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

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Things Coaches Wish Parents Knew


Recently, a teacher had her elementary students write "Things I wish my teacher knew" essays. It was heart wrenching some of the answers that were written.

Just today a writer in the local News and Tribune has written an article about what teachers wish parents knew, good stuff, click here to read.

And it really got me to thinking about what coaches wish parents knew. I can say that my perspective as a coach AND a parent has helped in this endeavor.

1. We care about your kids...a lot. We want them to be successful and help our team to be successful. We really do.

2. We have nothing against your kid. Even if they have done something heinous, we don't have an issue with them.

3. We see your kids in a different light. We see them at school interacting with their classmates and their teammates in ways that you don't always get to see.

4. You may not like the role we've given your child, but it is still their role. It's a role that probably all of the assistant coaches have agreed on. We often see our children as better than they really are...coaches are removed from that.

5. We deal with the same issues with our own children. I find myself fighting all of the things I wish parents would not do as a coach.

6. We want to win. We are going to play your child if that helps us win. If it doesn't, we won't. Sometimes they struggle in situations that you want them to thrive in, we keep them from failure by doing so. You can't see that because you are so emotionally connected to the situation.

7. We have watched films, read books, played, coached, and are usually highly qualified to do the job we have. Your watching college basketball games does not equal the same thing. Coaching a team, dealing with individuals and then collectively is a hard art to perfect and in our ever changing world, it gets harder and harder.

8. We will not always sugar coat how we speak with your child. Competition is like life...it's hard. We are trying to toughen them up physically and mentally to help in their competition, but ultimately in dealing with life.

9. Don't come up to us after a loss or even after a win and give us your two cents. After a loss, we are hyper sensitive to criticism and after a win, any critique will not come off well.

10. You have one issue or maybe several issues when it comes to us, we are dealing with multiple players as well as parents, grandparents, girlfriends, school boards, administrators, other students in the building, officials, assistants, camps, travel, scouting, enforcing rules, AND trying to be a good spouse and parent.

11. If you have great ideas about how I should coach, why haven't you coached? Why have you turned down the opportunity when it presented itself to you? But understand even if you have coached, coaching the 5th grade team is nothing like coaching at the varsity level.

12. If you think I'm not putting enough time and effort into coaching the team, it's probably because our spouse thinks we're not putting enough time and effort into our family.

13. Not everything we say makes it into the local paper after a game. And not everything we say is in context of your presupposition.

14. I can guarantee you that we will not hold anything against your child because of something you say or do. We very easily could hold it against you though.

15. We, probably, all want the same things. For your child and the team to be successful.