Atomic City Update: Youth coaches deserve more credit for the work they do

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By Phil Scherer

As I sat at home this week eating turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie and watching football and basketball, a thought occurred to me that really got me thinking: The people out on those courts and fields providing entertainment to the rest of the country aren’t with their families.

It isn’t really a day off for them at all. This is true for countless Americans, whether they are serving in the armed forces or away on business of some kind. Thanksgiving, and holidays in general, are something that many take for granted, while a large number of people are forced to spend the day away from those they love.

As I pondered that thought, another came to my mind, one that applies throughout the entire year.

In every community around the country, coaches give up so much of their free time to help young athletes develop into better players, and better people.

It’s something that isn’t given nearly the recognition it deserves. For the vast majority of these coaches, this is not a full-time job.

For eight hours or more every day, they go to their full-time job, and then hop in the car and coach kids for another three hours or more.

On top of that, they give up weekends throughout the season for these kids, and are always just a phone call away.

There is nothing easy about being a coach for youth sports. The kids go through so much development during those years. They are learning the game and who they are as a person at the same time.

Being around these kids as they go through that process is so much more hands-on than any other level of coaching.

Yes, college coaches are responsible for the behavior of their players off the court, but by that time the biggest part of the maturation process has taken place, and the coaches the players had throughout their youth laid the groundwork for what is acceptable behavior both on and off the court.

For a college coach, winning really is the most important thing. If they do not win, their job may be immediately in jeopardy. They have enough pressure on themselves that they can’t worry as much about the development of their players, and understandably so. They do the work of recruiting players that fit into their system, and build the team the way they see fit.

That part of it makes the job of a high school coach so much harder, and why they deserve so much more praise. For the most part, coaches in high school can’t choose the players on their team. There is no recruitment process. They just have to take the kids available to them, and create a positive team atmosphere that will help their players grow.

So I would like to personally thank the coaches at Los Alamos High School for all they do for the young athletes in this community.

For these kids, you give up evenings. You give up weekends. You give up valuable time with your family. And you do it all with a smile on your faces.

Your hard work and dedication is greatly appreciated by this community. Thank you for all that you do.