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Should girl’s sports’ coaches yell?

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Mon 18 Oct, 2010 09:38 am
Recently a local girls’ high school basketball coach was let go for “confrontational and intimidating actions toward players; hostile, loud rants; loud and disrespectful public ridiculing of players; and hostile body language — fist-pumping, chasing players on the court, leaning over players during a time out”.

However, this same coach was wildly successful. His teams won the Greater Boston League title seven times. His players thrived on and off the court. He did a great job keeping his kids on the straight and narrow, and of the approximately 100 kids he coached all but a couple graduated from high school and a lot went to college. With not one complaint from a player or parent.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/10/17/getting_booted_from_the_bench/

So this got me thinking as my own 11 year old daughter plays basketball. I’ve watched other teams against her team and many coaches do yell and they do similar as above. I’ve always thought, I’m glad my daughter isn’t on that team. And you know what; those teams are all significantly better than my daughter’s team. Now granted at 11, I don’t know if I’d want them yelling at her, but on the other hand would this “toughen” her up? I’ve asked if she would prefer to be on a more competitive team – her answer – “yes”.

So what do you think – does this yelling work? Is it bad for the kids? Or is it actually helping? In every case, I’ve heard, the kids actually respect and love their coaches. It is at least making re-think how I look at competitive sports for kids.
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Oct, 2010 09:42 am
@Linkat,
On one hand, I can see how difficult it is to have another adult openly chastise one's offspring (whether the criticism is fairly or unfairly given) but in order to get rid of the girls as the indefinite weaker sex image in our culture shouldn't at least the constructive criticism part of the coaches angry confrontations with his team's players be encouraged?

Discipline in competitive sports is a must. If the child (boy or girl) is playing sports just for sheer enjoyment and exercise then why not intramural level of the sport?
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Oct, 2010 01:46 pm
@Linkat,
Interesting question, Linkat.

One thing I'm not sure of from the article -- he had a regular job as a probation officer so was he a volunteer coach for the school or was he being paid by the school?

I think he's going to have a great opportunity to be a private coach.

I never played organized youth sports so I'm still trying to understand the relationship between player and coach. I hated Mo's baseball coach last year but Mo loved being on that team.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 Oct, 2010 02:04 pm
@boomerang,
He was a paid coach. That is his concern - will he be able to get another coaching job.

I'm kind of with you - I was involved in sports - gymnatics and then some intermurel sports - nothing competitive.

I would hate to have a coach be yelling at my child, but now seeing more competitive teams that my daughter is playing against, I see another side. Many kids respond well with this - I think it may be with the more competitive child. They want to do better.

My daughter's current coach does yell a bit at them in a sense - she will yell toward them during a game instructing them - she will point out their mistakes. She is not as much of a yeller/anger type of coach as I have seen. Her team also for lack of a better term - stinks - well not really, but compared to the very competitive teams. They are not as aggressive and you can tell the difference.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Oct, 2010 02:09 pm
@Linkat,
He was really teaching those girls to be mothers... If they do not throw the fear of God into them young they are on their way to prison or hell... You cannot respect them as equals... They are too stupid to learn except out of respect but smart enough to test their limits and if there are none, to become damned little tyrants... The guy was doing a public service apart from winning...
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Oct, 2010 02:58 pm
@Linkat,
Yelling coaches certainly have passion and I suppose that's a plus. The thing about yellers is that they have to yell at everyone for it to work. If they are yelling at just a few players, then you are going to have a problem. If they yell at everyone, then everyone knows it's not personal. Still, I think there are better models out there for coaches.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Oct, 2010 03:09 pm
I don't like yelling coaches!! We used to have "father" coaches when my daughter was in elementary school, and some were just down right nasty. A few girls quit
when it got too rough for them and a few were in tears after every practice.

That's so unnecessary and I always stressed that the team spirit is more important than winning.

sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Oct, 2010 03:43 pm
@Linkat,
I think the type of yelling matters to me.

Sozlet's soccer coach last year SUCKED BALLS. Really bad coach. He yelled and yelled and yelled but it was completely arbitrary and ineffectual. He just got everyone upset (while the team did terribly).

I've seen coaches who are both yelly and focused, though -- they know how to use the yelling and emotion to get through to the kids, and it works, and the kids are fine with it.

This year's soccer coaches are WAY better. (Her first year ever she had a dream coach, such a great guy, not a yeller at all, second year was OK but not great, third year was plain sucky.) The one that she had her second year is back this year but he has good ballast -- a really positive cheerleader type who is great with conditioning and morale while the other guy provides more technical instruction.

So, recently we played a game against a really competitive team. Super-serious, super-yelly coaches. (I couldn't hear enough to know what kind of yelly they were, just saw 'em pacing around bellowing.) Our team was short-handed -- there are 9 positions on the field (at this level) and we had 8 girls. Their team had 16 girls. Our coach went over, hey could we borrow one or two girls to make it more even? (Some of the girls on that team had played with our girls before.) Their coach was like "as if."

Eventually one more of our girls showed up, so we had the full nine, but no alternates, so everyone had to stay in the whole entire game, no breaks.

This was a super-hot day by the way. 87 and blazing sun.

So our girls were running around nonstop for an hour with our pleasant low-key coaches, vs. their well-rested girls with the aggressive yelly clipboard-brandishing coaches -- and we won 5-1! Boo-ya. (Glad, in retrospect, that the other team didn't lend us anyone so it was a nice clean win.)
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Oct, 2010 03:45 pm
Doesn't this depend on the kid? I want to think that the gender shouldn't matter.

My oldest son played Babe Ruth baseball in a very competitive league. He had to tryout to get on the team. Most kids didn't make it. The expectations were high and if my son didn't work hard enough, or perform at a high enough level, he was chewed out quite aggressively.

My son valued this, as did many of the kids. The key was that he was there by his own choice.

This would not have been very good for my younger son. He didn't have any desire to do this.

This type of experience is valuable for some kids. I think it should be available to boys or girls who want it. I would probably provide an alternative and then let my daughter choose, although at eleven I might step in if I thought she was making a bad decision.

Pemerson
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Oct, 2010 03:47 pm
@CalamityJane,
Oh, this is the very best sort of coach - that is, if he/she has a good sense of humor. And, hopefully, he knows to treat each player not-the-same. He/she is a genius if the coach knows when to push, back off, push again.

My sister was an athlete par exellence, and the coach could push her pretty hard, but he didn't treat the rest of the team the same way. Push her, the rest follow. You can't believe what a coach of this caliber can do for a team. A weaker player won't be on this coach's team. It's like they come charging and everyone moves out of the way.

Personally, I never interferred with my kids' coaches and neither did my husband. He was an even better athlete than my sister. He's in his 40s now and just last week beat over 4,000 (48 teams) racing bikes up and down mountains in Idaho, riding all night 'til noon the next day. His team came in 2nd.

I never liked team sports, preferring tennis, horseback riding. No coach would have yelled at me. My life was different.
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Oct, 2010 03:50 pm
What's the difference between girls' sports' coaches and boys' sports' coaches?
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Oct, 2010 03:53 pm
@fbaezer,
Somewhere in that question is a really bad antiPC/offensive punchline.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 Oct, 2010 03:54 pm
@fbaezer,
That's a good point. (Max alluded to it too.)

I had a yelly track coach, he was one of the good yellers I think. There was a certain macho/ tough vibe that we had (the whole team) that served us well. We were intimidating.

As a totally different thing, while I'm happy that in general female athletes are given more room to be tough and strong these days, I worry about how that translates to "shake it off" when it comes to injuries, and implications thereof. That goes for both males and females. So much of the scary stuff I've read about concussions and other injuries (knees, etc.) is about shaking off pain and going back in the game before they're physically ready for it.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 Oct, 2010 04:45 pm
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:
Should girl’s sports’ coaches yell?

I think sports coaches, for girls and for boys, should only yell to the extent that's absolutely necessary to ensure audibility. Beyond that, on and off the field, yelling is for insecure losers who can't channel their aggressive energies in constructive ways.

Linkat wrote:
Recently a local girls’ high school basketball coach was let go for “confrontational and intimidating actions toward players; hostile, loud rants; loud and disrespectful public ridiculing of players; and hostile body language — fist-pumping, chasing players on the court, leaning over players during a time out”.

Based on that description, I would have kicked him out myself. For goodness' sake, it's a sport. Let's not make a war out of it. Sports are for making and keeping young people fit, for endowing them with self-confidence, and for teaching them to play in a team (if it's a team sport). I find it quite off-putting that some schools in America---coaches, teams, fans, you name it---are piling on top of that this whole level of bigotry, meanness, and general combat mentality. Do we really want to raise our kids to be schoolyard bullies?
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 Oct, 2010 05:18 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
Beyond that, on and off the field, yelling is for insecure losers who can't channel their aggressive energies in constructive ways.


I think I disagree you here Thomas. The word "loser" has a quantitative meaning in competitive sports. A lot of the yellers are winners.

There is a place for hyper-competitive sports. My oldest son needed it and thrived with it. It is not for everyone, but it is very good for some kids. I guess I am saying that yelling is part of competitive sports. Maybe this isn't necessarily true, but competitive sports are by definition high pressure affairs where winning is of utmost importance.

For boys and girls alike who benefit from this type of environment, it would be a shame to ban it. Sure there are coaches who cross the line and shouldn't be permitted under any circumstances. But being tough and hard on under performance is essential in very competitive teams and yelling is often an appropriate part of this.



maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Mon 18 Oct, 2010 05:20 pm
@sozobe,
Quote:
As a totally different thing, while I'm happy that in general female athletes are given more room to be tough and strong these days, I worry about how that translates to "shake it off" when it comes to injuries, and implications thereof. That goes for both males and females. So much of the scary stuff I've read about concussions and other injuries (knees, etc.) is about shaking off pain and going back in the game before they're physically ready for it.


This is an important subpoint.

Several years back I remember a number of deaths on high school football teams because coaches were withholding water from players in practice.

There is tough, and then there is criminally insane.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Oct, 2010 05:24 pm
Then there was coach Wooden.
http://www.magazine.ucla.edu/features/coach/index1.html
There was a loved man.
A little off topic, as he didn't coach children, but interesting.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Oct, 2010 05:44 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Quote:
Beyond that, on and off the field, yelling is for insecure losers who can't channel their aggressive energies in constructive ways.


I think I disagree you here Thomas. The word "loser" has a quantitative meaning in competitive sports. A lot of the yellers are winners.

They may well be winners in the narrow sense that their teams win ballgames. But I don't consider them winners in the broader sense of what those ballgames teach students for life. Remember teaching students for life? It's what schools are supposed to be all about.

And by that benchmark, coaches like the one in Linkat's story are indeed losers. Once you're 25, nobody cares if your softball team won or lost against your rival school across the river. What will count is that you're healthy and happy, that you can set goals for yourself and reach them, and that your personality reflects the energy and self-confidence that comes with those achievements. Coaches obstruct all these goals when they intimidate you, disrespect you, and hemorrhage hostile rants about you. And for what? For petty things like bragging rights when they have an after-work beer with the other coaches. Responsible people who teach students for life don't do that. Losers do.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Oct, 2010 05:51 pm
@Thomas,
I definitely agree with Thomas. I got my daughter into team sports so she
learns how to be part of a TEAM. I think it is important for kids to learn how
to work together and help each other to reach a common goal. A coach is there
to guide the kids, not to yell at them and to discourage and belittle them,
especially when we're talking elementary school level. My daughter stopped
playing soccer and volleyball mainly because of the coaches she's had.
Sure, there were some years where the coach was excellent, but on average -
most of them were terrible in pedagogics.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 Oct, 2010 05:52 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas,

From the first post in this thread is this paragraph.

Quote:

However, this same coach was wildly successful. His teams won the Greater Boston League title seven times. His players thrived on and off the court. He did a great job keeping his kids on the straight and narrow, and of the approximately 100 kids he coached all but a couple graduated from high school and a lot went to college. With not one complaint from a player or parent.


This is the same coach who was described as “confrontational and intimidating actions toward players; hostile, loud rants; loud and disrespectful public ridiculing of players; and hostile body language — fist-pumping, chasing players on the court, leaning over players during a time out”.

My point is that different kids thrive in different environments. Some kids, my oldest son included, reacted very well to being yelled at by a coach he respected. It made him play better and it taught him about teamwork and excellence and effort.

Some coaches who yell and intimidate not only win games but earn the respect and gratitude of the kids in their programs for lessons that will help them in life.

It depends on the kid. My advice is to let the kids, especially teenagers, decide for themselves if they like this type of program or not.

 

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