Coaches vs. Disgruntled Parents in High School Athletics Essay

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In a growing trend that reaches to all corners of the athletic world, coaches are being forced to cope with the added stress of disgruntled parents. More and more they are required to defend personal coaching styles and philosophies, uphold team decisions and go head to head with angry, and sometimes violent parents. The pressure has gotten to the point where coaches all over the country are quitting or being forced out of their jobs by groups of parents. High school athletics should be about learning and having fun, and when parents cross the line between cheerleader and ringleader everyone suffers.

In just two years as head coach of Eastlake High School in Seattle, WA, Jan Nicholas took a mediocre team and coached them into
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As the season progressed, those parents were able to gain the support of a few others. Morris was soon told by the school's administration that they thought the junior varsity coach should act as a co-coach with Jerry, to "take some of the pressure off" of him. Morris, who was later voted coach of the year by his coaching peers, chose instead to leave what had become a negative situation (Morris).

The story though, goes even deeper than that. It seems that several of the parents who headed up the complaints against Morris were also influential members of the school's athletic boosters club. Apparently, threats had been made that if Morris was not replaced, the spring golf tournament that would bring in thousands of dollars to the school's athletic programs would not be held. The parents, who were planning on sponsoring the event that would mean so much to their children's sports, would have thought nothing about canceling it completely because they disagreed with one coach's way of doing things.

These are only two examples of many in recent years in which parental influences have drastically affected high school athletic programs. This added pressure comes from a number of things, including hopes of getting a scholarship, expectations that time and monetary

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