Abusive Coaches

ABUSIVE COACHES: Do Private Coaches Help – or Hurt – the Development of Young Athletes?

There was a fascinating article in USA Today a couple of weeks ago in which top college quarterbacks were featured using private outside coaches to aid them in their development. Of course, these “private coaches” were charging for their services, anywhere from $100 an hour and up. And it was the kid’s parents (not the college football program) who paid the bill.

Some of the college coaches were okay with these outside coaches, but most of them did want to make sure that they were kept apprised of all developments. On the other hand, many other college coaches made it clear that they disapproved of these outside “experts” even though many of the college kids used them.

On this morning’s show, I heard from a number of callers who felt that this cottage industry of outside coaches was an issue that was still unsettled. For example, a couple of callers argued that this practice was parallel to parents hiring tutors for their kids who were having trouble with math or English. “What’s the difference?” the callers asked, “The parents will spend money to help their child do better in school. Nobody complains about that.”

Other callers felt that hiring outside private coaches puts the kid in an awkward spot. Suppose the private coach shows him how to change his pitching mechanics, but his HS varsity coach doesn’t want him to do anything different. Who does the kid listen to?

Another caller noted that some HS coaches try to cash in on the entrepreneurial market by telling their varsity players that if they want to improve their game, then they need to attend the coach’s summer camp. Of course, the coach charges money for the kids to attend this “voluntary” camp. As the caller suggested, this is tantamount to extortion.

Some school districts already have policies in place that prohibits coaches from doing this kind of summer camp or outside coaching activity. But in truth, there are all sorts of ways to get around these restrictions. Besides, sports parents are always looking for that edge to help their youngster get ahead, even if it costs a little more dough.

Amazing….just amazing.