Trust the Coach. Trust the Process.

Trust the Coach. Trust the Process.

There is a popular quote by Billy Graham that says, "A coach will impact more young people in a year than the average person does in a lifetime."

What a powerful statement.
If we all think back to our coaches growing up, we have vivid memories of them. Regardless of whether the memories were good or bad, the truth remains that coaches had a significant impact on our lives.

However, if we don't support great coaches, those coaches who influenced us in a positive way will be replaced by other coaches that influence in a negative way.

Let me give you a short story to make this point. I love all things sports. For our honeymoon, we went to watch minor league baseball games. As much as I love sports, I didn't play organized sports until I was in the fourth grade. By today's standards, that is nearly ancient, but even in my day, fourth grade was old.

That awkward, not very talented little fourth-grade girl had a coach, many local folks will know, named Chad Fowler. Chad was one of my best friends's dad. Chad was beyond patient with me and encouraged my newly found passion for softball.

I picked up a softball and basketball that summer and never really put them down. I was never talented, but I developed a lifelong love for both sports. Fast forward 20 years, and I'm married to a high school softball and basketball coach.

Our life literally revolves around whichever sport is in season and the amazing girls he gets to coach. The point of the story is that if Chad hadn't hung in there with me or if my parents decided he was too hard on their precious, chubby-faced ten-year-old daughter, my life would be so different.

Now, I am a parent to five kids, and to be honest, sometimes it hurts my heart just a little bit to hear a coach get after my baby. But hear me when I say this: unless a coach is harming my child or asking them to do something illegal or immoral, I will be right behind the coach yelling, "Keep getting after their tail!"

It is crucially important for my kids to understand that they made a mistake and are expected to figure out a way to correct it. If you coach my kids, love them hard, and please coach them hard.

I most certainly care that my kids learn how to field a ground ball or shoot a left-handed layup correctly because they all love sports. But it is supremely important that my child learns to be responsible for their actions and is taught that laziness and corner-cutting are not acceptable, ever.  
The cool thing about sports and great coaches is that they accomplish both. Kids learn how to correctly play the sport they love and build their character at the same time.
The scary thing is that coaches like my husband (bias noted) and Chad is that they are going to become more and more rare.

Chad coached for free, and high school coaches are paid pennies on the dollar. If parents and the community continue to lie about, berate, and threaten quality coaches over trivial decisions, those great coaches will become extinct.

High school coaches should expect a ton of hard work and long hours. They should not expect social media blasting, their kids overhearing awful comments, or the need to walk on eggshells just to keep people happy.

Coaches are not going to continue to essentially live paycheck to paycheck while at the same time being cursed at or having their players move because they didn't like something a coach did.

If good coaches quit, all that will be left is "bad coaches." Good, seasoned coaches aren't a dime a dozen. The well will run dry.

Parents (myself included), please get your kid on a team or in a program with a coach that you trust and then step back to let your kid be coached.

Shopping around from school to school or bouncing from one travel ball organization to another is not going to do anyone a bit of good. Turn them over to a good coach a few hours a day to be molded, pushed, or, yes, even yelled at.

As parents, our job is to play catch with them in the backyard, play HORSE with them, or show up with Gatorade. But our job is not to remove obstacles from their path. We must let them struggle and learn how to overcome.

They may not like it, and they will likely push back. But if they hear us supporting their coach, they will, too. If a coach does something wrong, remove your kid and report it immediately. But if not, please give them your unwavering support.

Trust the coach. Trust the process. Your kid (and society) will be better for it.


Kaitlyn Dollarhide lives in rural Oklahoma. She is a junior high teacher, coach’s wife, and mom to Jay, Jordy, Jaybea, Johnny, and Jolie. Kaitlyn loves Jesus, softball, basketball, college football, cooking, and swimming.
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