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Old Tue Aug 25, 2009, 09:03pm
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Somewhat OT--An oath for athletes, parents, and coaches

This writer has been posting this same article every year around this time. Back in the day, I gave this to the parents of all the kids I coached. It is a great message to be reminded of.

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Old Wed Aug 26, 2009, 05:49am
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An interesting list with some gems there. I don't agree with them all, but he makes some good "life points."
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Old Wed Aug 26, 2009, 11:38pm
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Someone posted this on Facebook. I thought it was interesting. The two items I caught:

1. Be a three-sport athlete. I don't know if coaches necessarily like this better. However, I personally was a two-sport athlete for my school. In my senior year, I played in a rec league basketball team while playing my other two sports. When I've coached youth basketball, I always encouraged the kids to play other sports along the way.

2. Coaches Awards winners are more successful in life than MVP's. As a TWO-time Coaches Award winner (once each for my respective sports), I don't know if this is true. I understand conceptually why someone would say this. The Coaches Awards winners are rewarded for "working hard" at practices or other things. The MVP's are coddled and spoiled (in the author's mind). But at my school, our MVP's for most the sports were good people.
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Old Thu Aug 27, 2009, 04:02pm
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Things Change - Lead Follow or Get out of the way

I read the article and believe in some of what he says and I guess I understand where he is coming from. Todays younger parents may not relate to this and his ideals. I had to learn the hard way that as much as I did not want to change some things, for the sake of tradition, I had to change in some ways so as to not sacrifice my values morals and standards, and still be effective in my relationships. There are many items he lists that can be challenged in this day and age because they are just not effective anymore. We must find ways to be effective and can not go back as the way it was back then. The target for me is the parents/coaches. The wanna be parents/coaches that push their kids for what reasons I do not know nor understand. We see them all the time, in the bleachers on the sidelines and what comes out of their mouths is hard to fathom. I get embarrassed for their kids. Some of today college athletes are just spoiled. A current college coach, when I asked him what is it like to coach kids at this level today, is it the same as when we were there 30 years ago? First he laughed then said no way. Most of these kids dont want to work they just want to show up on game day and play. At times they are worse than HS kids. The parents still call him and ask why isn't my son playing or starting. I could not believe that the parents were still involved. This is where the kids can not fight for themselves. He has to be creative in many ways to motivate these kids to play. One is the threat of removing their scholarship and at times that doesnt work cause their parents have enought money to pay for it. Want vs Need. Times are changing and have changed and we just have to get over it and integrate into it without sacrificing your values. Other wise....

Last edited by JPaco54; Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:01am.
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Old Mon Aug 31, 2009, 12:47am
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what's to dissagree with here, honestly?

I personally agree with almost everything in this article, one exception being, "tatoos make you look like a punk," which is really just a meaningless personal opinion.

It's a fact that more High School 3 sport athletes get full rides than athletes who specialize in one sport early. I haven't seen the numbers for 2 sport vs 3 sport athletes. I don't have the statistical reference handy, but I've seen it at iyca.org among other athletic training oriented web sites. The research that has been done is on preadolecents and adolecents, and it's specific to non individual, team based sports.

Coaches who want to keep a kid year-round for their AAU, or other traveling teams will often convince a parent that it's in the kids best interest to play one sport year-round if they want to get a "chip." This simply isn't true. This is either a coach who just doesn't know any better, from an athletic movement development perspective; or the coach just wants to win games. Either way, this coach is placing the child/athletes needs secondary to his own. The fact is, most basketball coaches are not the expert on athletic development, athletic trainers are.

I strongly disagree with this- "If your coach instructs you to cheapshot an opponent, quit the team immediately." I disagree because this coach needs to be called out and disciplined. There's no place in youth, or HS sports for encouraging cheap shots. I'd advise a kid to refuse to do it, and have the guts to report it to a parent at the least, and better yet to a school administrator. Besides, the game can be played aggressively, with speed and power, but without cheap shots and the opponent can feel your presence, if you get my meaning.

It's true that "times" will always change. What's "in," or "now." or currently fashionable with the youth of today has nothing to do with what's right and what's wrong. Morals and ethics and good choices will always transcend superficial ever-changing themes of youth culture. I realize that there are examples of top level coaches who admit they have had to make adjustments in their style over the years. That's inevitable. Dean Smith wrote about it in one of his books. But coaching style is a whole other category from using the games to look for opportunities to teach kids life lessons.

I doesn't matter how much kids change, somone still needs to hold kids accountable when they break rules. Someone still needs to model appropriate behavior. Someone still needs to do what's right because it's the right thing to do. I may change my style as kids change theirs, but this article isn't about style, it's about personal ethics and morals. The day I compromize what I believe in is the day I need to get out of coaching.

I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want my own kid to play for a coach who thought this list of suggestions and observations was unreasonable, or out of date.
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