No Angry Coaching!

football players scrambling for ball

I do not have a problem with loud coaches. I have a problem with ANGRY coaches.

Before we have this discussion, lets address coaching and its mission. To teach? To win? To elevate? To sell?

In those missions, anger is not to be found. I can tell you that different levels of the games we play, and the games that we coach have different responsibilities and priorities, but none of them are anger based. What gets lost in the coaching GPS is end goal, end mission, and end purpose. What will define success for that coach, that team, that program, that game. But before that, the person has got to be the first focus. There can be no group success without individual gain. The individuals make the unit work. Anger at the top of the group can never be the purpose or the way.

Coaching GPS. Where are you trying to go and from where are you starting? What direction and at what level? Who and what will be the fuel? I know that coaching is often approached by frustration over a message or lesson not received, but that falls directly on the coach. Teach the lesson better. If it is coached and not learned, it simply hasn’t been coached properly. If you taught them and they forgot, remind them. If they haven’t been taught, do so. If you aren’t sure, re-teach it.

A coach should ask what he wants to accomplish.

Is it winning over everything? Is it the person over the game? Is it the lesson or is it the result? In most cases, the coaches we are thinking about aren’t in the top leagues. (NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, etc.) Little League, AAU, College, and the others are parenting the young people as well as teaching and coaching. That needs to be remembered. In the case of college coaches, they went to some kid’s house and asked the parents to give their child to them for raising, teaching, mentoring, and coaching. There is a statement of trust in it. “Give me your child and I will love them.” The rule forward should be that you don’t say anything to the player as a coach that you wouldn’t say to them in front of the parents, check writers, and administration. Pretty simple. “I need to win more than I need to love your child” is probably not going to fly in most households. “I might have to put my hands on your child” would get you tossed from the homes of most neighborhoods that I know of.


I coach from the idea that I teach, I explain, I example, and I love.

That’s coaching to me. I have blown my top a few times in my younger coaching days. I know better now. I should do better. I do better. I can bark to get attention but barking with anger is never the way. I can get their attention without being abusive or angry. As a father, if a coach went across the line from getting the players attention to anger and confronting my child, that coach should probably get security and his resume handy. As a player, a coach should never assume that he can say and treat me less than. The coach is trusting that the monstrous athlete will remember to be respectful, even with the coach isn’t. It took one athlete to grab a coach and make it man to man to clarify that anger has no place in it all. It just doesn’t. Coach better. Teach better. Love better. That is what is required.