Jun 25, 2014
Overbearing Parents Add to Stress of Coaching

Ask area high school athletic directors how often they handle issues with parents who aren’t happy with their child’s coach, and many will provide the same answer: Every day.

Parental pressure on coaches has never been greater. League by league, school by school and team by team, it’s an issue for thousands of coaches and administrators from the junior-high to varsity levels across the 120 or so schools in Section V. Varsity coaches are asked to not only win games but try to keep everyone satisfied with playing time and their role on the team. It’s a delicate balancing act in a coaching climate that’s different than decades ago.

“I can’t motivate kids the way I was motivated in the ’70s and ’80s. You can’t hurt anybody’s feelings anymore, said Gates Chili football coach Jason Benham, 44, whose teams have won three sectional titles in 12 years. I tell it the way it is. I raise my voice. I get on them, but you definitely have to know who you can do that with and who you can’t.”

Coaches are worried about giving anyone “ammunition that can be used against you, as Pittsford Mendon boys soccer coach Mark Hurley, 40, put it. Like Benham, he’s a teacher and successful coach, having guided the Vikings to two state titles and five sectional crowns in 11 seasons. Still, the concern is there.

When parents have questions about playing time, more want to talk to the coach. They’re investing more time and money in their kids’ athletic careers and when they don’t see a return on that, some parents want answers.

Click here to read the complete story.

Overbearing Parents Add to Stress of Coaching

From the Democrat & Chronicle

Ask area high school athletic directors how often they handle issues with parents who aren’t happy with their child’s coach, and many will provide the same answer: Every day.

Parental pressure on coaches has never been greater. League by league, school by school and team by team, it’s an issue for thousands of coaches and administrators from the junior-high to varsity levels across the 120 or so schools in Section V. Varsity coaches are asked to not only win games but try to keep everyone satisfied with playing time and their role on the team. It’s a delicate balancing act in a coaching climate that’s different than decades ago.

“I can’t motivate kids the way I was motivated in the ’70s and ’80s. You can’t hurt anybody’s feelings anymore, said Gates Chili football coach Jason Benham, 44, whose teams have won three sectional titles in 12 years. I tell it the way it is. I raise my voice. I get on them, but you definitely have to know who you can do that with and who you can’t.”

Coaches are worried about giving anyone “ammunition that can be used against you, ” as Pittsford Mendon boys soccer coach Mark Hurley, 40, put it. Like Benham, he’s a teacher and successful coach, having guided the Vikings to two state titles and five sectional crowns in 11 seasons. Still, the concern is there.

When parents have questions about playing time, more want to talk to the coach. They’re investing more time and money in their kids’ athletic careers and when they don’t see a return on that, some parents want answers.

Click here to read the complete story.






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