Tony Chapman is a senior writer for StrivSports.com with over 20 years of experience covering high school sports, and he recently penned an interesting piece titled In Defense of the Coach - Your Coach that has made its rounds on social media - and for good reason. Its message resonates with a lot of people.
The article starts off talking about the firing of his favorite football coach at his high school, who also happened to be his father, before turning into a passionate plea to parents who make a fuss about their kids not getting a fair shake or blaming the coach / coaches as the reason why their kid quit.
In the piece, Chapman talks issues like what coaches give up, and the real reasons behind why kids should play high school sports and - more importantly - why parents should encourage their kids to play.
"I played sports to be a teammate. That’s it. It’s the single greatest life lesson sports teach at the high school level. It’s the one thing that has carried with me in life. It’s the one thing great teams have is good teammates.
Because, heaven forbid, we actually learn something from sports other than who should get the most playing time. If that’s your deal with youth or high school sports, do your kid and your coach and their teammates a favor: go play somewhere else."
"Are all coaches perfect? Lord no. But, if you think they don’t want the best players on the field — the best chance to win games — you have another thing coming."
"Consider for yourself what coaches give up in order to make your kid a better player, but, more importantly, a better person: time with their spouse, time with their kids (I know many coaches who miss their kids events or show up late, or get two hours of sleep after a road trip so they can coach YOUR KID). And, those, oh so fun 80–100 hour works weeks in season."
Chapman closes up his piece by noting:
"And, for the most part, I’ve never really seen a coach be out of his mind to give a kid a raw deal. I can’t say that I’ve seen the same from parents on the sideline or in the stands. Just last week, in a running clock football game, I witnessed parents asking a coach to call a timeout with 20 seconds left.
As a group, we should knock it off. That doesn’t make anybody better.
So parents, do me a favor. When you think your kid is getting a raw deal, make a choice: ask him or her to keep working hard and be a good teammate, or tell them to quit and do something else.
Most importantly, though, tell the coach you appreciate their hard work for all the student-athletes involved in that sport. Be kind. Be appreciative of the opportunity to participate. I can guarantee which choice, when faced with a tough one, will take them farther when they grow up. It’s just a matter of us helping them get there."