Last night, while doing my nightly scroll through Twitter before my eyelids become too heavy to keep open, an old article from AL.com came to my attention on how the coaching philosophy of Josh Niblett, the head coach at the infamous powerhouse Hoover HS (AL), does not include a single cuss word. That's right, not even one.
Under Niblett, the Hoover program and its coaches, and its players, have no place for foul language, and "all" Niblett has done in his seven years leading the Hoover program is lead the Bucs to four state titles in seven years, including their third in a row in December.
Considering his success at a super-successful program that has been home to fiery vocal head coaches before him, I'm sure you can understand my intrigue in his approach.
"What comes from your mouth comes from your heart," Niblett told Anderson back in 2009. "There are times you've got to get on the kids and get 'em motivated and wake 'em up a little bit and have some intensity in your voice, but I would never, ever cuss a kid. If I have to do that, I'd get out of the profession."
"You don't have to cuss to get your point across. You don't have to cuss to get kids motivated. You don't have to cuss to get kids to know you're serious about what you're talking about. We want to try to build people up, not tear 'em down."
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of high school coaches who run very successful high school programs who couldn't agree more with Niblett's stance, winning games and changing lives without uttering a single swear word. On the other side of the fence, there are probably equally coaches as many who use questionable language on a daily basis to get their message across their high school aged kids. Then, of course, there are many, many coaches who fall somewhere in between only using profanity occasionally.
Each side has a story to tell, and coaches on it with varying degrees of success, which is part of what makes the coaching profession both undeniably great, and seriously puzzling. Below, I've broken it down into the three camps you probably fall in as a coach, so ask take a look and ask yourself, "Where do I stand?" It's also worth asking yourself where your administration stands on the subject as well, before you find yourself in a situation and it's too late.
"I see nothing wrong with using profanity. These are high schoolers we're talking about."
"I use profanity on occasion to get my point across."
"I do not believe in using profanity as a coach at all."