Home > Humor > Sports Humor > All Hail the Fearsome Football Coach

All Hail the Fearsome Football Coach


By: Angela Gillaspie © September 2003

Hoo boy, I'm out of my league - the youth football league, that is. Last year, my oldest son played for the first time and we painted our faces, cars, and shirts with his jersey number, and enjoyed the season. This year, my six-year-old son wanted to be involved in the fun, so I signed both boys up for the Junior 1 and Junior 3 teams, respectively, figuring that during their off days, they could tackle each other and leave their sister and baby brother alone.

After the first week of practice (in 95-degree heat, five days a week, for two and a half hours each day), my younger son asked to quit. The first weeks of practice are usually intense, so we asked him to stick it out. Another week went by and he begged to quit, saying, "I hate football. I don't know what to do and the coach yells at me all the time."

Concerned, I stopped swapping casserole recipes with the other moms and paid closer attention to my son on the field. After a few more practices, I agreed to let him quit. In three weeks, he went from liking to play to I'd-rather-eat-a-lizard-than-play. I partially blamed this on poor teaching techniques and bad communication skills of his coaches, plus his inability to understand strategy and handle the frustrations of football. My husband reluctantly agreed, but reserved official comment fearing that his status as a chest-thumping football dad would be tarnished.

Myself, I'm convinced that many coaches are trained in the Good-Ol'-Boy School of Football where the following courses are offered:

Sure, there are exceptions - like a couple of my oldest son's coaches - but many coaches act like pompous bullies. My husband disagreed, and with a look of pure affection said, "My coaches were great - even when they made us run seven sets of 50-yard suicide sprints up hill both ways in the driving rain."

Umm, yeah. Sure. Anyway, as a mom, I had certain expectations from the football program. These included:

  1. My child should learn the fundamentals. The coaches need to have a grasp of the rules, tactics, and skills of the game. All those hours they spent eating cheese curls, drinking beer, and watching college, high school, and professional football should help immensely.
  2. My child should learn the value of fitness. Exercise (running laps, push ups, etc.) shouldn't be used as punishment because kids will eventually resent physical activity - something I do every time I get on the treadmill and watch my thighs flap around.
  3. My child should have fun. I signed him up for football so that he could play, learn more about the game, and wear those neat pads. Although football is a tough sport, the kids shouldn't cry at practice unless they're physically hurt or they're overcome with joy. Also, practice times shouldn't end so late; kids need time for dinner, homework, fighting with siblings, and sleep.
  4. My child should participate at a level that matches his maturity and ability. Children need to be spoken to on a level that they understand, you know, the coach needs to choose his terminology - often avoiding vernacular - to be age appropriate and not obfuscate communication, therefore further ubiquitous elucidation on topics that the child deems ambiguous increases cognitive retention. Ahem.
  5. My child should learn good sportsmanship. When the coach loses control by yelling, calling names, and throwing things when he's frustrated, he teaches the kids how to act like professional wrestlers - a personality trait that will get them into trouble when they're older and begin dating.
  6. My child should be respected. Coaches need to learn how to motivate the kids using respect, not fear to get what they want. I don't have the money for a therapist to help my boys get over their fear of overweight middle-aged balding men that yell a lot.

On the other hand, my husband had a different set of expectations from the football program. These included:

  1. My son should hit hard - it makes me proud and it's cool.
  2. My son should like it - it's a guy thing.
  3. My wife should shut up and not get my son black-listed - it's another guy thing.

Nope, I'm not going to win this argument because I happen to live in the Deep South where football is a religion and only the men have the key to the church doors. So I guess our six-year-old will get another year of toughening up before he tries football again.

Speaking of being tough, football coaches may be fearsome, but nothing's as frightening as the wrath of a ticked off Southern Momma with a hickory switch.

Be afraid.

~*~*~ Southern Angel's Glossary ~*~*~

Ambiguous: confusing
Black-listed: to be shunned and mocked by coaches and players
Casserole: a dish that holds a wonderful mixture of meat and or veggies, which is easily prepared and baked
Cognitive: to think, to use your brain - something that isn't done too often nowadays
Elucidation: to make clear
Fundamentals: the basics
Good Ol' Boy: men's only club where men are men, boys are treated like men, girls are believed to have cooties, and women stay away
Hickory Switch: a thin branch from the hickory tree used for disciplinary purposes
Junior 1 Team: a tackle football team containing 5- to 7-year-olds that weigh less than 75 pounds
Junior 3 Team: a tackle football team containing 8- to 9-year-olds that weigh less than 100 pounds
Obfuscate: to confuse, something politicians do all of the time
Suicide Sprint: this exercise varies from coach to coach, but it involves sprinting, say, 50 yards, dropping and doing 10 or so push-ups, sprinting 40 yards, dropping and doing push-ups, sprinting 30 yards, etc.
Tackle: to knock the snot out of another player
Terminology: language
Ubiquitous: ever-present, everywhere
Vernacular: slang words
Wussies: slang for "girlie boy"

Stay tuned for more SouthernAngel's sports!

Copyright © 2003-2018 Angela Gillaspie
Revised - 09/05/03 - 05/16/18
Home: https://www.SouthernAngel.com
Email - Click here:
(Sorry, the evil spammers have ruined most of my email addresses so now you must fill out a form to contact me!)