Do coaches need to calm down?


« Just Asking

by Kim Boccia (Contact)   | 52 entries

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(In response to last week’s column)

I ventured over to a second-hand store that sells used clothes on consignment and needless to say, I went home with a “new” jacket, skirt, earrings and a matching necklace. And I don’t care what anyone thinks. Score!

Just saying ...

Coach speak

I’ve never been much of an athlete. I was the softball player who would let the ball go right between my feet, or would go off in a daze right before the ball was hit to me in left field.
I’m still scarred from my dad telling me in the seventh grade that I run like a girl! It wasn’t until my 40s that I thought, “Wait ... I am a girl”!
Now, my only sport activities are a poor attempt at tennis and throwing the “chuck-a-puck” at the Youngstown Phantoms hockey games. I won’t even get into how I once threw the puck and it didn’t even go in the direction of the ice. It hit another fan in the head and I quickly pointed at my daughter.
I don’t completely stink at tennis, though, so I started going to a tennis clinic with one of tennis pros at the Boardman Tennis Center. I was nervous because she has a reputation of being really tough, and let’s just say she lived up to that reputation. She did not sugar coat anything. She would yell across the court, “Kim, why are you doing this?” and wave her arms in the air like when E.T. ran across the room screaming.
I looked at my friend and asked, “I do that?” My friend just looked the other way mumbling that I looked more like a chimpanzee in a state of hysteria. I tried harder and when it was my turn to hit the ball, I would swing and make sure I followed through as I was told. Again I was corrected.
“Kim, why the heck do you keep hugging yourself? Follow through and stop hugging.”
I was really embarrassed at first, but then I started arguing back and sticking up for myself (yeah — that didn’t go over so well). I guess when your title is “tennis pro,” you usually know what you’re talking about and shouldn’t tolerate back talk from a beginner.
The thing that fascinated me was that she was right, and her calling it to my attention actually corrected my poor swing.
I guess what I’m asking is, “Is it possible that these so called “mean coaches” are on to something? Or, is it better for them to be more “polite” and handle us (or our kids) with “kid gloves?”

Just Asking ...

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