I would like to start this letter by thanking all the administrators, teachers, coaches, staff and students that I have had the honor of working with at the Elsberry School District. I have had a lot of support over the last 20 years and have become lifelong friends with many colleagues and former students. Thank you for touching my life.
Teaching and coaching might be one of the most difficult jobs anyone can undertake. I know there are jobs that take more intellect and some require more physical endurance, but the responsibility that goes along with working with young people can be physically and mentally draining to the point of a teachers asking themselves, “Why do I do this?”.
Why, because we truly care about our kids even though we are accused of causing them to want to harm themselves. I have never known a teacher/coach that has dedicated their life to kids that has wanted any harm to come to any of them. We don’t do it for the recognition, certainly not for the money and to be perfectly honest, we hear the words “thank you” rarely. As a parent, I know how hard it can be to deal with your own kids at times. Imagine having 20 at a time that you are responsible to teach, mentor, develop social skills, teach sportsmanship, teach them how to deal with failure and success and even kiss a boo-boo at times. Please think about how much influence your children’s teachers have on their lives and take the time to say “Thank you” for a job well done.
Coaching, well it is a mixed bag. It can be rewarding, challenging, fulfilling or sometimes cruel and unforgiving. Most people coach for the love of the sport, the desire to help kids and the feeling they get when “their” kids succeed. Not just their biological kid, all “their” kids.
Most coaches care about the kids on their team like they are their own and wish them all to succeed individually AND as a team. Most parents, however, only focus on one child, their own. They tend to believe that their child is the superstar and in some cases this may be true. However, more often than not, the child is average and regardless of the parents beliefs will never play sports at the Division 1 level (Mizzou, Virginia Tech, etc.).
I can come up with less than 10 athletes from Elsberry that ever made it to D1. That gives you an idea of how many of the kids will play at a lower level of college ball or not play at the next level at all. So parents, stop! Stop pushing your kids beyond their ability. Stop bad mouthing the coach, in the crowd and to the player. Stop placing blame on everyone else for your lack of time spent helping your player. Stop making excuses for your player and hold them accountable for the lack of effort they put into developing their skills. Not everything is the coach’s fault.
Some coaches get paid, some don’t. Some coaches are only coaching to help their child, most are trying to help all the kids. Paid or not, the coach invests a great deal of their own time in to developing your child and helping to make them succeed. Before you open your mouth to degrade that coach, stop and think. Are they perfect, no. Are they harming my child, no. Are they truly trying to help my child, yes!
Stop bad mouthing the coach, get up off your seat and help the team the way the coach is attempting to do. Sometimes, you may just get a rude awakening as to what it is like to pour your heart and soul into a group of kids and have someone beating you down at every turn.
Parents, stop the lies, half truths, blaming and bashing of the person trying to help your kid and be thankful someone cares enough to give to your player.
Coach Trudy Bull