The following is from a club director of an elite program in the city. Bold emphasis added bt me:
"A quick way to solve the problem of some coaches using their influence to manipulate a kid, is for all parents to simply let the coach know that any communication to their child, should either go through them, or that they be copied in on any correspondence to the player. That would generally eliminate texting as a form of communication between player and coach, since there is no easy way to copy the parent in on the conversation. Any parent that lets their child directly communicate with any adult is a fool no matter who they are, unless it is in a controlled environment like a practice with lots of other players around. A coach should also have this policy. The coach that directly communicates with someone else's child, without a parents direct knowledge of what is being said, is also a fool. The coach could quickly find themselves in a situation that is not comfortable. It would also be wise for a parent to attend things like skills workouts, and other events that might have a coach directly communicating with a player on an individual basis. This way there is never any misunderstandings of what was said, or implied by a coach. A parent should always expect to pay for things like individual skills training and club dues. In fact they should insist on that arrangement if possible, with any coach or organization. This goes for kids just starting out, all the way up to stars of the game. That way it is always a business arrangement, and if things do not work out, both parties can part ways, without anybody owing anyone anything. On the other hand, if a kid becomes a star, a smart coach, or program, does not need to claim they got a kid anything. They just need to ask that parent if they would not mind if they could give out their phone number to any prospective players parents in the future. Nothing like getting new business from satisfied customers. Obviously this is a perfect world scenario, and we all know that individual family situations can sometimes not support this arrangement. Things like paying the rent, and electrical bills sometimes get in the way of paying a coach to teach our kids basketball. That is the challenge of good club teams and youth organizations is to come up with sponsors to help bridge this gap. This will create a level, healthy playing field out there for all kids that want to master the game, without someone else's agenda getting in the way. "