I always hear my peers and classmates at school say, “I hate going to practice.”
Why is that? Is there something more to this?
It’s hard to look forward to practice or rehearsal when some coaches and directors treat students as if it’s the major leagues of a professional sport or event — when in reality, it’s a high school team. Students begin to dread going to practice, and some even regret taking up the sport to begin with.
This isn’t what high school activities should be about.
It should be a learning experience for students — something that they can explore and decide if they can see themselves doing it in the future.
Sports in high school shouldn’t be treated like winning is the only option — it’s more appropriate that they’re treated like the students are exploring new things and as a fun activity to spend their free time doing.
However, when coaches begin to yell and holler at students for small mishaps, such as a freshman team not pulling off a play perfectly, it discourages students from taking part in those activities. It’s also extremely humiliating to be called out in front of friends and teammates for a simple mistake.
In many cases, coaches overwork their students and players. In my own personal experience, my Winterguard team only received one water break within a three-hour practice.
This type of coaching is unacceptable. Students should not be tired and sickly after a practice. If this is the experience that students have, coaches can easily wind up with numerous upset emails from parents.
However, this issue doesn’t just stop at coaches — it even extends to the methods many gym teachers use during class.
In eighth grade, when I didn’t run the mile as fast as my peers, I was subjected to many different snarky and rude comments from the gym instructor.
Situations like these only lead to students developing unnecessary anxiety and stress for their gym classes.
Because this subject isn’t talked about very often and is somewhat under the radar, there are not many cases recorded of students being harassed or treated unfairly by their coaches. However, according to The Atlantic, a study conducted in 2005 found that 36 percent of coaches working with middle school kids admitted to angrily yelling at a child due to their performance levels.
Although many student-athletes perform to the level of professionals, they’re still student-athletes.
With stress-inducing tasks like schoolwork or finding a date to prom preoccupying many students, coaches should try their best to remember that high school sports are ultimately just for fun.