Monday, January 20, 2014

A Letter to the Opposing Coach


Dear Coach on the Opposing Team,

This past Saturday I spent part of my morning watching my girls play basketball. Both Sassy and Little Red had games at the same time. Since they were on courts next to each other, I was able to choose a seat midway between the two so I could watch both. It's always exciting to watch my girls play, but the game on Sassy's court captured my interest. Sadly it had nothing to do with the children on the court, and it had everything to do with your behavior.

I heard you before I saw you. I heard you yelling, and not a "cheer for your team" yell. I looked over to see you towering over your team screaming at them to not let our team score and that they better get the ball. The way you were yelling at them reminded me of how a drill sergeant yells at a recruit.

And I was confused. Here's why: These are 5 and 6 year old CHILDREN. This is the youngest age group in the league. They don't even keep score at this age group.

I would like to suggest something. Please step back and evaluate why you are coaching.

If it's to inspire children and to instill in them a love for basketball, I'm going to guess that you're probably not succeeding. After each game, I ask Sassy if she had fun. Her answer after this weekend's game, "Yes, but that coach yelled a lot." She also said she wouldn't want to play if her coach yelled at her all the time. You see, at 5 and 6 years old, sports is supposed to be about learning the basics and having fun. That's why they don't keep score. It's not fun if you have an adult screaming at you while you're playing. I didn't see many smiles on the faces of the children on your team while they were playing.

You seem to have a lot of knowledge about the game of basketball. You're probably a former player. I commend you for wanting to share your expertise with the next generation of ball players. I just ask that you reconsider the approach you're using. Make it fun. Cheer FOR them instead of yelling AT them. I bet you'll see a lot more smiles while your team plays.

Sincerely,
A Pee Dee Mama
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