My personal coaching philosophy is that coaches must be demanding but positive. Regardless if a student-athlete is a high performer or not, it is a coach’s DUTY to remain positive with them and find a way to have each team member make a positive contribution to the program, whether they are earning playing time or not (note: coaches, student-athletes and parents must remember that not all players on the roster will be able to play!).
It has always struck me odd when coaches turn negative on a student-athlete that they recruited.
If you bail on a player, aren’t you saying that you made a recruiting mistake? If you quit on a player, what type of message are you sending to the rest of your team? If you get verbally abusive and nasty with a student-athlete aren’t you condoning that type of behavior?
Coaches must set the bar high for their culture. If a student-athlete is not meeting the expectations of the program, coaches must have the relationship to talk with the student-athletes privately (as to not embarrass them in front of their teammates) and reiterate the demands of the program and see if they can pinpoint the performance (academic, athletic, etc.) problem.
This can only be done if there is trust that is built during the recruiting process and with the ongoing interactions with the student-athlete. Quite simply, it is a coach’s job to CARE!
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo