Rec Coaches

Brady McGee

This November brings a slew of new winter sports but year in and year out the most talked about sport has to be recreational (rec for short) basketball. It brings in the most kids and everyone can get involved, including parents who sometimes get a little too involved.

Teams are coached by parents who volunteer, usually coaching their own kid’s teams which is where the first problem arises. Having my dad coach my team last year, I can attest that a parent coaching you can sometimes suck.

Rec is a time to have fun and forgot about outside things like school and home but having your parent there can kill the mood. I’ve had a few coaches who try to act cool around their kids but that always ends up being awkward for everyone.

Parents coaching their kids will naturally put more pressure on them. It’s expected from all parents to want their kids to be the best player out there. When they are the coach, it becomes easier to accomplish that goal by giving their kid more opportunities to succeed.

This can became especially frustrating when the coach’s son is a lackluster player but they constantly get more playing time then everyone and the coach insists they get the ball. I’ve found the best way to get past this is focus on playing your own game and get your other teammates involved. It can become more of a problem when you are the coach’s son who is always getting the ball.

Kids don’t always succeed when given these opportunities though, and that can make their coaches, or in this case parents, very mad. I’ve been yelled at by my dad once, twice, even a hundred times after I’ve made a mistake while he was coaching me.

Although your parent coaching can seem like the worst thing ever, trust me, a forty year old dad you’ve never met yelling at you is ten times worse and I’ve been on both sides.

In my experience with rec sports, I have encountered some coaches who take it a little too seriously. People who play rec will know what I’m talking about; coaches who act like they are leading the Ravens in the midst of a playoff run, like that would happen, or they are drawing up a play for the final shot in the NBA Finals.

For many kids who couldn’t make their high school teams, rec is the chance to play sports and stay active. Some kids want a more laid back environment, and nothing can ruin that more than having a coach scream in your ear.

When you play rec it’s universally known the point is the have fun and not everyone out there is going to be the next Michael Jordan; some people should tell that to certain rec coaches.

A wild coach can demoralize players and the way one former player of a well-known crazy coach of Hereford rec basketball put it, “He made me feel like a lesser player and I lost confidence in my game.”

A rec coach’s only job is to make sure everyone is getting equal playing time and maybe draw up a few plays but when they ruin a kid’s athletic experience that is a problem. So let this be a message to all rec coaches: Chill out.