The Ottumwa Courier

September 25, 2012

Coaches need to leave politics out of sports


OTTUMWA — The kids just want to play ball, for the most part, but the “adult” egos have to control things. Realize, people who try to control are acting out of fear.

Some coaches coach multiple sports and tend to favor the kids from the other teams they coach as well as other “coach friends” kids. Saying there are no politics involved in local sports is just a straight up lie. You can’t tell me for a minute that children of established and connected “Townies” don’t have an advantage over other children of parents who didn’t grow up in this town. Good coaches avoid the politics and outside influences and always do what is best for the kids. Weak coaches allow politics to make the decisions for them.

I have helped athletes for many years, and the most common issue that comes up in all conversations with parents and athletes is how the sports programs locally are dwindling away. This is occurring as a direct result of coaches selecting a small group of athletes to play and leaving the majority of the kids on the bench. Families lose interest and children get discouraged. Some have argued that parents need to encourage their children to stay interested despite the politics. I recommend those in charge of the programs just coach the kids and everyone will be encouraged.

When a school-sponsored program has a coach that does not coach all of the children who want to participate, then our tax dollars are paying for nothing. If I am paying for a service and that service is not provided, it is a form of stealing. We pay the schools; teachers need to teach all of the students, and coaches need to coach all of the atletes. The high standard is to coach fairly. The low standard is to be influenced by others.

Dr. Charles Coram