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The Ugly Side of Coaching

Let's face it, you do not care unless it profits you.  It is true and it is ok...but please accept it.  I have had more contact and guidance from past physicians, friends from years ago and current colleagues than my son has had from all of his coaches of 11 years.

I am not sure you truly understand your importance in life.  You are thought to be teachers, mentors and to many that you work with partners in crime.  You laugh, cry and get them through rough patches in their lives and sometimes they create a smile on your face to help you through a rough patch in yours.  Coaches are teachers or I thought that until recently...coaches now in my crass outlook  are only teachers when the athelete takes the game to the next level or they bring in the money to pay the bill in a private coaching situation.  This of course is a harsh statement and not true of all.   But I am tired of seeing my son struggle with the reality of the constant questioning of why past coaches no longer care and reach out during a struggle that was not simple for him or our family.  

My son thought you cared, he thought there was a connection, he thought there was more to the relationship then my checks.  "No my son...there was not,  that is the way of the world, I am sorry!"  That was the answer I had been putting off for three years of struggle and awaiting major back surgery.  I am so glad I finally said it with tears in my eyes realizing that the world is cruel to young atheletes who become injured.  Giving the truth that was difficult to say and for my son to hear was horrible and fabulous.  Now he can carry-on and stop wondering why not a text or a phone call?  He can start to heal both inside and out and deal with the anger of their ignorance. 

If there is a lesson to be viewed and taken to heart I truly hope money does not define his sense of right and wrong when someone he touches suffers.  That is the lesson I hope is learned from this tragic societal view of coaching. 

So coaches while some of you are caring and supportive teachers of a sport which is just a short-lived game that some are lucky enough to play I applaud you, but others are not even in the category of anything more than businessmen who go from one athelete to the next until that poor soul has a sport ending injury.  To me that is not coaching, teaching, mentoring or even being human.  It is what society has taught the new generation of coaches. 

Enjoy the fame, money and perks...but remember your heart will only receive the joy that you put into the athelete no matter the condition, talent or injury.  The rest is just fleeting enjoyment that will leave you alone when you no longer have the ability to coach...then and only then will you know how it feels to lose it all, not the money or perks or material goods but the value and title you gave yourself for years that defined you.  Whether it was athelete or coach, I wish you luck when that is no longer you defintion and you have no one that needs you anymore to help with that transition.