I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the gym this past basketball season and I’ve come to the follow conclusion: I’d make a terrible varsity coach.
That’s not to say that I won’t do it someday, I love coaching. If I’d go back to do things a little differently, I’d give being a radio personality a shot (everyone looks good in radio, even me) and I’d try hitting coaching harder. The radio stuff, I just love talking sports and I think that would be a blast, but the coaching, that speaks to me much the same way that being in the classroom does. I’ve mentioned before that I coach jr. high girls and this year 8th grade girls, and for each team, I tell them that the court is just like my classroom. We practice skills, there are assessments that happen, but I can make them run if they get in trouble on the court! 🙂 That usually gets a couple of smiles, which is what I am looking for anyway!
However, as I’ve watched a number of varsity coaches this season, and talked with others, that conclusion just keeps coming back to me, that I’d just be awful! First, Saturday practices? Really? And not just in basketball, but other sports too!! I’m not sure when varsity basketball became a six day a week sport, but I’d have no part of that. True, here are Saturday afternoon/evening games, and that’s fine. But to schedule regular Saturday practices? You are treading really heavily on family time, rest time for the kids, and you are going to burn yourself out quickly! Secondly, I cannot stand watching kids get jerked around, regardless of the level. I go out of my way to talk with parents, players, and to keep everyone in the know about what’s going on. This whole idea of “win at all cost” just doesn’t jive well with me. True, I love to win, and it’s also true that losing sucks, but what’s the price you are willing to pay to win? That’s a hard question for me to ask. And finally, if I was a varsity coach, I’d be spending way too much time in the elementary and middle schools, talking to future players, going to games, and just being part of that program. I’ve always told my wife that I’d love the chance to build that program from the ground up as I’ve never ever been part of that. I’d suck at my full time job because I love seeing the growth of the kids coming up.
Anyway, I love the coaching I do now because it’s not full of the “win win win” pressure. We have a great time, we learn a ton, and I think the girls leaving my court, moving into the freshmen/varsity have the skills they need to compete. Now, this isn’t to say that if given the chance in a few years I might not make a jump, but I know that my philosophy just doesn’t always jive with what varsity sports are all about.
I love teaching and I love coaching. Both careers have their moments, but at the end of the day, if I can have a positive impact on students and players, if I can see them improving, if I can develop the trust and relationships, these are tremendous places to be!
And if we can win more than we lose, all the better! 😉