In Choking/Fears/Slumps and Blocks, Coaching: Good/Bad/Unfair, Problems in Youth Sports

HERE’S THE SCENARIO: A freshman was playing selfishly and because of this, was compromising his team’s success. A senior, team leader called him out on this and told him to stop the selfishness and start passing the ball around because his selfishness had already cost the team a goal.

Remarkably, the coach angrily singled out this senior and told him not to criticize the underclassman. He then sat his team leader for the last 5-10 minutes of the game, yelled at him in front of his teammates at the contest’s conclusion and told him he didn’t want to see him the next day when the rest of the team was watching film. Furthermore, he told his senior captain that he wouldn’t be allowed to play in the next game. The offending selfish freshman received no punishment or constructive feedback!

What is wrong with this picture? Sometimes I just don’t quite understand what goes on in between the ears of some of these coaches! The fact that this was a college coach makes this scenario that much more mind boggling!

What could this individual possibly have had in mind that game that he wanted to teach his players? Perhaps that “I ” is better than “we” and selfishness is now “in” for team sports? Or how about that team captains should keep their mouths shut, mind their own business and do absolutely nothing to shape the behavior of incoming freshmen or anyone else on the squad?

Whatever his intentions, this coach made it very clear that he didn’t give a hoot about teamwork, seniority, experience and/or respecting his team leaders. His “lessons” that day will not only hurt the overall performances of the team, but they will undermine team cohesiveness and insure that his players lose all respect for him as a coach. So why would any coach in their right mind want to teach these kinds of things? Exactly!


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