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Major Concern! (long post)

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    So . . . Lots of issues I am truly concerned for the future of our kids involved in our basketball programs!  

    I am currently the JH boys coach and have desires to become a high school head coach.  I recently applied for the girls job that was open and later found out it was just a ‘cover interview’ by the AD.  He ended up recommending a former assistant for the job and never even told the school board or anyone else that I applied.  Then said it was just easier to not change anything and this was the safest thing to do.  Many girls were not happy because they actually wanted change.  None of them wanted this coach.  This AD also resigned and moved schools 2 weeks later.

    The  now new girls coach then complained that they only had 2 coaches (only 12 girls even playing) and the boys had 3 coaches and title IX came up . . . . So, the school fired the 3rd coach of the boys to make it ‘Fair’! (boys have 20 playing) if that matters . . . 

    The assistant that was fired is the best communicator, most involved, and best connected with the kids in both programs!  I have already heard from a handful of different boys, there may be more, that they don’t even want to play now because many of them do not like the other 2 coaches.  The head boys coach has even said he doesn’t connect well with the kids and he knows kids don’t enjoy playing for him, but he is only coaching in the hopes to make the state tournament one more time.  Problem is most of the kids that have said they dont want to play are players who would all get significant time.  He has stopped running our youth basketball camp a couple years ago, which makes him the only high school head coach to not run his sports camp at our school.

    The head coach doesn’t know they don’t want to play, he never communicates with the kids.  I know all of this because I have 2 kids on the team . . . coached all these boys in JH and they still tell me more stuff than I should know. . . Maybe.  Most of these boys want a different coach, maybe me maybe not.  

    Since I am involved as a parent, former coach, current coach in the 7-12 system, and desire to be the future coach . . . . Should I voice concerns and situations to the new AD, school board and current high school staff or just let things play out?  I don’t want to be seen as undermining either of the programs and I don’t want to look like I am after someone else’s job.  We are family friends with the current coaches and I don’t want to rupture the relationships.  

    We have a enrollment of around 230 kids, Our girls program dropped to just 12 girls and now it looks like our boys will drop to near that as well . . . I hate to see where the attitudes towards basketball and coaches is going here.  If I want to keep kids involved and motivated in the hopes that get the head job someday and can turn things around, how can I do that?


    Hey @Joe

    First off, thanks for sharing and being willing to open up about some of these challenges you are facing.

    You are in a unique position being a coach in the program and also having kids a part of it.

    Here are some initial thoughts that should serve you in your decision making process and what next steps to take.

    1- If I reached out to you and shared with you exactly what you just shared, what advice would you give me?

    -I take it a step further and will often think about these type of situations from a parent perspective…example, I have 3 kids. If one of my kids came to me and asked this question or if they watched me and I needed to model how to handle a tough situation, how would I model it for them?

    2-I will tell you what I would do if I were in this exact situation. And to level-set before sharing, I source some of my answer from a place of my faith as a guiding force

    I would first go to the current boys coach and share with him my observations…HOW you/I do that is everything.

    a) You could write a letter and show that you have put in significant thought and prep time.

    b) You could write an email

    c) Or this option – I would probably talk face to face and say something like, “Coach, I’ve been thinking a lot about our program lately and have some information I would like to share with you. Are you open to meeting to discuss? ….depending on the temperment and personality of this HC, the art of this conversation is important….does he/she like direct communication? will you need to lead with some positive celebrations about some good things he is doing and highlight those, then say b/c of all the positive things going on, some of them are being clouded out by some negative (or “opportunities for growth”)….I would then share some specific examples that are causing issues behind the scenes and could cripple the program

    Some additional thoughts to consider:

    Ask questions to see what he thinks? where does he source things from?

    I would go directly to the person first and not go above their head…if the conversation fell on deaf ears or was met with major resistance, I think you could consider going to higher-ups if it was in a really bad spot.

    you could say something about “all leaders have blind spots”…what do you think some of your blind spots are? what do you think my blind spots are?…that could lead into sharing some of the blind spots you perceive and laid out above.

    i would also take the opportunity as a real teachable moment for some of the players. Players all over the country at every level play for coaches they don’t agree with, like, respect, etc…I think leaders/coaches/parents…we could all help kids navigate these situations as they will happen throughout our lives with co-workers, family members, bosses, spouses…we have to learn how to work through adversity with people, not internalize bad feelings and live in a cycle of frustration.



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