Coaches, Coach -- Players, Play

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Ask area high school athletic directors how often they handle issues with parents who aren’t happy with their child’s coach, and many will provide the same answer: Every day.

Parental pressure on coaches has never been greater. League by league, school-by-school and team-by-team, it’s an issue for thousands of coaches and administrators from the junior-high to varsity levels. Coaches are asked to not only win games but to keep everyone satisfied with playing time and their role on the team. It’s a delicate balancing act in a coaching climate that’s different than decades ago.

I mean when did it become ok for moms and dads to rant and rave in the stands and feel entitled to text, email and call up their child’s coaches about anything that rubs them wrong?

My cousin played eight years in the National Football League and then spent three seasons as a Player Development Coach for the Baltimore Ravens before deciding to return home and coach at his former high school. I’m surprised that despite his proven success in the game, how often parents (even those who don’t know much about football) still question his coaching.

My cousin made it to the NFL without his parents ever intervening. His dad, Michael, says that he never once questioned a coach (good or bad) during my cousin’s entire youth football career. Michael also coached football himself and said that he used to have to ask kids to track down their parents, if he ever needed them, because they were nowhere to be found.

We definitely don’t have that problem anymore in sports. These days too many parents make their presence known, in a negative way. It affects our children’s sports experience and their overall love and passion for the game.

If you don’t really know the ins and outs of the sport, perhaps you should refrain from questioning the coach about his team strategy. Youth and development coaches certainly aren’t raking in the dough, so they aren’t coaching your kid for the money. Coaches are passionate about their sport and want to teach this next generation to play a game that they love.

I played sports at a high level and I have also coached, so I get the intensity of it all, but there are certain things I don’t think any parent should ask their kid’s coaches.

If you ask me, I think it’s time we give the game back to the kids; let athletes be athletes and coaches be coaches.

Megan Huston is the sports editor at The Meteor. She can be reached at 936-348-3505 or sports@madisonvillemeteor.com.

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