Coaching – A View From the Sidelines

An Uphill Battle
February 19, 2009, 9:48 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Athletes and Grades.  How much of a part should we play in keeping these kids eligible?  I am not talking about doing the work for them, but I am talking about giving them every opportunity to better their grades.  Since I came to my current school, my focus has been to make sure that they are doing what they are supposed to be doing in the classroom.  Sometimes I feel like I am fighting an uphill battle.  I am now keeping them eligible, but the standards that they have are not what I want them to be.  Barely getting by is not good enough in my eyes, nor the eyes of the college recruiters that will be coming by to talk with them. 

A majority of the kids are going to maintain their eligibility, but just getting by, by the skin of their teeth.  They are happy with this, but then they get upset when the College of their choice doesn’t look at them because of their Core GPA.  I have gotten a high school liaison from a local college to agree to come out here and talk with the athletes at the school.  Hopefully this will help them see what they need to be doing. 

I am going to begin meeting with the rising Seniors here in the next couple of weeks.  We are going to meet one day a week for an hour.  These meetings will deal with their leadership.  Not just on the field in the fall, but in the building the rest of this school year.  I think it is important that they understand how much of an influence they are too the younger athletes and beyond.  My five year old sons can tell you the name and number of their favorite players.  They get excited every time they see them outside of football.  My sons find such joy in hanging out with these guys.  What they don’t understand is that the Freshman and Sophomores look up to the Juniors and Seniors in the same way.  My message to them…”BE THE LEADER I KNOW YOU CAN BE.”

The reason I am doing the Senior leadership meetings is that our athletes are losing their Core GPA in their first two years of high school.  It is hard to make up a low GPA when the courses only get tougher in your last two years. 

So I am going to ask again…How much of a part of keeping a kid eligible falls on the coach and his staff?  How much of the responibility falls on the parents or guardians of those kids?  What if they do not have the support that you feel they should have from the home?

Would love to know what your thoughts are on this.  This is something that I know every coach deals with.  I am interested to see how others deal with the same situations.


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