the coach.

Communication Protocol – How to Discuss Problems

There will be a time when you have a legitimate complaint or concern and it must be heard. Follow this communications guide and make sure you have read the policies beforehand. When making your comments ask yourself: Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it kind? Is it a matter of safety?  Is it going to improve my player’s love of the game or his or her personal development or success?

u11 & younger

Who talks and to Whom?  
Parents talk to coach

Communication Route: 

  • Wait 24 hours to reach out - cooling off period
  • Wait until AFTER practice, NEVER interrupt practice.  Our coaches try to maximize their instruction time with players and often times, have another practice or commitment immediately following your player’s event. 
  • Email, text or phone call (Coaches should communicate at the beginning of the season the best way to reach them.) 
  • Face to face appointments if personal issues.
  • If your complaint/concern is legitimate, and not properly or fully addressed, initiate the escalation process, described later

U12 - U14

Who talks and to Whom?
Players and parents talk to coach together. 

Communication Route: 

  • Wait 24 hours to reach out -  cooling off period
  • Wait until AFTER practice, NEVER interrupt practice.
  • Email, text or phone call (using coaches preferred way of contact)
  • Face to face appointments if personal issues
  • Please encourage your child to show the self‐confidence to approach the coach, perhaps you may want to rehearse with your child the first few times.  Young players are likely to be nervous, but should never feel afraid of speaking to their coach.  The coach’s job is to help nurture their love of soccer and help develop their skills. 
  • If your complaint/concern is legitimate, and not fully or properly addressed by the coach, initiate the escalation process.

U15 & Older

Who talks and to Whom?
Player talks to coach

In these age groups, the players will most likely want to be handling their own problems themselves. We encourage self-advocacy and want the players to take the initiative.  That being said, we understand that parents may have problems/issues as well and those are appropriate to direct to the coach.  If a player has an issued that is not resolved after following the outreach steps listed here, the parent can initiate the escalation process and address the matter from there.  Parents should also follow the escalation process for any matters that they have been unable to get resolved directly as well.

Communication Time Frame/Expectations

Feedback and responsiveness to player and parent communications is part of setting a good example and contributes to the type of experience that players have. Thus, it is important that coaches, managers and Board Members respond to texts, emails or phone messages from players or parents within a reasonable time frame.  That would normally be within 2-3 days of the player or parent outreach.  The coach/manager/Board Member may not have every answer available to questions/issues raised, but will follow up with the player or parent to acknowledge the communications and will follow up in a timely manner with the answer if not immediately known.   If the coach does not know how to answer the matter, he or she should reach out to the Board or Director of Coaching for additional advice or guidance. 

Responsiveness to questions or concerns raised set an example and how MVLASC officials (coach, team manager, Board Member) respond to communications demonstrates their respect and sensitivity to player or parent matters brought to their attention.  Communications not addressed by the coach may be escalated by the parent (for himself/herself or player issues unresolved) using the club escalation process as described below. 

Escalation Process

As a club, we are trying to create a climate fostering better communications.  As noted, communication is a vital piece in helping ensure a better experience for our players, parents, coaches – our entire soccer community.

If an MVLA official (coach, team manager, Board Member) does not acknowledge a communication within 2-3 days, the parent/player should follow up to confirm that the communication was received.  The recipient should respond that the message has been received and is being researched or reviewed further.  The contacted MVLA official should set a timeframe for providing a full answer or lay out a plan for addressing the issue/concern raised within a reasonable time (up to a week).  Multiple offenses of not addressing matters raised in a timely and professional manner may result in disciplinary action against the MVLA official who has not taken appropriate action to acknowledge and address communications.

If the issue has not been responded to and discussed with the parent or player making the inquiry within a week, the requestor should complete the club communication Escalation Form.  This form will be filled out, indicating the day and manner in which the parent/player first reached out, the nature of issue and the date(s) on which the MVLA official should have responded.  An issue may also be escalated if the issue raised has not been addressed fully to the requestor’s satisfaction. This would follow the same process.

Before submitting the escalation form, the submitter (parent or coach) should review this entire communication document, as well as the code of conduct in place for whatever his or her role is to ensure a full understanding of expectations of all parties involved.

The completed form will be submitted electronically and received by a committee consisting of several MVLA Operations Board members. All escalations submitted will be acknowledged and responded to in 3 or less business days.  


Kudos Korner

An opportunity to celebrate the good things people are doing at MVLA

Who stood out and did an exceptional job of helping MVLA and/or your team?
Did you notice someone volunteering and stepping up to make a big difference?
Did you see someone stepping outside their comfort zone to help?

Please share your stories (click on MVLA Kudos button above) and recommend people you noticed for recognition by MVLA.  See examples here for ideas.  We have some gift certificates and will seek more gift certificates to award to MVLA kudos recipients while our supplies last.

The MVLA Kudos committee will review the stories and pick one for recognition for each newsletter in the Kudos Korner.

(Let us know if you or your business would like to donate a gift certificate for a Kudos winner that will be announced in the Kudos Korner of the monthly MVLA newsletter and listed on the MVLA website)