hey coaches…we’re all teachers, too so let’s start teaching life lessons…let me know what you think about this

1 Response to “hey coaches…we’re all teachers, too so let’s start teaching life lessons…let me know what you think about this”

  1. December 11, 2009 at 2:35 PM

    You loyal followers of this blog will remember my rants about Elizabeth Lambert, who absolutely disgraced herself during a college soccer game. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go look up the video about her.

    Anyway, how far do coaches allow their players to go before their temper and actions dictate that they need to be removed from a game?

    What goes on in the playing career of a young athlete that leads to this kind of behavior? It’s hard to make generalizations or assumptions, but there are certain things that I can’t help but believe are prevalent when observing this type of scenario.

    It’s probably fair to say that an outburst like this is rarely an isolated incident and that this has likely been a common behavioral pattern for quite some time, perhaps even starting from her early youth soccer years. Maybe not to the extreme as we’ve seen in the news reports on the incident, but my guess is that something has always been there. I wonder what went on in her early sports experiences that erupted during this particular game?

    In any event, we as youth coaches are needed to teach life skills more than focusing on winning and results.

    I have personally seen far too many youth coaches who lack the courage to pull a talented athlete from the field for poor sportsmanship or a bad attitude. They keep them out there because they want to win the game or fear backlash from the player or parents. This simply allows these young athletes to believe that they are indispensable to the team, and, therefore, they learn that they can do whatever they want regardless of who gets hurt.

    Often very talented young athletes have tempers that flare because of their competitive nature. While that is more than understandable, the real problems occur when they aren’t taught how to direct this competitive aggression into just playing harder. Kids need to learn how to accept the losses and frustrations with grace and dignity otherwise they’ll miss out on becoming the very best they can be.

    To draw a parallel, most good parents use hard situations to teach and prepare their children for things that occur later in their lives. While it can be difficult to discipline or give out the consequences, it is always for their benefit.

    It’s time to show some backbone, coaches. It’s not easy, but we need to look past the immediate reaction of a win or a loss and start focusing on the long-term benefit and learning experiences for everyone.

    I know it never happens in your town, but I’m sure you know of a kid or two who throws a tantrum and embarrasses himself and his family and his team, only to be coddled by a cowardly coach who is afraid to do what we all know is right.

    It happens all the time, just not in your town so let me know about instances “in other towns”. Let me know what happened, what was done to the player and what SHOULD have been done to the player. We can all learn from this.

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