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7 Common misconceptions about coaches

As the daughter of a long time high school coach and the wife of a college coach, over the years I have learned that there are many misconceptions about the coaching profession and coaches themselves. Some are funny, some are frustrating.

Common misconceptions about coaches...

  • He/She simply shows up on game day This usually comes after a coach’s family says they can’t attend a social event because of practice or game travel. I’m certain that it’s hard for those not familiar with the football world to know just much time coaches spend beyond just games. 
  • She/He’s “just a coach” Coaches wear SO many different hats. They sometimes act as a parent figure, emotional support system, counselor, academic advisor...the list goes on. 
  • They make a ton of money Most, emphasis on most, high school coaches make less than $3 per hour once you do the math on time spent and the coaching check received. Which is exactly why it’s pretty much a promise that high school coaches take on that role because they love the game and they have the chance to positively impact the lives of young people.  At the college level, the math of salary by hours worked would be shocking to some. A lot of coaches have many years of small paychecks. This is always something that surprises non-athletically informed friends.
  • What’s his real job? First of all this implies that coaching is not a real job and ignores the amount of time spent (see number 1) Secondly, at the college level, football is a “real job”. 
  • It must just be easy and fun all the time  It is long hours and frustration after bad practices. For some it’s moving constantly and always being prepared for having to pack boxes and move again. And it’s knowing that no matter how much you support a player, you can’t always change their home life. 
  • The “dumb jock” stereotype  We’ve all seen it, especially in movies where the football coach is also a “lazy gym teacher” and not very intelligent. This is probably one of the most infuriating misconceptions about coaches. MANY have masters degrees, some have earned terminal degrees. They care about their players and communities. 
  • That they want their athletes to only play football They want their players to be ATHLETES not just football players. Different sports develop different skills.

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