Jan 12, 2011
A Coach’s Perspective On Running Up The Score

Last week, I wrote a blog criticizing Tempe McClintock coach Jase Coburn for letting his star player, Cameron Forte, play much of the fourth quarter in a rout over winless and overmatched San Tan Combs High School in order to set a state scoring record.

In response, Scottsdale Chaparral boys basketball coach Aaron Windler sent me an e-mail questioning my oft-stated beliefs about running up the score. I invited him to write a guest column for the paper, and he accepted the offer.

Here’s his take:

Was Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell correct when he said we’ve become a “Nation of Wussies” following an NFL game being moved to a Tuesday night because of a snowstorm? Have we reached a point where not hurting other people’s feelings is more important than getting the job done and doing our best? I believe so and now our society’s vacancy of leadership at the highest levels and poor-me attitudes are trickling down to high school athletics.

I think that sportsmanship, character and integrity of the game are paramount, and my assistant coaches and I instill that in our players daily. I am not a proponent of running up the score on a less-talented team nor am I in favor of going after individual or team scoring records. I don’t believe in refusing to shake players and coaches’ hands after games, and I don’t think that you ever have to embarrass another player, coach or team.

However, I also don’t believe that you should ever teach your players that giving less than 100 percent is acceptable, that quitting is OK if the other team is better or worse than you, or that the value of hard work should be compromised. I strongly believe that it doesn’t matter how much talent you have or don’t have. If coaches set the example, their players will compete.

High school athletics is not the NCAA or professional sports, but it’s not Little League or the YMCA either. High school sports is an opportunity to teach young adults that life is a competition and they will compete for the rest of theirs; for acceptance into college, getting a job, buying a house, and so on. It is a chance to show kids the value of hard work and the importance of doing their best regardless of the outcome. It’s also a time for kids to understand their strengths while recognizing their shortcomings and striving to improve each and every day.

I’ve been on both ends of a blowout. After both, I thought the same thing. I need to be a better teacher and coach or the opposing coach needs to do a better job. I’ve seen good coaches with little to no talent be competitive because they set the example and their kids bought into a system that allows them to be successful; hard work, persistence, and 100 percent effort. Coaches need to “coach up” their kids on and off the court.

If high school athletics isn’t about doing your best and trying to win, then why do we keep score and award state championship trophies at the end of the season? Why, because life is a competition.

Coaches and players: Work harder, get better and learn to compete. You might just win a game, get a college degree and land your dream job.

Parents and fans: Don’t be overly sensitive, but do encourage your sons and daughters to fight through adversity.

If we don’t stop being “Wussies, as Governor Rendell called us, we will all need to start learning Mandarin Chinese.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/sports/preps/articles/2011/01/11/20110111bordow-chaparral-basketball-coach-running-up-score.html#ixzz1AqCrPKwY A Coach’s Perspective On Running Up The Score

The Arizona Republic (Scott Bordow)

Last week, I wrote a blog criticizing Tempe McClintock coach Jase Coburn for letting his star player, Cameron Forte, play much of the fourth quarter in a rout over winless and overmatched San Tan Combs High School in order to set a state scoring record.

In response, Scottsdale Chaparral boys basketball coach Aaron Windler sent me an e-mail questioning my oft-stated beliefs about running up the score. I invited him to write a guest column for the paper, and he accepted the offer.

Here’s his take:

Was Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell correct when he said we’ve become a “Nation of Wussies” following an NFL game being moved to a Tuesday night because of a snowstorm? Have we reached a point where not hurting other people’s feelings is more important than getting the job done and doing our best? I believe so and now our society’s vacancy of leadership at the highest levels and poor-me attitudes are trickling down to high school athletics.

I think that sportsmanship, character and integrity of the game are paramount, and my assistant coaches and I instill that in our players daily. I am not a proponent of running up the score on a less-talented team nor am I in favor of going after individual or team scoring records. I don’t believe in refusing to shake players and coaches’ hands after games, and I don’t think that you ever have to embarrass another player, coach or team.

However, I also don’t believe that you should ever teach your players that giving less than 100 percent is acceptable, that quitting is OK if the other team is better or worse than you, or that the value of hard work should be compromised. I strongly believe that it doesn’t matter how much talent you have or don’t have. If coaches set the example, their players will compete.

High school athletics is not the NCAA or professional sports, but it’s not Little League or the YMCA either. High school sports is an opportunity to teach young adults that life is a competition and they will compete for the rest of theirs; for acceptance into college, getting a job, buying a house, and so on. It is a chance to show kids the value of hard work and the importance of doing their best regardless of the outcome. It’s also a time for kids to understand their strengths while recognizing their shortcomings and striving to improve each and every day.

I’ve been on both ends of a blowout. After both, I thought the same thing. I need to be a better teacher and coach or the opposing coach needs to do a better job. I’ve seen good coaches with little to no talent be competitive because they set the example and their kids bought into a system that allows them to be successful; hard work, persistence, and 100 percent effort. Coaches need to “coach up” their kids on and off the court.

If high school athletics isn’t about doing your best and trying to win, then why do we keep score and award state championship trophies at the end of the season? Why, because life is a competition.

Coaches and players: Work harder, get better and learn to compete. You might just win a game, get a college degree and land your dream job.

Parents and fans: Don’t be overly sensitive, but do encourage your sons and daughters to fight through adversity.

If we don’t stop being “Wussies, ” as Governor Rendell called us, we will all need to start learning Mandarin Chinese.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/sports/preps/articles/2011/01/11/20110111bordow-chaparral-basketball-coach-running-up-score.html#ixzz1AqCrPKwY






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