St. Paul coach: The high school sports culture

  • Article by: Kevin A. Keto
  • Updated: April 11, 2013 - 9:09 PM

This is where sports and sportsmanship come in.

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jtf189Apr. 12, 13 5:14 AM

Phenomenal. Make this a required read before the season starts for h.s. sports teams.

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TaxifourApr. 12, 13 7:29 AM

Isn't that the truth!! I'm so very glad that this is my last child's last season of competitive sports. I will not miss it.

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goferfanzApr. 12, 13 7:37 AM

My favorite 1990's quote from a young, astute mother--->"if parents put a fraction of the time to their kid's schoolwork that they devote to organized sport, then nuclear fusion would have long ago become a reality.".......I still cite that quote often!

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stplooklistnApr. 12, 13 7:40 AM

While they might not "sit in the office looking to inflict pain" on their young charges, there are coaches who do abuse their power and make it all about winning. Look to the newer residency rule to prevent those players from obtaining a sham address in order to play at the HS of choice. Prevents the recruiting coaches do. And of course, coaches are always exemplar examples of respect to decisions THEY don't agree with-referees. There are some life skills, things don't always go your way. And if you don't think some parents "contributions" are not rewarded you haven't been paying attention. Parents want a nice clean playing field for the kids to participate and when they see the ugly politics in sports, they respond in kind.

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vikesrule55Apr. 12, 13 8:23 AM

A fantastic editorial! And to clarify, I didn't read anything suggesting coaches are infallible. Of course they are, but most do their very best to create a great experience for the kids on their team. Too often it is the parents that ruin that experience. I've long told parents that if their kid embraces their role on the team, feels valued, and is proud, that the parent should not do anything to diminish that. We need to collaborate to help kids emerge with a positive experience. Starting and winning, while nice, are not mandatory to make great memories.

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pericoApr. 12, 13 9:11 AM

This opinion piece is on point. I played sports in highschool and college and I use the skills and lessons learned everyday in my professional and everyday life. Learning how to win is just as important as learning how to lose. I credit my parents, coaches and teammates for helping to mold my adolescent self into who I am today. I will always hold dear those memories.

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oldmotorheadApr. 12, 1310:07 AM

I coached hockey and taught high school for almost 40 years. I'm probably not 100% correct on some of these statements, but many are true because I was there. First, when the State of Mn. decided that non-certified people could coach jr. and sr. high kids, that opened the door for many coaches who's mind set was to win at all costs and not worry about the kids. This in turn allowed parents and the community more input and opinions on decisions regarding hiring coaches and how programs should be run. Second is money! As schools have had to decrease funding to sports programs, they have to rely on the parents for more financial support, which in turn gives the parents a feeling that they should be more involved in the decision making process. So now there is a vicious circle created that seems to be spiraling out of control with no end in sight! Perhaps the state should consider doing what Europe does; drop high school sports totally, and let the communities who want to, go to club sports! But then there is the money and prestige thing isn't there?!

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BVMannApr. 12, 1312:50 PM

Part of this is the generation of parents known as the baby boomers - in general, spoiled by their depression-era parents to never have to endure another depression, and never taught the meaning of hard work or value. Hence the selfish entitlement attitude. I am glad to see at least some are fighting back & trying to make a difference. I have noted good parent behavior & support of my son's football teams. It is encouraging!

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pcmediaApr. 12, 13 1:52 PM

I fully agree with this article. As a wife of a coach and parent of a player, I have seen it from both sides. My husband coached a Bantam A hockey team. During that season he had parents screaming the F word at him across the ice, parents demanding a meeting with him regarding whether or not he would be successful this season, my husband received numerous profane texts from one family in the middle of the night regarding the amount of time their child was playing. (This player had been asking to stay on the bench, and his family did not know) After one of the games, parents were so upset by the team's loss the manager of the ice arena showed my husband the back way out of the ice arena. The manager was concerned about the safety of my husband over 8 and 9th GRADE HOCKEY PLAYERS!! When My son was playing hockey I was consistently asked if my son would be attending a hockey camp, or playing spring or fall league. HE WAS 7 YEARS OLD!!! Whatever happened to signing your child up for a sport he/she would like to play, and parents coming to watch them participate. Why does one sport have to extend to an entire year? Why do elementary age students have to decide what sport he/she would like to focus on if they want to be able to play? In my opinion, parents have gone off the deep end regarding sports. They need to take a step back, let their children enjoy the sport for what it is. If their child's coach is physically endangering his/her child by all means step in. If not, back off. You are changing the sport for your child

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luzhishenApr. 12, 13 5:24 PM

BVMANN, in case it's lost on you, the boomers' kids are the parents. The boomers got out of this one a while ago - this is the Reagan Generation.

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