Sunday, February 17, 2013

Coaching Soft, Disrespectful Athletes

Athletes in today’s sports are very soft. Soft in the sense that they are mentally weak and cannot handle adversity. In fact, there are instances of coaches who have been fired for yelling at a kid the wrong way or hurting his feelings. Young athletes have a sense of entitlement; they expect the coaches to earn the respect of the athletes rather than the athletes automatically submitting respect to their coaches.

When I was a young athlete I was yelled and cussed at all the time, but at the same time I was praised when I did something good on the field. I responded to both positively. Why is it that athletes can do something wrong on or off the field without any sort of punishment? There should be consequences for players that don’t do what they are coached or expected to do. As a coach I have witnessed firsthand the positive effect of ‘chewing out’ an athlete for doing something wrong. A lot of times we do it to create adversity in a controlled setting so in a game or life situation they are able to overcome it.

The problem with America, and the world, is that people think they are owed something and feel they should be given everything. This sense of entitlement carries over to the sports world. Today’s kids feel like they shouldn’t have to practice hard or listen to their coach. Deep down kids want men (coaches) to give them discipline. I think most people would agree that sports just 15 years ago was better than it is today because coaches demanded respect instead of trying to earn it. We need to train our kids and athletes that respect should be given to everyone.


  1. Are you saying that there is a 'wussification' of American youth? Has sparing the rod created a culture of wimpy athletes? I'm not sure that sports were better 'back in the day'. I remember the days of no water breaks --- you were a wimp if you hydrated during 100+ degree Texas summers. Is that instilling the discipline that you desire so that men (not babies) are created on the football field?

  2. I am not saying anything about water. I am talking about young men having no respect for authority. I would say that as crazy as some of the methods that were being used in the past that something must have worked. The Baby Boomer generation has probably accomplished more than any generation in history.
    I am also saying that the American youth is very 'Wussified.' It is amazing to see little kids playing soccer or baseball and not keeping score. I recently went to a little league baseball game and even if a kid struck out he still got to get on base. Now what is this teaching our kids? It is only teaching them that they don’t need to work hard because no matter what they are going to get to get on base. Basically, we are teaching our kids that they don't need to work hard and that failure is okay. My blog is simply trying to point out that the way we are doing things is creating disrespectful and "I" guys.

  3. I would have to agree with Mr. Craven about the lack of toughness that is shown by the young athletes today. I personally think it goes back to the “everybody gets a trophy” mentality that they are raised with. These young athletes grow up not understanding the concept of losing. To them, just showing up is enough; no extra effort is required. Unfortunately, these athletes that are talented enough to play in college carry this attitude with them, and the reality check of actually “being coached” is too much for them. I wish parents and youth coaches would start modifying this behavior at a younger age, before the bad habits are learned.

  4. I completely agree with this article and I think you nailed it on the head. Only being four years older than the freshman I am coaching, I can see the difference in mentality. The athletes have no understanding that playing/participating for a college is an opportunity. The college gives them this opportunity and they have to prove that they are worthy of staying. These athletes are coming to a program asking “what can you do for me?” instead of busting their butts and giving everything they have to make a name for themselves. If they come across a little bump in the road or they are not the high school hero they are used to being, they do not know how to handle it. It’s frustrating as a coach to see the potential in an athlete and know that they will not reach their abilities because they are not mentally tough enough or lack the determination.

  5. It all starts with the parents and those who enable are raising excuse makers. Those who make their kids earn it are raising successful men and women. Sports are a simulation of life and parents get in the way of stunting that long term growth. Great article btw.