High School Coaching Yesterday and Today
There are not enough hours in the day to talk about the changes in high school sports from my days in the early 70’s to what exists today but I’ll give you one.
Old Days- Athlete (likely male) comes home from practice or a game and complains to parents about their coach, usually about playing time but it could have been because they were singled out or yelled at because of something they did or did not do. Of course the athlete is looking for an ally in their parents and wants them to have sympathy for their situation.
However what they likely find is a Dad and/or Mom who not only takes the side of the coach but delivers a stern lecture to their child about how teenagers should not question authority but rather should learn to respect it. This is where you were also told to shut your mouth, work harder at practice and not complain AND if you didn’t like those terms then you should quit the team which by the way would be a poor reflection on the family.
In extremely rare cases a parent might get involved and question the coach who would likely end the discussion rather quickly. On the other side you had instances where parents wanted to meet with a coach to express dissatisfaction but their own child objected over fear of embarrassment and humiliation.
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 a couple of minutes late. At dinner both Mom and Dad bad mouth the coach and tell their child he or she is not being treated fairly and deserves to be a starter because they won all those awards at the five camps they were sent to in the offseason which cost the family a small fortune.
At this point parent calls coach at home who is having a late dinner after being away from their family all day. The coach tries to explain that the best players play and at this point the young teenager is not one of them. Parents refuse to accept this and demand a meeting with the coach, athletic director and principal.
Everyone is somewhat sympathetic and seeking a solution because nobody wants to say the truth: the athlete is just not that good. In the end the entire matter turns into a mess and divides the team and other parents.
At the end of the season the coach resigns because they can make more money bartending or waitressing one night a week and won’t lose part of their summer because of pre-season practices. School posts job seeking new head coach, athlete transfers to another school.