The Press Box For Week of Oct. 28
How many times have you heard it said, “they only get to play because of who they are or because they have this name or that.”
This past week I heard it said on several occasions. I never did believe it and I never will.
I am talking about high school sports. Now has anyone ever had an advantage because their parents were involved in the boosters or they offered their help in the concession stand or gave rides to kids to games or volunteered in any way? Probably so, but I don’t believe for one minute that any high school coach in his or her right mind would play someone just because of who they are over a more talented player.
Would I say it never has happened? No I wouldn’t, but it would definitely be the exception and not the rule.
I believe the closest thing I have ever seen to it is when a coach has his own child on the team. Not so sure they should even allow it. However, when it does occur, you can bet they are under the eye of everyone.
I believe that many times high school coaches fail to recognize their talent and when that happens less talented kids often get more playing time. This of course is also an exception and not the rule. Most coaches do know their players, they know who works hard and puts the time in. They know who really wants to play and they know who spent their summer trying to better themselves.
To look at it like one in the workforce, the boss will use his best to accomplish his goal of getting the job finished. Coaches don’t want to lose games, they want to win, they can only do that by using the best skill they have available. Coaches spend countless hours developing strategies to overcome the opposition. Sometimes the opponents are just too much and no matter what you do or who you play, you come out on the losing end.
I have been their and done that.
As a coach of the Little Leagues, basketball and baseball, my main goal was to find out who my best players were and to use them to win games. I did coach my own but I hope I never showed favoritism to them. At that age, all kids are still learning and all deserve an opportunity to compete and better themselves.
I don’t believe high school coaches can be bought.
I played for one of the best basketball coaches this valley has ever known, who also spent many hours teaching his players every thing he knew to try and make them better. He also was a good listener who cared about his players and taught us to be not only the best on the court but the best off the court as well. I never had a dad to try an sway the coach, I never even had anyone to come watch me play. I did have a coach who cared and knew his players well.
We still have coaches like that today, right here in our local schools. I know most of them and can say without a doubt they want to win and they want their players to do well.
I have watched them in practice and their goal is to field the best they have. Coaching is a tough job and the pay is not the greatest. You will never make everyone happy but the real reward comes from seeing your team come together like a family and regardless of who plays the most, the team is whats important.
Sometimes a coach has to have players who are willing to be role players.
Time after time I have seen teams win games because someone has stepped up to fill a role just at the right time. A basketball player who can knock down the three at the right time or make a defensive stop. A volleyball player who comes in to block or serve. A football player who can kick a 40-yard field goal. These are role players and coaches know who they are.
This area has been blessed with some great athletes but where would they have been without the many great coaches we have had over the years. We still have some of the finest coaches in the state of West Virginia and they work very hard to get the best out of what they have.
Win, lose or draw we have plenty to be proud of.