Alright parents and administrators listen up: you are killing high school sports. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you are the reason for the lack of good coaches. You are the reason for kids getting frustrated. You are the reason it’s just no damn fun anymore.

I promise you that well over 95% of coaches at the high school level legitimately love the sport they are coaching, they want to help your kid get better, and they want to win. You know what they get in return? Virtually nothing but headaches. You get kids who don’t work hard, parents who DEMAND meetings about playing time, and administrators who refuse to stand behind their coaches because they are weak and spineless.

Administrators: YOUR JOB IS NOT THAT HARD. You want to make sure your department runs smoothly? Here’s all you have to do: 1. Have your coaches backs 2. Set clear expectations with parents 3. Schedule buses/officials AS LONG AS YOU DO 1-3 CORRECTLY THERE IS NO STEP 4. There is nothing worse than having parents make demands and having your administrators give in to it.

Parents: On some level, I get it. You want what’s best for your kid. But here’s the thing: so do we. You might think we’re terrible coaches because your kid isn’t playing a lot or because you don’t agree with the offense we run or you think we should press more or whatever the case may be, but the worst possible thing you can do as a parent is undermine coaches in front of your kids. It hurts them because they will no longer be coachable. Uncoachable kids become unemployable adults just FYI.

One thing about playing time: Do you understand how badly us coaches want to win? I can promise you that no coach has ever withheld playing time because they “don’t like” your kid. Your kid isn’t playing a lot because they don’t give the team the best chance to win. Sorry. I hate it for ya. But that’s the honest to goodness truth. Oftentimes, the player understands this wayyyyyy more than their parents do.

Also, we WISH your kid was good enough to play! We are trying really hard to get their game to that level because you know what really sucks as a coach? When you have a great kid who does everything you ask of them in practice, is never late, etc and he just can’t hack it on the court. It’s heart wrenching. You want so badly to give the kid minutes, but you can’t win with them on the floor. That’s the stuff that keeps coaches up at night.

Another thing you might not fully understand: The ONLY reason we are doing this is because we love it. I’ve coached basketball at the Varsity level for 3 years. You want to know how much I got paid for those 3 years combined? ZERO. I volunteered because I love basketball and I love helping kids get better both on and off the court. Am I the best coach out there? Maybe not, but I watched a lot of film, went to conferences and put in a lot of time and effort in to making sure I was getting better every day because the kids I was working with deserved it.

Oh and one more thing: there are VERY few coaches out there that are capable of effectively coaching a team that their kid plays on at the high school level for a multitude of reasons. For example: you probably don’t know nearly as much as you think you do, you probably aren’t willing to put in as much work as is required to be a good coach and it is incredibly hard to not play favorites. My Uncle John was able to do it with his two sons. My dad was able to make it work but those are the exceptions, not the rule.

I am so sick of watching good people and good coaches get railroaded at my alma mater. It seems like anyone who tried to do anything good for the Athletics Department gets nothing but grief. Why? Because the parents have become toxic and the administration is completely spineless. Something’s gotta give, and it had better be the administration because if this trend continues there isn’t a coach worth a damn that will EVER accept a job there.

–Prent

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