I send every new communication via parental email. That doesn't guarantee communication but it avoids miscommunication. If there are more serious issues (this is rare), information gets communicated directly to the player with a parent present. Older players can get group email or text distribution.
I've considered having a team website but don't choose to do so.
Carl Pierson, in his excellent book, The Politics of Coaching, discusses the importance of having another adult present when counseling and correcting players. There is no reason to be ensnared in "he said, she said" situations. I welcome parents at practice to promote additional transparency.
How do we 'select' players? After tryouts, we rank every player from top to bottom and transmit the list to the recreation department. They send 'selectees' an offer to participate and non-selectees information about alternates and alternative teams (e.g. YMCA and the Recreation Department league). Parents 'confirm' by paying a deposit toward fees. If a player declines acceptance, the next on the alternate list is extended an offer. There is no great way to tell a youngster they haven't made the team.
Players and families receive the program philosophy, priorities, and playbook. I distribute this by email. The playbook contains general information, defenses, offenses, press breaks, and commonly used specialty plays (e.g. BOBs and SLOBs).
Here is the first page:
“Good artists borrow, great artists steal.” - Picasso
My goal is to create an environment where players learn basketball principles, individual skills, and team concepts. Because basketball is 80 percent MENTAL, players who grasp and execute concepts have a major advantage. This online playbook comes many sources, including professional and major college basketball teams.
Priorities for players are:
Winning is great and I’m a competitive person, but winning is NOT the top priority. I want players to love the game, learn the game, and share their knowledge to become teachers of the game. My ego isn’t tied to little kids winning or losing. Seeing players grow in athleticism and skill, emotionally, psychologically, and (TEAM) spiritually is what counts. You play for your teammates, not your family, coaches, school, or community. TEAM comes first.
Words like commitment, discipline, and sacrifice have meaning off the court. High character players with these values will succeed OFF the court.
My emphasis is: (to do your job you must know your job)
- Explicit instruction/attention to detail
- Expectations (high) of effective process
- Execution with constant challenge to improve (‘Kaizen’)