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29 years coaching experience/ 7 years as a varsity boys' basketball coach, now assisting

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Come on Coach!


The best coaches, the ones who are coaching for the right reasons are plentiful.  However, there are some that are the worst of the worst.  I am not talking about them. So other than them, at worst, a coach is a narcissistic, selfish, jerk who wants to win at any costs, doesn't care about the players, and is willing to put student-athletes in the worst positions possible on and off the court.  (Ok, so maybe there are some that are the worst of the worst.)  Yet, they still spend considerable time away from their families and can actually teach your child a lot about life (I believe people teach you either what to do or what NOT to do).

The best coaches are selfless...period.  They do everything for the benefit of the student athletes in both preparation for their sport and life.  Most coaches lie somewhere in between these two, I believe.  Meaning that most coaches are doing what needs to be done, win, yet trying to build the character of their players.  All the while spending many hours away from their families.

I have seen coaches be attacked for many things both online and in person.  What I find hard to comprehend is that many parents do not want their child treated harshly by a coach who is, in effect, a father/mother figure.  They are quick to criticize the coach for doing so, yet they are not above speaking harshly about the coach in front of their children.  Both their children who play for the coach, but the coaches actual children, too.  What is really strange, is that these same parents (guilty as charged) will not always speak so well to their own child in public, but that's another article.

But let me spell this out.  A parent who is angry at a coach for speaking harshly at their child, finds that it is okay to speak harshly about the coach in front of the coaches children.  Which of these two things is worse?  The soon to be adult child being confronted is way less worse.  Soon, very soon, that child will be put in a tough situation, it is called the "real world", and mom and dad won't be there to fix every "accident".

Yelling harshly at a coach in front of his children, can put psychological trauma on little children who are a long way from the "real world", and in fact, don't need to be anywhere close to that yet.  Why do that?  Emotion.  We love our children.  We want what is best for them.  We want them to have all the opportunities to be successful.  What I have learned, for me and my family, is that consoling for unnecessary issues, babying, coddling, attacking their coaches at home, and spoiling my child is not what is best for them, and not always providing the opportunities to be successful in their adult lives.  And in fact, by not doing these things (don't get me wrong, I am not a cold, harsh father. I love my children more than life itself and that is why I do this.  I won't be around forever to fix their issues) I am showing a different kind of love.  Maybe even a better type?

It's a tough thing to be a parent and to raise children.  It is the toughest thing I have ever done.  I find it hard to know where that line is to being the loving dad who they know they can run to and hide in my arms, and that dad who has to teach them to be tough.  Because being tough is important in the world.  It is a world that usually could care less if they are successful and there are even some out there who will be glad if they fail.