Parent calls out high school soccer coach for ‘verbally and emotionally abusing our children’

“You’ll notice some teammates from last year aren’t here.  It’s because of their grades.  I don’t want a bunch of dummies playing for me anyway!”  “You losers obviously don’t want it enough.”  “You’re all a bunch a wusses.  Now don’t go telling your parents I said that.”

Do you think that this is acceptable “constructive criticism” from a high school soccer coach to the players?   As a parent, would you stand idle if you knew someone was speaking to your child like this on a regular basis?  If your child came to you and explained that they felt bullied and intimidated by their soccer coach but they were too afraid to talk to the soccer coach for fear of retribution, would you feel that it was your responsibility as a parent to approach the soccer coach instead? If you did decide to approach the soccer coach and were met with a raised voice, harsh words and denial, who would you turn to next?  The AD? Administration?  Who do you go to after administration ignores your plea for solutions?

This is happening right here in our home town which is a close knit community that lives with a mantra of “Not in our Town.” The soccer coach is verbally and emotionally abusing our children. The soccer coach is being protected by administration while coach continues to victimize our impressionable youth on a regular basis. Parents have raised legitimate concern for seasons now and yet a blind eye keeps being turned.   Our local soccer community has become a hostile and abusive culture.   Our children are being groomed to tolerate being bullied into submission by the adults that are supposed to protect them.

A senior student quit the soccer team this year several weeks in because that student felt the only way to defend himself was to walk away. His parents demand for an explanation from the coach, AD and administration went unanswered.

One junior that had the nerve to start speaking up for himself and his teammates was abruptly dismissed from the soccer team via a cold and impersonal text message.  “Your attitude and behavior toward your coaches and teammates is not in line with what we are trying to accomplish as a soccer program.  Therefore, you are dismissed from the team and no longer part of BGHS Soccer. Please return your bag and warm up suit to the AD in the morning. – Coach” This junior was previously the JV team captain his freshman and sophomore year.  This role was assigned by his coach because of his positive attitude and strong leadership abilities. Team mates were then told that their fallen mate was dismissed because of his poor attitude toward his coaches and other players.  This student became a martyr to his teammates.  If you challenge the way the coach is treating you or your peers, you will be eliminated.  Our children are being fear mongered into submission.

How far does this need to go before the overall philosophy of high school athletics is changed.  How many more young athletes need to be assaulted before someone stands up for the rights of our children? Parents, this is your opportunity to make a change in the current culture and the future culture of our sports programs.

LeAnn Frankfather 

Bowling Green