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For the Love of the Game -- Part II: Lost love and the parents' role

The poor coach

Coaching these days, from my perspective and from the many colleagues I've spoken to, is no bag of freshly picked New York State apples. It's become akin to a gauntlet which you start running once you get the job.

Everyone wants to be a coach, and on game day everyone is " from the person who has never played before to the person that had a couple of snaps in high school, played Pop Warner football, little league baseball, town soccer, etc. I hope you get the picture.

As for the coach that gets little pay to do the job, he or she never is smart enough even if they've won for a number of years with, in some cases, little talent. It matters little that coaches are there night in and night out working with the kids encouraging them, teaching them and supporting them. From my observation, they try and do the best job possible every day.

Again, I sit in the stands and hear the coach-bashing. I am sometimes asked what I think of a particular coach's decision to do this or that. I have to laugh because it makes me think about what, no doubt, happened while I was coaching. I don't second guess coaches, at least not in a crowd.

I hear second guessing from the parents of the so-called "star" to the parents of the least-used player on the bench. They are asking why their son or daughter is not getting more playing time. I wonder how these same parents would feel if they heard the negative comments from others " just about the time their kid is finally being sent in, especially in a tight game.

Today, we see some parents dictate to coaches how they should coach their kid. They come right out and ask for playing time, and some will even tell the coach their kid should have the ball more and be able to do almost whatever they want during a game. If the coach ignores them, they will take their case to the school administrators. They will even threaten to change schools and even go as far as changing schools " just for sports.

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