The key to successful coaching: be careful

Mike Rice was recently fired from his coaching position at Rutgers University for abusive behavior towards his players. A former assistant coach captured the actions of Rice on video which ended up leading to Rice getting fired.  This is yet another example of a coach getting fired because of his actions that were considered to be abusive towards his players. There have been many debates over the boundary line a coach cannot cross when addressing their players.

Some feel like a coach should never be aggressive when talking with a player. They feel like coaches that get a point across using physical contact hurt the player mentally more than they help.

 “I think that a coach should never get physical or hit a player he is coaching,” junior Trevor Hulbert said. “In my opinion, that hurts the player’s mentality and will make him not perform well since they’re going to be scared.”

Many coaches have been fired or punished for behaviors towards players.  This is a great thing for sports because coaches should never touch a player out of anger.  This is and should be considered unacceptable behavior.

“There’s definitely a fine line between being encouraging and being threatening towards players, so some people should definitely monitor coaches to make sure they are treating their players well,” junior Kevin Scott said.

However, the governing bodies of sports: administrators of universities and people who oversee sports have to be very careful when deciding what to punish and what to let go.  With too strict of rules towards coaches, coaching will not be as good.  All coaches, from the lowliest assistant to the head coach will feel as if they can’t do their job to the best of their abilities.

“Any coach, not just the head coach, can be abusive towards players,” Scott said.

The strict rules could cause coaches to hold themselves back, and therefore not push their players to the best of their abilities.  Athletes will agree that coaches need to bring intensity and attention to their jobs, and with coaches worried about how they are allowed to act towards players, they will not bring the intensity and focus that is so important to the success of the team.  A coach’s sole job is to be there for his players, and most importantly encourage and support success for athletes. 

“There are definitely times where a coach has to yell and be loud towards players, but there is a fine line between verbal and physical action,” Hulbert said, “I think sometimes the U.S is too uptight about coaches.  Everyone who plays sports need motivation sometimes so coaches have to get loud.”

Scott agrees that coaches need to be able to do their job, and the strict rules of society can sometimes restrict coaches.

“In College Basketball and other sports, the NCAA is way too strict about rules for coaches and players,” Scott said, “I think the strict rules of coaches may sometimes decrease the ability of a coach to make his team better.”

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Sean Zanyk McLean

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