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5 Tips for Pre Season Ground Rules

Is your pre season starting? Every team should set up pre season ground rules.  These serve as ground rules to help the season run smoothly. It’s important to vocalize these rules before the first practice.  Parents and athletes know what to expect and follow. 

pre season ground rules

Regardless of how young the kids are, ground rules should be established on a team. They can help build responsibility among youth players and to know what is expected of them. Skills built outside the actual sport are just as important to a player’s development going forward. 

The ground rules help provide a mutual respect and accountability for coaches, players and parents. 

The 24-Hour Rule

One of the most important ground rules you can set within your team is the 24-hour rule. The 24-hour rule emphasizes how a parent or player should wait one full day before approaching the coach. Usually this happens after an unhappy game or practice. Sometimes parents can be unsatisfied with how their kid is performing. Or how much playing time they are receiving. And even the referee’s which can translate into anger towards the coach. The 24-hour rule should be established to allow parents and players to cool down and prevent them from saying something they will eventually regret to the coach.  

Besides from the 24-hour Rule, there are many other rules you can set at the beginning of your season to help stay organized and run smoothly, Obviously each team and coach is going to run their practice, game, and tournament routines differently, but here are some rules that were always laid out when I was growing up and playing on different youth sports teams. 

  • Punctuality and Promptness: 

      1. Coaches should expect players to show up on time to games, practices, and tournaments. When everyone is together, players should automatically be ready to start warming up.
  • No Profanity: 

      1. Coaches should ALWAYS expect players to never use profanity on the playing field. Either at practice or a game, profanity is unacceptable to use towards your teammates, referees, or even coaches no matter what age you are. 
  • Preparedness: 

      1. Coaches should expect athletes to show up to practice, games, and tournaments with the proper equipment and clothing. Even if you’re showing up to practice, make sure you have the appropriate clothing or pinny color. This will ensure that you are prepared for what you’re doing at practice that day.
  • Coach Does All the Talking

      1. If a player thinks that the official made an unfair call, no matter how bad they thought it was, the coach is the only one who should be talking to the referee.  The coach will handle it to avoid poor sportsmanship, disrespect, or even getting carded. 
  • Communication from Players: 

    1. If you’re going to miss a practice or game, the athlete should directly contact the coach themselves. The parent should not be sending the email, text, or call, the player should tell the coach themselves either in person or over the phone. 

Setting any ground rules at the beginning of your season will help coaches and players avoid certain situations and miscommunication. Any rules that benefit your specific team will be helpful if laid out beforehand. Developing ground rules will help athletes become more independent, organized, and prepared for future teams and commitments. 

About author Sara Puskar

I am currently a Division I Track and Field athlete at Binghamton University in New York. I’m working towards a BA in Political Science (Concentrating in International Affairs) and a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I enjoy creating content for Tik Tok and social media through my internship with our Public Relations Department at college. iSport360 is helping me learn more about social media and marketing while allowing me to create blog posts that surround educating athletes and my personal experiences from youth sport participation, success, and performance. 

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August 2, 2022

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