Five New York City youth and high school sports coaches were honored by the Positive Coaching Alliance at a ceremony at Yankee Stadium. New York Sports Daily reports that the coaches received the Double-Goal Coach Awards, which rewards coaches for focusing on both athletics and larger life lessons.
This year’s recipients include Ayette Carrasco, softball coach at Queens High School of Teaching; Joe Eassa, wrestling coach at Unity Preparatory Charter School of Brooklyn; Annie Eckstein, soccer coach at The Bronx High School of Science; Linda Hougland, field hockey coach at Far Hills Country Day School; and Gus Ornstein, football coach at Ethical Culter Fieldston School in The Bronx.
Annie Eckstein said in a statement to New York Sports Daily that the best coaching requires a positive disposition.
“One of the biggest things is effort and attitude,” she said. “If you can give everything you’ve got and you can help your teammates out and you can be positive with them, then you can walk away from whatever you’ve done and feel good about yourself. And the result is going to be the result, that feeling that you take away, that’s more important most of the time.”
This year’s PCA award ceremony comes as youth and high school sports are under the microscope for an increase in negative coaches and parents. A 2016 survey by Syracuse.com revealed that 58% of coaches have considered quitting their coaching jobs because of the team parents. A total of 82% of these coaches reported that dealing with parents has worsened over their career. In a statement to Syracuse.com, retired UCLA softball coach Sue Enquist said that high-performing athletes should not be pressured or monitored by parents.
“Parents of high-performing athletes provide independence for their child,” she said. “Being a helicopter parent is extremely attractive, because in highly competitive sports, it seems like the helicopter parent gets more, creates more. But in the long-run, they do a disservice to their athletes.”
This negativity and high control are also affecting referees. With about 25 million kids participating in soccer around the world, The Washington Post reports that referees of this sport experience the most verbal abuse from parents and coaches. In a statement to The Washington Post, Northern Virginia Football Officials Association Commissioner Dennis Hall said that he handled 32 player and coach ejections in the 2016 season alone.
“There’s no moral fiber left in our society,” he said. “People think because they paid to get into the game they can say and do anything they want, and they think they know the rules better than the officials because they watch television.”