By Tim Stevens
A GREAT COACH …
- Treats each player with respect and expects respect.
- Sees athletics as an extension of the classroom and teaches in that arena.
- Is more interested in helping kids rather than notching victories under his belt.
- Builds players' self-esteem.
- Exhibits high moral standards.
- Realizes that controlling his or her emotions is one of the most important jobs.
- Realizes that life isn't fair, you don't get lucky often and that officials are honorable people trying to do a difficult job.
- Realizes that even an average official is better than having the kids "call their own."
- Tries to make participating fun.
- Realizes all parents are irrational when it comes to their child, and that this is good because parents should care a lot.
GREAT PARENTS . . .
- Don't criticize their athlete's teammates or coaches.
- Realize that the benefits from participating in athletics aren't limited to the starters.
- Don't expect their child to earn an athletic scholarship because scholarships always should be a surprise.
- Offer as much encouragement for their child in academics as in athletics.
- Don't judge their child's worth by athletics.
- Appreciate their child's accomplishments without comparing them to the achievements of others.
- Try to attend events.
- Realize that in the long run, not even a state title compares favorably with the values that are taught in athletics.
- Don't try to live vicariously through their children.
GREAT ADMINISTRATORS . . .
- Are principals who provide adequate equipment for students to participate safely.
- Are not distraught that the sports team creates more excitement than the school's academic achievements.
- Are principals who see athletics as an extension of the classroom.
- Judge the worth of coaches not by wins on the field, but by victories with children.
Wouldn’t it be great if people, especially student-athletes, got what they deserved?
About the Author: Tim Stevens has covered high school athletics for more than 40 years for the Raleigh (North Carolina) News and Observer. He is a member of the National High School Hall of Fame.