Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Open Discussion: Coaches

In your mind, what qualifies someone to be a coach? I’m not talking NFL or MLB, just Pee Wee Football and Little League. In my mind, to call yourself a coach is equivalent to calling yourself an instructor. To call yourself an instructor is equivalent to calling yourself a teacher. To call yourself a teacher is equivalent to ensuring the parents who trust you with their children, you know what you are talking about. Right!?! Unfortunately, this is not always true. My little girls have been participating in a gymnastics program this past semester with instructors who are unaware of how to properly teach gymnastics. As a former gymnast and coach, I gave them the benefit of the doubt for many weeks. I thought that maybe my past experience was making me too critical. However, after watching the unsafe spotting for a few more weeks and watching numerous children fall on their faces, I decided to say something. I asked the main teacher if she was aware of her assistants’ spotting techniques and how many kids were getting hurt. She acted as if she was shocked and promised to teach them the proper way to spot. This made me feel a bit better, although I still couldn’t figure out why they let her teach before instructing her on the safe way to spot. So I’ve waited now for another four week and I have seen no improvement. They are still teaching the kids to perform things incorrectly and spotting them unsafely. I probably won’t say anything else to them (I’m not a very confrontational person), but I definitely won’t be signing them back up for next semester.

A friend of mine is about to go through the same experience with her daughter’s soccer team. The coach of the team has openly admitted that he doesn’t know how to play soccer. A coach who doesn’t know a thing about the game he’s teaching???? How does that make any sense? Unfortunately for her, I don’t think you can pick a team when you sign up for a grade school soccer league. Do you think there should be requirements for being a coach? Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!


blueviolet said...

When it comes to a child's safety, then yes, there need to be some requirements!

thegreengirl said...

We're going through the same thing with my son's football coach. All this guy does is chase his grandson around practice, and then for some reason, no matter how unapproachable I try to make myself, talks to me about how attractive he thinks pregnant women are, so beyond creepy! It's frustrating because ours is through the local parks and rec and you know they're hard-up for volunteers, but I really think before they take my money for my kid to play they should have coaches and proper coaches that will teach the sport, what am I paying for?