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Coach-player dynamics need work

A recent coaching conflict has caused the community to look for ways to mend relationships on and off the field

Cartoon by Korine Brady

In light of the recent removal of varsity lacrosse coach Stan Granger last month, I have been left wondering if there is a way to prevent the lack of common vision between coaches, parents, and players regarding coach-player interactions. In general, each coach has a different style which they should be able to use, as long as certain obvious boundaries are not crossed. Regardless, there are problems present at Holt which athletes and parents tend to blame on poor coaching that could be fixed by new policies. One main issue that needs to be monitored is favoritism on sports teams. I have mentioned favoritism to a number of athletes and many agree that it is present in their sport. I personally have seen or heard of many instances of athletes who don’t show up to practice, yet who start over other athletes who are present every time. Obviously, stronger athletes are usually given certain privileges due to their talents, but damaging forms of favoritism can be minimized with some basic attendance policies that apply to all sports. This avoids a culture where coaches create their own rules about attendance, which can be adjusted to work around athletes and allow for favoritism.

A general policy shedding light on favoritism that does occur could be a step in the right direction. If these stronger policies were implemented, they would give parents a peace of mind that their athletes are being treated fairly. This would hopefully eliminate some of the animosity about player participation in athletic events that is present between athletes, coaches and parents. As long as the issue of favoritism is addressed and coach are not abusive to players, a coach should otherwise be able to coach how they choose. Coaching takes up a lot of time, on top of the daily job that many coaches have. If a person is taking time out of their day to coach a sports team, they most likely have the team’s best interest at heart. Because of this, no matter what style a coach may choose to use, it is almost always designed to fit the style they believe their athletes respond best to. If this style doesn’t work with a particular athlete, it is the athlete’s job, not the parent’s, to talk to the coach about what is upsetting them and what style of coaching they respond better to. I have seen many athletes quit a team due to coaching, but I have rarely heard of one of those athletes reaching out to better the situation before deciding to quit. I have experience dealing with difficult coaching, and I know it makes it hard to enjoy the sport. However, learning to deal with people who you don’t mesh with is a part of life. I don’t think it is fair to kick out a coach because they push the players to be better, especially because there are usually a variety of factors that go into how they treat the athletes. Overall, coaches should be able to coach how they choose. A basic attendance policy that applies to all sports may help to fix the issue of favoritism on sports teams. Lastly, more communication between coaches and athletes, rather than coaches and parents, before taking drastic measures will inspire better relationships and make sports more enjoyable for everyone involved.


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