With this upcoming basketball season, this can serve as a reminder for parents to take a deep breath and let their child(s) coaches coach.
On behalf of my coaching peers, let’s make one thing clear. The people like myself and other coaches who put in their time to coach, do so for a few reasons. One being they love the sport. We have been a part of the game over the course of our lives and have grown a passion for it. We want to expand our knowledge and love for the game to those younger than us. Give kids an experience so they can find that same passion and love that we carry.
The second reason is we love kids. Working with young people is one of the most rewarding experiences a person can encounter. Those kids who are eager and willing to get better and be part of the team and would do anything to win. Those are the types of kids we love to work with. They are the reason.
If anybody thinks we go into coaching for the money, you are lost. Outside of professional coaches and top college coaches, we don’t make a living off of any of it. Coaching isn’t easy. It has its ups and downs, for sure. Dealing with multiple personalities, scoping out different talent levels, different attention spans, and in some cases, we are a parent to some of the young ones we work with.
For example, parents. Imagine those tough mornings or evenings you have with your children. Multiply that by 25. Just getting them to focus on one simple task, how difficult that can be at times. Keep your eye on the ball, stay low on defense, or keep your glove down. That same kid you cannot get to put socks on, clean his/her room, eat his/her vegetables, etc. That same kid is working in front of all of his/her friends for a coach who isn’t making a dime. That same coach is working his/her butt off to get the team to perform the simplest tasks to the highest efficiency possible.
I see issues with parents pop up in every sport, every school, you name it. It is the worst during basketball season.
The matter of how someone coaches should not be any of your business. Our philosophy is our philosophy. We cannot put a kid at step B when they cannot complete step A, for example. When we are coaching, we are essentially teaching, you must expect frustration.
All coaches grow frustrated from time to time. However, most good coaches will always prohibit poor effort, lack of enthusiasm, and the most annoying of them all, unwillingness to listen. I myself don’t criticize for things that are out of a students control, that stuff happens. However, not showing you care, lack of effort, etc. That stuff drives every coach up a wall.
My intended message throughout this week’s column was to help serve parents a reminder that we are doing our very best to build your child up. Let your kids fail and let them experience losing. The “pounce and protect” method many parents are taking on has turned many young adults to lean towards an ill-advised culture. Let your kids be coached hard. That’s how leaders are made and developed. More importantly, you cannot take your child’s side in everything that happens in their athletics. Don’t badmouth your coach in front of them. Taking your kids’ side in everything just keeps them immature. The coach is an authority figure, respect that.
My favorite one, when you are in the stands, you are a cheerleader and that is all. I cannot tell you enough times how annoying it is when I am attending a game and hear a parent yelling at their child or criticizing the coach. Worse yet, when I am coaching, it is not something I enjoy hearing. You put the burden on your child, which is completely unfair to them, and you look quite ridiculous.
Lastly, if you have no experience in the sport your child is playing, don’t try and coach them from the stands. Teach them at home. Teach them about the importance of sportsmanship, hustle, and being a great teammate. We can take care of the rest.
Parents, thank a coach. We are molding the foundation of our country’s future, not just in sports, but in life. We are attempting to win, but more importantly, we want to shape these young men and women into adults of great character.