As a volunteer coach, or a paid instructor, the last thing you want is to be caught in the middle between two feuding parents.

When parents are still together, this is usually kept in check, but when they cross over to separation and divorce, restraint is often lost.

Like schools and teachers, coaches and instructors, by the nature of their role with the children, are vulnerable to being caught in the middle.

If Sally/Johnny really likes playing hockey/piano, but that isn't supported by one parent, problems can ensue.  As a coach or instructor, you're primarily concerned about the child; what's best for them and what he or she wants.  Most parents have the same concern, but some aren't able to maintain a similar objectivity.

Example:  Chris plays hockey, but only one parent wants Chris to play hockey and Chris only goes when with that parent.  Chris' team gets sponsored by a local company and are given seasons tickets.  Each kid gets to go to 2 games and Chris arranges to go to games when with the parent that supports hockey.  Chris' team is also given tickets for one game and the entire team is going to go.  Of course, Chris wants to go to, but on the evening that the tickets are for, Chris is with the parent who doesn't support hockey.  The parent that supports Chris' participation in hockey tries to find out if Chris will be allowed to go to the game, but isn't getting a response.  As a coach, concerned about what's best for Chris and what Chris wants, might be inclined to phone the other parent and speak on Chris' behalf, but that could lead to a lot of problems.  As a coach, you're stuck.

A co-parenting coordinator can ensure that situations like this don't occur.  Parents will have to negotiate their children's extra curricular activities and decide in advance how everything will work.  If something unexpected comes up, then the co-parenting coordinator can ensure that the matter is dealt with and resolved.  In the example above, you'll find out well in advance whether Chris will need a ticket or if you can give it to an extra coach or parent that wants to go with the team.

What can you do as a coach or instructor?

You'll usually discover very quickly whether there is dissention between parents about a child's participation in an activity.  If there is, ensure that the parents know about co-parenting coordination.