Letter to the Editor: Coaches are incredible mentors, and parents could do a better job thanking them

Photo by Matimix/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

OPINION — Today I heard of yet another complaint. Actually, an unfair accusation. Instead of getting mired in the mud, though, I’d like to plead for all decent-minded, fair parents — which I believe is most of you — to take a few minutes of action. Please email a coach or a school administrator and thank them for the good influence a coach has had on your kids’ development.

Pine View High School running back Keith Adams hugs coach Ray Hosner after announcing that he has signed to play football at Clemson University, St. George, Utah, Feb. 2, 2022 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Maybe I need to back up. Like a lot of you, I have had my children participate in youth sports. Like most of you, I wanted my kids to learn to work hard where it is harder and harder for our kids to learn how to do this in our relative life of ease. I wanted them to be a part of a team and to learn some things about themselves.

This path, of course, was no joy ride. My kids didn’t always get the playing time I thought they deserved. I didn’t always see things the same way the coach did. But we endured. I talked to my kiddos, hoping it was a lesson in resilience. But what I always appreciated was the opportunity my kids had because a coach who was a volunteer or almost a volunteer gave them to learn important developmental lessons.

Most coaches, if not all, wanted the best for my kids. Most coaches have been great role models.

I must disclose I am also a coach’s wife. My husband has coached recreation league, competitive league and high school sports for two decades now. And things have changed dramatically in that time.

Some of these changes are great, but some of these changes have made being a part of youth and high school sports toxic. Most of those changes are in the perception and attitudes of the parents. Parents have become relentless critics of coaches and are the No. 1 reason youth sports have a bad reputation.

Andrew Burt (left, black shirt) coaches youth soccer with Steve Nelson (right), Cedar City, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Gena Nelson, St. George News / Cedar City News

For the most part, these parents are in the minority. This is where I think we can all make a difference. I believe the majority of parents are grateful for the coaches that have been willing to be a part of teaching our youth these vital life lessons. My kids are better people because of them.

So thank you, coaches Brindley, Hunter, Meacham, Roberts, Warby, Whitehead and Warner.

Please take a minute to put some good into the world with a quick email to show that the majority of parents appreciate the coaches in your kids’ lives. Please show those who make the decisions about the future of youth sports that we see the value of great coaches and mentors.

Submitted by HEATHER KUNDE, Ivins.

Letters to the Editor are not the product of St. George News, its editors, staff or news contributors. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them. They do not reflect the product or opinion of St. George News and are given only light edit for technical style and formatting.

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