After reading a story of a successful basketball coach who cited parental interference as one of the reasons why she stepped down I decided to bring out a revised version of something I did several years ago. It’s one of the differences in high school sports from my days in the early 70’s to today:

Old Days- Athlete (likely male) comes home from practice or a game and complains to parents about their coach, usually over playing time.  The athlete is looking for an ally and wants them to have his back as well as sympathy for his situation.  However what they likely find is a Dad and/or Mom who not only take the side of the coach but delivers a lecture to their child about how teenagers should not question authority but rather respect it.  This is also when you are told to keep quiet, work harder and not complain and if you don’t like those terms quit the team…which by the way would be a poor reflection on the family.

Today- On their way home son or daughter texts parents that the coach yelled at them in practice and made them run two extra laps because they were late.  After ordering pizza for dinner both Mom and Dad bad mouth the coach and tell their child they are not being treated fairly.  After all they won all those awards at the five expensive camps they attended and should be playing the entire game.

At this point parent calls coach at home who is having a late dinner just in time to get the kids ready for bed.  Coach tries to explain his/her philosophy on playing time which parents do not accept and now demand a meeting that will include the athletic director and principal.  Everyone tries to be sympathetic without saying the truth that the athlete is simply not that good. The matter turns into a mess which impacts the team and at the end of the season the coach resigns because they can make more money bartending or waitressing a couple of nights a week.  School posts job seeking new head coach…athlete transfers to another school.

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