Players today!

“I really would not recommend the profession to anyone right now. Kids are different, kids, parents, administrators have way to much influence! Coaches hands are tied…..can’t push, can’t discipline…..parents and administration are one! YUK!”

Those comments are from a coach who was in the game at the NCAA Division I level for many years. They aren’t the only one I’ve heard these sorts of things from either. It even goes beyond volleyball – and beyond sports in general. I’ve heard similar sorts of views expressed by professors I know as well. They make me kind of chuckle in a way. After all, we always see the older generation complain about the younger one in some way, shape, or form.

Actually, from a coaching perspective the competitive part of me loves to hear that kind of stuff. There’s two reasons for that which might give me an advantage in either the coaching or recruiting arenas (or both). 🙂

The first reason is that I worked in a very player-centric environment while coaching in England. I didn’t have an administration to please (at least not directly), but rather a collection of student-athletes and their elected leaders. I essentially coached at their pleasure. That meant I had to earn and retain their respect. I had to both coach them on-court and guide them in the off-court club management. I must have done at least something right as they presented me with a signed ball (a legit one too!) at my final Christmas Party to thank me for my time with them.

The second reason is that I deal with my players as they are and am constantly asking the question of how to better communicate with, motivate, and educate this team or this particular individual. It could be viewed as having a growth rather than fixed mindset as I discussed in How do you view your coaching exams? I just think of it in terms of looking at the situation I’m currently in, getting the most out of things, and trying to find ways to improve it.

So to all those coaches out there whining about players today … hope you don’t have to go up against me because I’m going to eat your lunch! 😉

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John Forman
About the Author: John Forman
John currently coaches for an NCAA Division II women's team. This follows a stint as head coach for a women's professional team in Sweden. Prior to that he was the head coach for the University of Exeter Volleyball Club BUCS teams (roughly the UK version of the NCAA) while working toward a PhD. He previously coached in Division I of NCAA Women's Volleyball in the US, with additional experience at the Juniors club level, both coaching and managing, among numerous other volleyball adventures. Learn more on his bio page.

2 comments

  1. D says:

    Hahaha! This made me laugh. Good for you for not having to deal with this type of this but believe me ITS COMING! Maybe you don’t get it as much because you have older kids but at the high school level, its nuts! I just turned 30 and am still a youngen in the coaching profession even though I’ve been doing it since I was 18, but even I see a change in the kids, parents, etc. Count yourself as blessed that you haven’t had to deal with an irate parent going to your admins because they don’t agree with the discipline you have given their child…….hope you never do……

    • John Forman John Forman says:

      I haven’t coached high school, but I coached plenty of Juniors and had to deal with a couple of parent issues. One year a parent threatened to sue because we decided to drop their two daughters from our 18-1s team because they were total attitude issues. We cut them anyway and had a much happier team for the rest of the season.

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