Abuse - Coaching - Evaluations


HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel did a recent show about collegiate athletics. It was a little disturbing to say the least.

One of the segments was about the abuse college athletes receive from their coaches.

The findings are also applicable for the HS and youth levels.

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Click on image to watch video.


Abuse is very simply a lack of self-control, a lack of self-discipline, a lack of virtue. Abuse is weakness.

Abuse is NEVER necessary in order to achieve any goal.

We can be demanding and positive at the same time.

But it takes self-control. It takes work.

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There is a battle that rages within each coach. That battle is between the balance that is needed between discipline-excellence-demanding & caring-perspective-compassion.

Being the demanding - edgy - “hard heart” 24/7 destroys young people. It also destroys ourselves. We are often blind to the latter.

As coaches we often excuse ourselves under the guise of “I need to do that in order to win” or “I need to do that in order to bring out the best in an athlete.”

Being demanding is necessary, it is part of coaching. But it is not not the only part.

Being demanding does not exclude you from being able to care about your players.

Amiable pleasantries 24/7 does not work either. Striving for excellence is hard work.

Effort does not = easy.

One does not win a championship through relaxation, acceptance of mediocrity and hot stone massage.


Are the athletes in my school experiencing abuse from their coaches?

Have we accepted abuse as a necessary means to the end of winning?

Do our coaches have a healthy balance? Are they demanding AND caring?


How do we change this culture at our school or within our coaching staff?

Evaluations at the end of the season by the players about your coaches. They should be anonymous and handed into the athletic department or filled out electronically.

Create a series of questions ... here are some samples:

1. How were you treated this season by your coaches?
2. Did you ever witness physical and/or verbal abuse by the coaches?
3. What virtue lessons did your coaches teach you this season?
4. What team building activities or events did your coaches implement this season?
5. Did you feel like you grew as a person during this past season? How?
6. How did your coaches react after a loss?
7. How did your coaches react after a win?
8. If you had to give your coaches an overall grade of A-F, what grade would you give them and why?
9. What was the best moment of your season?
10. What was the worst moment of your season?
11. What did you love the most about your coaches this season?
12. What did you dislike the most about your coaches this season?
13. Do you feel like you were mentored appropriately this season?
14. Are you glad you played this past season, yes or no?

Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd