May 6, 2008
Are Coaches being Glorified Part III by John DeBenedictis
Who else can be blamed for kids quitting sports based on the top two reasons but the coach?
If the coach cannot make playing a sport interesting or fun, than he/she has failed as a coach in being the leader and role model that he or she needs to be. The coach has failed in the player’s eyes and parents also consider the coach a failure. Championships are not what parents care about. Players want to have fun first and foremost. If this is not achieved, the coach has been a poor role model.
The issue of kids quitting sports is huge especially when we are fighting for kids to get active and healthy. Drop out rate hovers above 75% in boys and at 65% in girls by age 12.
Learning skills, tactics and strategies does play a role in keeping players interested and coaches need to understand that learning is important but winning is not. Take a good look at the spectators at a youth sporting event. Most are parents and they are not there to watch the team. They are there for one reason and one reason only. They are there to watch their children and in reality, that’s all they care about. Do they prefer to see their team win the championship at the expense of their son or daughter playing? No way, because parents would rather see their kids play a fair share of the game and risk losing the championship rather than sit out. A victory would be more rewarding if the child played in the game rather than be embarrassed in front of his or her peers for not playing. Parents couldn’t really care less if the team won or lost if it was at the expense of their child not playing. I watched a nine-year old boy cry so hard that he created a crowd after his house league coach barely played him in a playoff game. I also witnessed a coach of a select team act like a monkey on the sidelines and get thrown out of a game.
Check by next week for the final chapter of this great article on Coaches.