Coaches: In their own words

Coaches: In their own words
June 16
14:11 2021

Athletes’ poor work ethic challenges coaches

I recently asked area coaches to offer their opinion on a subject in a new feature, “In Their Own Words.” The issue to address this week is poor work ethic. One of the most cliched sports movie plots is the star athlete that has poor work ethic or does whatever he pleases, regardless of what the coach says. That also plays out all too often in the real world as well. I was curious to find out what happens when a coach runs across a player like that.

I assume that most coaches have had to deal with a player like this to some varying degree. I know what I would do as a coach if I ran into a player with this type of personality; however, I admit that my no-nonsense way of looking at things is not always the best approach.

Here are the responses from some area coaches as to how they would handle a player like that. It was interesting to see the different points of view from the coaches that may help you to understand why some players connect more with different coaches. As in previous columns, coaches could choose to use their name or respond anonymously.

Adrian Butler, youth coach:

“I think a coach would have to really know that player off the field/court. There is probably  reasoning why he/she is so damn hard-headed. A coach should be more than just a director.”

Ashley Stovall, area football coach:

“It’s all about the relationship you build. You have to remind them that it is not about you, but about the team.”

Brandon Wiggins, local football coach:

“Let the field, track or court coach him. It’ll come full circle.”

Antonio Kirkpatrick, football coach:

“That’s a tough one. For someone who has been in that position a few times, it’s definitely about understanding the kid’s home situation and trying to build a relationship that’s bigger than whatever sport you are coaching. In high school coaching, it’s about teaching, not only on the court or field, but about life. Our job as high school coaches is to try and give the kids a better chance at life. Now, with all that said, at what point do you say I tried and move on? I don’t know. I’m all about the kids and trying to help them as much as I can, sometimes to a fault.”

Anonymous coach:

“Bench them or give the ultimatum of leaving the team. Even if that means a losing season, especially with kids. That lesson teaches him and the other kids about being coachable and also allows the other coachable kids to have your undivided attention. Better to learn the hard lessons early on, because life isn’t going to sugarcoat it.”

Shawn Hollins, local basketball coach:

“Pull him and try to make him understand and if that doesn’t work, sit him every time he’s being greedy or just put him with a group that’s not as talented where he can do everything without the others being mad.”

Look for future columns with coaches’ comments about issues involving local sports.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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