Student Well-Being

Where’s the Line for Sports Coaches?

By Bryan Toporek — February 15, 2011 1 min read

Henry Abbott, who runs the TrueHoop collection of blogs on ESPN.com, wrote a thoughtful post today about the different expectations for sports coaches and teachers.

Basically, Abbott asks why our culture tends to value sports coaches who belittle, berate, and break down their players, while teachers would be fired for similar behavior.

Check out the whole thing here. Here’s an excerpt:

What's weird to me is the conviction—shared by so many—that young basketball players need to receive punishments every day, even when they don't actually do anything wrong.
Can you imagine if they taught math and science this way? With punishments for almost every student almost every class? With routine tears? With no one but the teacher allowed to speak? There are several reasons they don't. I think the main one is that people find it indecent, and needlessly humiliating. Another one is that it's simply not necessary. We know math can be taught other ways, so this harsh way seems overboard.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.