Sports Page

PARENT EXPECTATIONS

WELCOME PARENTS!

Parents have long been central to the success of the Richard Hardy Volleyball program. The Lady Hawks enjoy an unusually high level of encouragement and sportsmanship from members of their extended family, including parents, alumni, teachers, school administrators and fans. We welcome the chance to continue that tradition of support.

COMMUNICATING WITH COACHES

The coach knows the joys and frustrations that can accompany that relationship. I am glad to speak with you about your daughter, but ask that you:

Insist that your daughter try to work out volleyball-related issues directly with her coach before enlisting your assistance. Learning to deal with authority figures is one of the supreme benefits of participation in organized sports.

Discuss all concerns with the volleyball coaching staff first before contacting the school’s Athletic Director or administrators. Do these discussions in private - never in front of the girls.

Avoid jumping to conclusions. Remember that some teenagers tend to exaggerate both when praised and criticized, and that decisions about complicated issues like playing time are usually the product of many factors.

Remember that independence through athletics is critical in a child's development. Parents should consider the value of stepping back to "release their child" to their sport, except where there is clear evidence of physical or emotional concerns.

24-HOUR RULE

If you are concerned about a volleyball-related issue that requires you to speak directly with a coach, we ask that you wait at least 24 hours after the triggering event. Cooler heads are inevitably more productive. We always enjoy chatting with parents at the conclusion of matches, but cannot address non-emergency issues at that time. We also cannot interrupt practice sessions.

SPORTSMANSHIP

All parents (and players) are expected to demonstrate the highest level of sportsmanship while representing Richard Hardy Volleyball. Please cheer for our team’s efforts and successes. Parents and other fans should never celebrate our opponents’ mistakes.

While in the gymnasium, keep all comments positive—remember, you are sitting among parents from the other school. Please do not compare the skill or attitude of your daughter out loud with other members of the team.

Volleyball officials are off-limits for parents. Refrain from yelling at the referees—before, during and after the match—no matter what the perceived error or injustice. Any parent or spectator entering the court will be issued a fine. That fine will be paid by the person who incurred it. The RHMS coach believes that players must learn to perform under adversity, and to not waste emotion or effort on things not within their control.

Take the time to learn more about volleyball rules and strategy. What sometimes seems like a blown call or a poor coaching decision often looks much different if you have a more detailed appreciation for the nuances of this sometimes-complicated sport.

Consider it a sign of trouble if a player looks into the stands repeatedly for parental approval or disapproval during a game.

PLAYING TIME

For coaches, delegating playing time is a zero-sum exercise: the decision to give one player more time on the court means another player will get less. As such, all good coaches know that with each decision, however well-considered, comes the likelihood that someone will be disappointed.

Our athletes have a big say in their playing time. The RHMS coach has established objective standards, and those who score highest on those standards will get the most time in matches.

Strong teams have strong benches. Players who keep focused on the match while not on the court greatly increase their chances of success once they enter the game. Spirited bench players almost always infect their teammates with optimism and extra energy.

Lineup decisions are primarily the result of careful consideration about our own team’s chemistry, and our opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. Playing time is earned by hard work, proven performance and an occasional hunch. Coaches take a season-long view about each player’s time on the court.

Parents should resist measuring their daughter’s volleyball experience solely by the amount of her playing time. We strive to inject each player with a love for the sport, teaching her to value the opportunity to be strong and confident, whether in practice or a game.

CONCESSION STAND

The Richard Hardy Lady Hawks needs to work the concession stand during the game. Every parent should plan to work. The varsity moms, dads, aunts, uncles, etc. should work during the JV game. The JV families should work during the Varsity game. That way everyone gets to watch their daughters play.

GAME HELP

Two line judges are needed for every home game. Parents need to volunteer two or three times. If everyone does their share, no one should miss watching their girls play. Varsity parents will work during the JV game and JV parents will work during the Varsity game.

We also need a scorekeeper to keep the books. This person would not have to work in concessions or be a line judge because this task is full time. It involves every home game (and all away games if possible).

One other job is to keep the score clock. Again this is for every home game. This person would not have to work in concessions or be a line judge because this task is full time.

FUNDRAISING

All RHMS volleyball players are expected to help raise funds. Volleyball, as with all sports, has expenses. Uniforms are needed, as well as training equipment, game equipment, referee expenses etc. It is a necessary device to get what your daughters need. If enough is raised, you will have no out-of-pocket expenses. That is the goal. Please do all you can to help us reach that goal. The Lady Hawks will also take sponsors for our team. Those sponsors will receive a sign on the gym wall and possibly on our warm-up uniforms (depending on the amount donated).

CLEANING

The bleachers do not clean themselves. Since we will be using the gym daily for practice and a couple times a week for games, it is requested that families of players help us pick up trash and take it out to the dumpster immediately after the games. Many hands make light work.

TRAVEL

Since RHMS has no buses, we travel to and from games in cars. Parents are requested to drive as many players as their vehicle can take, so we have fewer cars in our caravan. Players are to be present for both JV and Varsity matches. No one is to leave after their match is over or arrive after the first match is completed. The appearance must be that we support everyone as a team. It is disheartening to players when they see a large group get up and leave. Plan to stay for all games unless you have cleared it with the coach prior to the day of the game.

WORDS OF WISDOM

"There are appropriate and inappropriate subjects that a parent can discuss with a coach. Appropriate ones are mental and physical treatment of the child, ways to help the child improve and the child's behavior. Inappropriate ones are playing time, strategy and other team members."--Bruce Bowen

"There are four positions on an athletic field: spectator, referee, coach, and player. You get to choose one and only one."--Bruce Bowen

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