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Is being compassionate toward student athletes a necessary quality of a successful coach?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on January 31, 2006

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“To some extent, but there is also a large need for discipline. Especially with team sports.”

“Sure. I think it’s a people business and you have to be able to relate to the needs of the athletes. I think it’s the responsibility of a coach to make sure that the athletes have a positive overall experience.”

“I think so. I always played better for coaches who I bonded with as a friend and a coach.”

“I think it is important, because to be a good coach, you have to love what you do. So they need to be compassionate towards the players as well as the game.”


Grundoon Luna 12 years, 4 months ago

Nah, those kids are tough. Throw a chair, Bobby! KU got a hold of some extra strenth whoop ass last night!! Seriously, though, nasty attitudes can be a moral killer. You want the althletes to be motivate by the mission, not by what they may fear is going to be the result of a loss.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 4 months ago

What no pictures?

That was a game. Man, was that a game.

To answer the question, not necessarily. A stern coach could be just as good a coach. I am guessing this question is steered towards Bobby Knight, and he has won three national championships. It just depends on personal opinions.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 4 months ago

"It just depends on personal opinions."

I guess that is why it is asked to several people and posted on a message board for people to comment on...

Good work Ron...

RonBurgandy 12 years, 4 months ago

I had one of those Dr. Jeckyl/Mr. Hyde things going on. That or I just wanted to point out my own stupidity for everyone to see...I don't know.

Good point on the stern vs. compassion thing. Let me revise that a coach doesn't have to be compassionate to be a successful coach in my opinion.

badger 12 years, 4 months ago

If the definition you're using of 'compassionate' is that you worry all the time about hurting people's feelings and you don't want to offend anyone, then no.

If the definition of 'compassion' you're using is that someone is aware that others have feelings and chooses to act in ways that are truly kind, then not only do coaches need it, but it's a necessary and essential human virtue.

Before anyone denigrates me as a Typical NeoWhatsit FluffyMuffin or whatever, let me clarify that acting with kindness doesn't mean walking on eggshells and being PC and afraid to hurt people's feelings, just really being aware of your actions and trying not to cause undue or unnecessary pain.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 4 months ago

Necessary quality? No. Desired quality? Yes!

Coaches should be both stern and compassionate. My daughter has a coach that is very stern. Yet, she is loved by all of her students. She freely smiles and pats them on the back and gives encouragement. But she is tough. She will let you know when you are doing something she doesn't like.

There is another coach at the same place. Just as stern but has no compassionate side. The kids (and parents) can't stand her. She has made many kids quit because they just can't take her criticism. (Now, these are young kids I'm talking about.) I would think it would be important at any age, though.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 4 months ago

The new glamour shots camera must be broken.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 4 months ago

It was an overload of "Z"s.

Maybe, they were too tired to go out and ask the question, so they just made up four names.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 4 months ago

It should be called "THE SHOEMAKER INCIDENT".

bankboy119 12 years, 4 months ago

What was the Shoemaker Incident? I missed it.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 4 months ago

bankboy: ask OMB, I think he mentioned he saved it.

badger 12 years, 4 months ago


Do you suppose he'll sue me?

I should be ok. I have liability insurance.


I blame the bobs of the world for SHOEMAKERS PRO SE.

Jayhawk226 12 years, 4 months ago

Ditka giving the finger to his own fans and throwing gum at them...and we love him anyway!


beatrice 12 years, 4 months ago

NOOOOOO!!!!!! EM is honestly booted?!!!? Just think, we will never ever never again ever hear from him again!!!

Well, at least not until he is reincarnated again. : ) Will it be in the form of "extreme money," or "even makeover," or something else entirely, like "early morning"??? I hope we don't have to wait long.

beatrice 12 years, 4 months ago

Oh, I forgot to add --

As far as the question: I guess it depends on whether or not the coach is involved with student athletics to begin with. Do we really want our NFL coaches being "compassionate" with student athletes? Doesn't sound right to me, so I say "No."

RonBurgandy 12 years, 4 months ago

Let's just say it's a misspelling gone horribly wrong.

irnmadn88 12 years, 4 months ago

I see our esteemed panel has little to contribute to the subject unless it is a political lightning rod...

On topic:

Student comes before athlete. As a coach of student athletes, a coach MUST have compassion for the young person. The person is much more important than the number on the shirt.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 4 months ago

Yes I did break the board. I circled a roundabout twice yesterday - couldn't get right! I have eight more to go.

I think he should come back as embellished_mutant.

THE SHOEMAKER INCIDENT was hilarious. Sorry Bob, I know it was at your expense. But WOW! My eyes are still hurting from those screaming capital letters!

Ceallach 12 years, 4 months ago

I had the pleasure of knowing two great coaches during my daughter's basketball days. Both coaches, high school and college, were very stern and still appropriately compassionate. They made lasting impressions on the teams and the families of the players by teaching more than b-ball. The simple concept of not violating others' space but aggressively defending your own isn't such a bad thing to learn. (Although at times I thought she enjoyed "defending" her space just a little too much :)

Is it true that e_m was banned? I thought he was probably just busy with some new project! I probably can't say anything else or Ceallach may go away :-/

Ceallach 12 years, 4 months ago

Gootsie: embellished_mutant? I doubt that name would last long -- it begs to be abused and banished!!

bankboy119 12 years, 4 months ago

I don't think it is. They're there for 3 years. If they have an uncompassionate coach but they still win....that coach is still considered successful in the W column. People would remember the coach as a mean SOB but their teams still won.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 4 months ago

Ceallach - exactly! But it would be done in the best of fun because, well, we care.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 4 months ago

No it sure doesn't. But he and extreme_makeover will be extremely_missed.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 4 months ago

Hubby votes for engine_malfunction My vote is extrinsic_martyr (now, if that doesn't describe our beloved e_m, I don't know what does!)


RonBurgandy 12 years, 4 months ago

Gootsie - forget the circling the roundabouts punishment, your new punishment should be that you have to stand in the middle of one and wave at every car.

Ceallach 12 years, 4 months ago

TOB: I checked out that site and was sorry to hear that he considers himself too old to have tantrums. I'm older than him and I do so enjoy an occasional tantrum .. now that's the key to not being bitter :) Tantrums!

RonBurgandy 12 years, 4 months ago

Yes, a balloon seems like it should be a part of this.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 4 months ago

everyone's_muse eternally_muted extremely_m mature elaborate_misfit

kcwarpony 12 years, 4 months ago

Sorry to hear that e_m is banned. I'll miss him.

Yes, I admit, I like to lurk:

To everyone else, keep up the good work and thank you for making my day a little less boring.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 4 months ago

OMB, you made me hungry for some fried catfish. But, alas! I had to settle for some marinated steak grilled 'til properly bloody, roasted veggies (tons of garlic) and some fresh from the oven sourdough. YUM!!! Eat your heart out Gnome with your salivating talk of pot roast.;o)


PleatherBob shall be hence forth known as BOB PRO SE. (You set that whole elaborate scheme up just to rid yourself of that name, didn't you?)

sweetpeagj 12 years, 4 months ago

ok..Why was e_m removed? I missed something I guess. Did anyone else get a e-mail from Shoemaker? He sent one through LJW and asked me to send him my info so that we could talk. Also, when I went and looked over the OTS for his wave attack all of his were actually gone and the majority of others were removed. How does this happen and why is it allowed? I thought we all had the right to our opinions regardless if it offended the moron of the national wave epidemic. Sorry, he said he was going national with his story. I told him then if he wanted my info (on board not through private e-mail) then he could figure it out.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 4 months ago

sweetpea, I didn't get an e-mail from "the COBBLER". Wonder if he thinks I wouldn't be sympathetic to his cause.

Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary: Cobbler 1: A shoemaker 2: A clumsy workman 3: A tall iced drink consisting of rum and sugar, garnished with lemon 4: A deep dish fruit pie with a thick top crust

bearded_gnome 12 years, 4 months ago

WOW! this is the first I can come on here, and I find E_M kicked off...terrible news I say! eeeegads!

Sunflower_sue, any meal which contains sourdough and lots of garlic is good in my book, i.e. I make homemade french onion soup, adding a bunch of garlic besides the big sweet onions which are sauted and then cooked in the broth. served over good sourdough, melted cheese on top. in fact, was planning to make that one tomorrow!

bearded_gnome 12 years, 4 months ago

RE: "THE SHOEMAKER INCIDENT!" glad I didn't decide to let him contact me directly, I think his lock washer has worked itself loose!

badger: I don't think he'd sue you, instead I think he'd seu you, or sew you...

pretty damned sad to latch onto the death of the six-year-old boy to promote his cause!
seems to me, if he'd been less abrasive, he might've gotten along here, but he tossed his own the saying goes! so long!ooooooooo

bearded_gnome 12 years, 4 months ago

re the ots question: well, a coach should exercise compassion, when a player expresses something which might be upsetting to the administration, and not throw that player off the team, remembering that all of us enjoy freedom of speech and that player had pretty good sense, and that by throwing the player off the team it reflects on the coach and administration negatively.

[now, how's that for an alegory answering the ots question but addressing the fate of our beloved E_M?]

extremely_missed; euphonious_moralizer; eureka_orator?

sweetpeagj 12 years, 4 months ago

I wasn't at all sympathetic to him. I slammed him on everyboard he posted about it. I was actually very rude. I know I talk about getting along but petty behaviour that affects many people burn me up. Then for him to want me to give me info about myself? Just what I asked for for Christmas a deranged wanna be lawyer trying to get me on national exposure because I dared interfere with his petty mindedness. I only have one moniker on here..wonder if I should get another they know if it is the same person? LJW that is? Maybe they will be back as someone new..of course with e_m we will recognize him right away..probably beach the whale also..oops meant save the whales

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