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Cussing Coaches

Does swearing help a team win?

Recently, I found myself in a debate about which curse words were acceptable for an adult coach to use with an elementary school-aged team. Playing like sh*t?  That’s ok, as long as it’s not directed at one player. Damn good job?  That’s fine, it’s positive.  F-bomb? No, that’s not ok with me.

I played many sports growing up—soccer, swim team, volleyball and basketball.  I do not ever remember one of my coaches swearing.  

The decent side of me believes that it's never ok for adults to swear in front of kids. Try as I might to keep my language clean, the occasional four-letter word will slip out. My realistic side knows that kids hear profanity every single day—on the radio, in their video games and movies.  It’s typical kid behavior to use the words amongst their peers.

There is no denying that Tony Dungy was under pressure back in 2007 when he coached the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl victory. He did it without ever swearing at his team. He is the exception to the rule, as we can easily read the lips of many NFL coaches and decipher their profanity. It’s not limited to the pros—it’s college-level down to 5th grade travel teams.

Carol Kania Morency November 17, 2011 at 09:32 PM
I live near Doerhoefer and I hear swearing coaches year round. Sound carries, people!
vball7511 December 04, 2011 at 02:41 AM
I play sports in highschool and I don't think that it is a bad thing. When a coach curses at the team it means WE need to work harder. I think it is acceptable for middle school and up. You need motivation and if you don't want to hear these words then we need to work harder
PAUL C. December 04, 2011 at 12:14 PM
My son has played travel baseball for 2 different coaches from 11-15 years old in 2 different programs. Both managers were intense as were the coaches on these teams but never did I ever here anything remotely close to a f-bomb. His travel basketball coach for 4 years 5 while intense was our favorite. He won at at 70-75% clip without getting crazy every year! Styles differ and swearing at the middle school level in unnecessary. So far, the high school basketball coaches are intense but I have heard no profanity. Even if they don't agree with a ref's call or are upset with a player's failure to execute a play, they don't need to drop an F-bomb. I am sure these kids are seeing on FB/twitter etc enough of it and hearing it from there peers.
Kelly December 15, 2011 at 10:54 PM
High School Maybe....All other grade levels NOT ACCEPTABLE EVER!
vball7511 December 16, 2011 at 12:04 AM
I have played club for years and have been sworn at never the f-bomb but if you don't want to hear those words than work harder. I think of it as motivation and not a detriment.

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