February 01, 2010

College coaches, players, parents clash: Tywanna Patterson watched her son, Patrick, get lambasted by former Kentucky basketball coach Billy Gillispie during a game at Rupp Arena last season, the outspoken mother felt compelled to send a message to her only child. “Don’t let [Gillispie] yell at you like that,” said Tywanna, screaming as she rose from her seat. “You yell at him. He’s the one who’s messing up.”

posted by irunfromclones to culture at 02:13 PM - 19 comments

That article was at times dead on and at times frustrating. The frustrating part for me was equating toughness with being okay with a coach pushing or yelling at you. Those are not the same things.

Plus, it is annoying to compare playing a college game and a real job. Find me an industry that it is hugely profitable where the ones doing most of the work don't make any money and they are regularly berated, yelled at, and sometimes physically abused. Maybe if you find an industry full of illegal immigrants, but no one else is taking such poor treatment. Further, while some parents may be watching out for their kids for the money, it is more likely that coaches are witnessing the results of helicopter parenting. Parents are everywhere getting more and more involved with every aspect of their kids lives. While that is certainly problematic in many circumstances, with the coach/student relationship, the power balance is so out-of-whack, I'm glad some parents are watching out for their kids.

posted by bperk at 03:51 PM on February 01

Another problem, Edwards said, is that coaches are having more and more trouble relating to their players because of the cultural gap that exists between the two groups. He said not enough is being done to bridge the gap between white coaches and black players, which often leads to conflict and rebellion because the two sides don't have enough respect for one another.

"At the end of the day," Edwards said, "you have a situation where it's Lawrence Welk and Pat Boone talking to Snoop Dogg, Ludacris and Vanilla Ice in the locker room. They don't get it. They don't understand it."

Speaking of cultural gaps ...

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:47 PM on February 01

Please don't tell me that this guy is no longer culturally relevant.

posted by cjets at 05:50 PM on February 01

Does this mean they're gonna have to stop calling Marine recruits "maggots" in boot camp?

posted by outonleave at 07:47 PM on February 01

Maybe if you find an industry full of illegal immigrants, but no one else is taking such poor treatment.

Ever met workers from a call centre?

Please don't tell me that this guy is no longer culturally relevant.

A while back I was reading that on the late 80s, the major record companies were falling over themselves to find a crossover artist who could take 'black music' to a wider white audience. That is, no one wanted to miss out on the next Elvis. The search obviously took a few wrong turns.

posted by owlhouse at 09:13 PM on February 01

bperk:

Further, while some parents may be watching out for their kids for the money, it is more likely that coaches are witnessing the results of helicopter parenting. Parents are everywhere getting more and more involved with every aspect of their kids lives. While that is certainly problematic in many circumstances, with the coach/student relationship, the power balance is so out-of-whack, I'm glad some parents are watching out for their kids.

...which is probably why they remain "kids" well into their twenties. Helicopter parenting is a sign that you've screwed something up: specifically, failed to teach the kid to look out for him/herself in a given situation, so now you "need" to be there looking out for him/her. It's a sign of parenting failure, is all.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:52 AM on February 02

It's a sign of parenting failure, is all.

It's also a sign of the way society has changed. When most of us were growing up, we were raised to respect our elders and to listen before speaking. If I got out of line, my mother had absolutely no problem smacking me upside my head as I'm sure that most of us had the privilege of having that done as well. To this day, I watch my mouth around her because of the way she raised me and because I respect her ...and because I still fear her patented ear twisting technique which I felt on numerous occasions when I when I was a kid.

If a parent were to do that nowadays, DYFS would be called, the child would be taken away and the parent would be arrested. Kids also have the option of divorcing their parents giving the child more power than the actual parent which is crazy to me so it's no suprise that kids are being labled as "soft".

Sports have always been used as an outlet and for young kids, a way to develop camaraderie, team work and discipline. Coaches were considered to be a second parent and even that's now being taken away due to the lack of respect shown by both the players and the parents making it even more difficult for a coach to do their job. If anyone is to blame, blame society.

posted by BornIcon at 11:52 AM on February 02

Helicopter parenting is a sign that you've screwed something up: specifically, failed to teach the kid to look out for him/herself in a given situation, so now you "need" to be there looking out for him/her.

I don't think raising children is as cut and dry as this. Sometimes kids don't learn every lesson that their parents teach. Also, every life lesson on how to handle yourself is not completed by the time these kids are in college. Most people in their late teens or early 20s are not all that mature. They can't possibly be expected to completely watch out for themselves especially where a coach has such control over their lives and futures.

It's also a sign of the way society has changed. When most of us were growing up, we were raised to respect your elders and to listen before speaking.

I do think society has changed. I just don't think it is a bad thing. Respect is for everyone, but blind obedience to elders is not something I want my child to learn.

Coaches were considered to be a second parent and even that's now being taken away due to the lack of respect shown by both the players and the parents making it even more difficult for a coach to do their job. If anyone is to blame, blame society.

College coaches are not second parents. They are concerned about wins and losses not the development of their players as human beings. They get the respect that they have earned.

posted by bperk at 12:18 PM on February 02

...blind obedience to elders is not something I want my child to learn.

No parent wants to teach their child to have blind obedience to elders but they should have respect for their elders.

College coaches are not second parents.

I wasn't speaking about college coaches, I was talking about the coaches who coach young children. Sorry for not clarifying that.

posted by BornIcon at 12:44 PM on February 02

The helicopter parent thing is certainly hard to generalize about, in my experience. I work in college admissions and see plenty of apps completed by Mom, not Junior. Even so, I can deal with that far more easily than the opposite--parents who can't be bothered. And they outnumber the Sikorskys 10 to 1.

As for college sports and the power dynamic at work here--it's complicated, isn't it? I wonder what Gillespie told the mom during his recruitment visits. People get extra-upset when they've been promised one thing and take delivery on another. And if the kid was a star as a prep, maybe he got used to uncritical coaching. Who knows what the whole backstory is here?

What a puzzle. Some teachers and coaches can blow their stack and wind up idolized by students and players. (I think of my Shakespeare prof, here.) Others can be accomodating and earn nothing but disrespect. And sometimes, the reverse is true. So hard to generalize.

posted by Uncle Toby at 01:36 PM on February 02

Also, every life lesson on how to handle yourself is not completed by the time these kids are in college.

Bit of a strawman there -- nobody has learned "every life lesson", no matter how old they are. What's absurd is parents sending infantilized teenagers off to college -- legal adults who cannot cook a meal, do their laundry, balance a checkbook, manage their time, work to a goal without constant micromanaging, or make sensible everyday decisions -- even within the hothouse context of college. Mind you, I'm not talking about perfect decisions -- I'm talking about "good enough" decisions, the kind that might not be the best, but where you can live with the consequences and learn thereby. Helicopter parents are unwilling to let little Liam or Mackayla live a life where they make "good enough" decisions, and the end product is adults who lack that skill.

Most people in their late teens or early 20s are not all that mature.

Why is that? Did something happen to human biology in the last hundred years that renders people in that age range incapable of making wise decisions and in need of nannying until the age of 30?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:13 PM on February 02

Why is that? Did something happen to human biology in the last hundred years that renders people in that age range incapable of making wise decisions and in need of nannying until the age of 30?

I am not aware of any changes in brain development over the last hundred years if that is what you are asking. Young people now make far more decisions about far more important things than they did one hundred years ago. Parents used to choose trades, spouses, homes, etc. They used to help raise their children.

posted by bperk at 06:41 PM on February 02

they should have respect for their elders.

Why? Their elders have ruined the environment, run up massive national debt for their kids, grandkids, and great-great-ad-inifinitum to pay off. Western kids face a lifetime of crippling debt in a world that will be left with mass extinctions, exhausted fisheries, over logging, to name a few problems. I'm not seeing any reason for any 5 year old to "respect their elders".

legal adults who cannot cook a meal,

Maybe you want to take off those rose tinted glasses and look at how many men "went off to college" able to cook meals and do their laundry a hundred years ago.

Did something happen to human biology in the last hundred years that renders people in that age range incapable of making wise decisions and in need of nannying until the age of 30?

Well, let's see. My grandad left school at 12 to go to work and help support his family of 13. I'm sure that kids living in the slums of Bangalore reach worldly wisdom pretty quickly today. Perhaps you'd prefer to live in those societies?

posted by rodgerd at 07:14 PM on February 02

I work in college admissions and see plenty of apps completed by Mom, not Junior. Even so, I can deal with that far more easily than the opposite--parents who can't be bothered.

Whenever people make an issue out of parents who overprotect their kids, it makes me wonder if they realize how many kids have no parents who give a shit. That's a bigger issue than "helicopter" parents. A lot of high school and college athletes latch onto sport because the coaches provide the first fathering they've gotten in their lives.

posted by rcade at 10:19 AM on February 03

Why?...I'm not seeing any reason for any 5 year old to "respect their elders".

If you really feel that way, that's sad. Why wouldn't you teach a 5 year old to respect their elders? It seems that the kids of today are already lacking respect for themselves and it may be due to parents not teaching them self-respect or respect at all and that's no way for any child to be raised. But to each their own because IMHO, no one needs to be told how to raise their children.

A lot of high school and college athletes latch onto sport because the coaches provide the first fathering they've gotten in their lives.

I totally agree which is why I brought it up in this thread that some coaches are considered to be a second parent to the kids they coach.

posted by BornIcon at 10:49 AM on February 03

See, this is the paradox. A guy like Bobby Knight graduated players. They earned degrees. But he was clearly an abusive asshole. How much does the end justify the means?

Personally, I think it's a matter of both pragmatism and degree. There is nothing wrong with being yelled at. But abuse is something different. And if a program is successful and, yes, despite college sports complete abortion of a system, there are colleges that, not unlike the Marines, churn out a more disciplined version of the kid that signed up. I mean, do we think the Marines are good for some people? Don't we suggest that builds some character? Well, the Marines are tough. Life is tough. Get a helmet.

And if I was the kid who's mom started yelling at my coach, my first instinct is to tell her to stay out of it. It would be what I would want. I can't blame mom for being passionate and biased - she loves me. But she better shut up, because she is not helping. And it's embarrassing.

And 5 year olds should goddamn right respect their elders. And know which ones have some good ideas. Kids don't know shit. My god, try to remember yourself as a teenager. Maybe a hint of a clue, but nothing at all developed yet.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:06 PM on February 03

And if I was the kid who's mom started yelling at my coach, my first instinct is to tell her to stay out of it.

Sort of like this.

posted by BornIcon at 02:02 PM on February 04

Whenever people make an issue out of parents who overprotect their kids, it makes me wonder if they realize how many kids have no parents who give a shit. That's a bigger issue than "helicopter" parents.

This whole thread reeks of false dichotomy.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:40 PM on February 04

I was making a Rogerian argument.

posted by rcade at 02:19 PM on February 05

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