Wednesday, December 17, 2008

An Elite Dad defends Local Coaches

I recently wrote a blog that blasted SOME of the middle school coaches and their curious coaching philosophies. An Elite Dad sent the following response in defense of those coaches:

Parents, I think its time to look in the mirror. We need to understand the influence we have on our own child. You may not agree with what your AAU, Middle School or High school coach does in practice or in competition but you do need to stop bashing the coaches in front of your child. The words that come out of a parent's mouth are so powerful and influential to your child. When my first child was baptized,... the Priest said something that will stick with me for the rest of my life—"You as parents, are GOD to your children" Wow, very powerful.... Think about it. You gave birth, you rear them, you provide for them, you give them direction, you are there when they need a shoulder to cry on or to share a happy moment and the list goes on. So with that being said, how do you expect your child to respect and give their all to a coach that you have basically torn down in every way possible? Some of us have very little experience, if any, but yet we feel inclined to tell Coach Popovich that he doesn't know what he's doing. Last time I checked he is a pretty successful coach. Ask yourself this, how successful will you be with a team that is comprised of :
-1 player that has played at a high level
-1 player that has decent ability
-2 players that are below average but have huge hearts
-2 players that are in their first year of playing basketball
-2 players that have no heart and show no effort and are being poisoned by their own parents.

Now you go out and make this team a champion! Please try to keep this in mind the next time you call up the Athletic Director to complain about how tough the coach is on your child or why your child isn't receiving minutes.

I agree with most of everything this Elite Dad wrote. I witnessed a game last night where a particular team was beaten badly. I sat among parents that bashed the coach but never realized a few realities.

1.Players play the games. No coach in San Antonio has scored a point for their team this year. No coach has blown a defensive assignment, nor failed to box out. No coach in the city has stayed up too late texting their teenage crush, and was too tired to perform the next day.

2. You have to have Thoroughbreds in order to win the Kentucky Derby. My favorite quote from UCONN coach, Geno Auriemma is, "There are two types of coaches; Coaches that coach good players and ex-coaches." Coach Auriemma is speaking a fact. Is John Wooden the greatest coach ever without Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton? Would the late great Red Auerbach have been so lucky without Bill Russell or Bob Cousy? Has Pop, Pat Riley or Phil Jackson ever won a championship without a future Hall-of-Famer on their roster? Jordan, Magic, Pippen, Worthy, The Admiral, Shaq, Kobe, Wade, Duncan and Kareem were the horses that these brilliant coaches rode to championships. Pop is often quoted saying that his retirement will coincide with Tim Duncan's retirement. Pop understands that he is a great coach because he has coached great players. I am not minimizing the greatness of these coaches. Riley fired Stan Van Gundy and inspired the same team of players to a championship. Del Harris had Shaq and Kobe and barely made the playoffs. The above mentioned coaches are great but the fact remains that players win games.

3. It takes a community to raise a good basketball player and have a good team. Basketball is a very demanding sport and constant improvement is needed in order to field a good team. Good basketball teams are made up of good players and good players have been nurtured over time. At a recent Wagner game, I was reminded of this. Coach Tina Camacho is one of the best coaches in the city,as I have said numerous times on this blog, but look at the help she has received from the community.

-Rising superstar, LenNique Brown never plays a local game that is not in front of her very supportive mom and very vocal dad. Her older brother sits in the crowd with a critical eye at his baby sister's every move. He has played at the collegiate level, and she is reportedly a female version of him. His younger brother is another college caliber kid that takes an active interest in baby sis and lets her have it whenever he feels that she is not performing up to the Brown Family standards.
- The very promising Arielle Robeson, has a 6'7 father who knows the game and a very athletic mother. Both played college ball, Basketball and Volleyball respectively. Arielle has one older sister who played basketball at Texas A&M and another one who plays Volleyball at UT but, also had offers to play Division 1 basketball.
-Chelsea Solis is playing very well lately. Solis played middle school club ball with one of the best young clubs in the city. Her former club coach made sure he told me that the acrobatic reverse lay up she did in a recent game was a product of his great coaching.
- Michelle Rodriguez played against some of the best players in the country this summer with her club team. She has benefited from the exposure, and has at least one offer from a Division 1 program. These are just a few examples of the Wagner's team being groomed by the community for success.

Coaches have a tough job, period. Just like most groups in life, a few bad apples spoil the bunch.