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Club Directors Share Ways to Overcome Parent Challenges

By Sean Jensen, 01/16/18, 12:15PM CST

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Be honest, don't make promises and set clear expectations

As volleyball becomes more and more popular, the scholarships and stakes increase — and parents struggle to cope with the pressures.

In 2008, several parents approached four-time Gold Glove catcher Mike Matheny and asked him to coach a Little League team that included his 10-year-old son. Matheny outlined some “rules,” which eventually became the “Matheny Manifesto,” a candid, seven-page peek into his perspective on parents’ role in youth sports.

“I always said that the only team that I would coach would be a team of orphans, and now here we are,” Matheny, now the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, writes at the beginning. “The reason for me saying this is that I have found the biggest problem with youth sports has been the parents.”

About Sean Jensen

Sean Jensen was born in South Korea, but he was raised in California, Massachusetts and Virginia, mostly on or near military bases. Given his unique background, he's always been drawn to storytelling, a skill he developed at Northwestern University and crafted for the last 16 years, almost exclusively covering the NFL. Sean lives in a Minneapolis suburb with his wife, two children and dog. Read more

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