THEN AND NOW…

I love discussing the state of sports in today’s society with friends; especially basketball, regardless the level.  Everyone has an interesting take; we’re all entitled to our opinions.

Lately there’s been a few situations where coaches have been accused of unnecessary treatment of their athletes…mostly accused by the the athletes themselves. A couple of guys have lost their jobs.

Here’s an article I came across yesterday on this very topic via the Lansing State Journal written by Antonio Gonzalez of the A.P.

If nothing else, it should make you stop and think,” Riley said. “Your style, your habits, your relationships with people. I think you just have to be very, very aware and smart about things.”

Physical abuse should not be tolerated by the athlete or administration; there’s no place for it in sports.  But yelling or screaming at an athlete isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. Sure no one likes getting yelled at, especially in front of others. You can raise your voice at an athlete as long as it is done in a constructive manner.

Last week I read a great quote from Bill Parcells, “The kids from the 70’s and 80’s until now have not changed, the people around them have changed.”

As soon as an athlete gets yelled at, everyone is quick to judge. It’s interesting because many coaches today love reading material from the late, great Vince Lombardi. They quote him like he’s gospel.  We all can agree that Lombardi wasn’t a choir boy type coach.

Frank Martin, the men’s head basketball coach at Kansas State via the Fanhouse NCAABB

“It’s sensitive times across the country, not because a couple of coaches have gotten into trouble for whatever the perception is out there right now. It’s sensitive times,” said Martin, who has become known around the Big 12 for his passion on the sidelines. “It’s a different era that we live in now than what we lived in 10 years ago or 20 years ago.

“There is a lot of phoniness, everyone is a politician these days where you’re supposed to act a certain way in front of the public eye and be completely different than what reality is every day behind closed doors. That’s what I meant by sensitive. It’s a different era right now than the era I grew up in or the era my generation is used to.

Martin is correct; it’s a different era. Player complaints about coaches being out of hand seem to be coming out more and more. Is it because of the social media, Twitter, Facebook and Blogging? Athletes disgruntled over lack of playing time?  But that shouldn’t stop guys from coaching their hearts out, displaying passion and being enthusiastic.

Many of the top coaches in all sports tend to raise their voice at their athletes; the common theme is they are all in their 40’s and 50’s; they grew up during a time when coaches had a tendency to raise their voice (See Vince Lombardi).  Guys like Bo Ryan, Tom Izzo, Jim Calhoun, Roy Williams, Bill Self, Greg Popovich, Jerry Sloan, Phil Jackson, Nick Saban and many more can be seen shouting at players. It goes for the women’s side too; Pat Summit is also a screamer.

Sure you have coaches who don’t scream much, but that’s the way they’ve been raised and that’s their philosophy.

What I find odd is that people in sports (media, fans and even owners) tolerate deviant athletes; they’ll get second and third chances after committing heinous acts or even being disruptive to the team. But when it comes to a coach raising his voice, all hell breaks loose.

Let’s face it, a coach is hardly the most popular person.  They have to discipline certain individuals so someone will always be upset; not to mention distribute playing time.  And God forbid if they aren’t winning… But keep in mind these coaches brought these players in. They have given them scholarships-they want them there.  Athletes need to grow thicker skin, take the criticism and just bounce back.

“Confidence means you believe you can get the job done.”

-Source unknown

-Coach Finamore

Hoops135@hotmail.com

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2 Responses to “THEN AND NOW…”

  1. When I moved out of the Bronx where I played “street-ball” every night on a glass-strewn basketball court with metal backboards and no nets, upstate New York and tried out successfully for the Junior High team (as a 6th grader). It was my first chance at playing “organized” ball. I was very happy to see my name on the “Made-it” list posted onthe boys bathroom door. This was all new to me….. shiny new uniforms! referees! coaches! cheerleaders!! wow! When you’re born and raised in the Bronx, these things are not commonplace. However they’re taken for granted in the suburbs.

    My coach recognized my adeptness with the ball and the promising prospects of having a “natural” point guard.

    After the first few practices I was a little shocked at getting yelled at by the coach. I was never yelled at before by anyone, not even my parents (I was a passive well-behaved child). But I will NEVER EVER forget my coach explaining to us; Don’t take it personal when I yell at you, I’m not mad at you, i’m giving you constructive criticism.

    I have never forgotten him saying this and that was 1971!!

  2. hoopscoach Says:

    Tony, great stuff thanks for sharing.

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