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Coaches should be commended
by Kenny Pearson


January 13, 2005

I am a student athlete at Ketchikan High School. I'm not the greatest athlete, and I'm not the greatest student, but I do have first hand knowledge concerning the school athletic program and its affiliates. I've had the privilege and honor to work with some outstanding coaches from all around the United States, as well as some of the not-so-great coaches. In all the places I've been, and all the coaches I've worked with, I've never found a perfect coach, and of all the people I've met, I have never found a person who could make everyone happy.

In regards to Terry Carlin's comments of concern, I would like to offer an alternate opinion to his grim view on the character of the athletics program and its coaches in Ketchikan.

I have participated in Ketchikan High School's Cross Country, Football, Wrestling, Volleyball, Basketball, and Baseball program, and in each of these sports I attended the off-season optional practices. I have never seen any student denied the opportunity to practice with a coach because of his or her ability level. These practices could be more aptly named an individual workout. Coaches do not expect kids to attend these unless they have every other obligation fulfilled. The students that attend the optional practices aren't usually those who have nothing else to do and they certainly aren't pressured into abstaining from other activities. Coaches understand that teenagers these days have an extremely full schedule and, therefore, do not pressure them into attending off-season practices. The teams are built during the season, but the athletes must be built in the off-season. Any coach who gives up his time away from family and work, just to help out a couple kids who want to get better, should be commended, not ridiculed, as being obsessive and selfish.

What is it we are asking out of these coaches? We expect integrity and a good character building atmosphere. The coaches we have teach a lot more than just how to be an athlete, they teach us how to be a person. They teach us that to be great you have to do more than everyone else; they teach us the value of teamwork. We expect our coaches to teach us honesty and good character, but we still want to win. We don't want to hear about their politics or religious ideals, but they should still tell us alcohol and drugs are bad. We ask them to make the bad kids better people, the bad athletes good, and good players great. We want them to teach athletes to hustle, but also to help a fallen teammate. Our coaches, absolutely, are not selfish. Our coaches are not out to reclaim some long gone legacy they missed out on years before. They spend hours upon hours away from their families and careers, just to help us. The coaches of Ketchikan High School care about the kids and enjoy making the sport both fun and hard work. They don't cheat; they don't even bend the rules. Coaches don't hold it against us, at all, if any student is playing an in-season sport, spending time with their family, doing homework or even sitting around playing Xbox or Play-Station, instead of attending the off season practices; they enjoy the sport as much as we do, but they don't ever try and make it our life.

Kenny Pearson
Ketchikan, AK - USA



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