AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

High school coaching is fun, energizing and a tough job. High school coaches are training young people to compete, to be winners and to be successful throughout their lives. High school coaches are also facing challenges at every turn. Whether you are just considering becoming a high school sports coach or are working towards a sport management MBA, here are some of the biggest challenges a high school sports coach faces that you should keep in mind.

Coaching sometimes feels as if an ax is hanging overhead waiting for failure. A coach’s success rate usually depends on the record of wins and losses. The problem is that all coaches don’t have teams filled with the best talent in the state. School districts want coaches that win and bring them more exposure. In many towns, sports provide a citywide event. The entire town may flock to watch players each week. Some years coaches may not have the talent to produce a winning season. It’s up to the coach to teach them how to play better to increase the odds of a great season.

Demand on Personal and Family Time

Coaches don’t just show up for games and stay a few hours late for practice. Coaches spend hours watching game tapes finding where they could improve or how to outsmart their opponent. Tournaments take up entire weekends and getting home in time for dinner is often out of the question. Most coaches are also teachers so they are actually doing two jobs for one salary.


The records may say one thing, but the attitude may say another. Dealing with difficult players is a huge challenge. The star player may score the most points, but is always late to practice or isn’t a team player. A winning record is imperative to a coach’s success rate, but the ethics of sitting the player out for their attitude is also a challenge. Other players may think they should start. A coach may think another player is better suited to start the game. Conflict can arise and cause a rift in the team balance. Players may even claim coaches are favoring other players because they are “good.” It’s a difficult balance for the coach to play the players who score the most points while staying true to the entire core of the team.


A parent usually thinks their child is the best player in the game. If a coach isn’t playing the child enough, a parent is angry. If the coach is in the player’s face giving a talk, a parent might not like it. If the child does get to play, but doesn’t get the ball enough, the parent is mad. Parents often approach coaches with their concerns. The coach must always remain loyal and fair to the team. The entire team simply cannot play the entire game. Parents are the players’ biggest supporters, but can often get in the way of team morale.

Budget Constraints

Many school districts have cut funding to extracurricular activities. Most argue sports are one of the most popular activities for a school system, but sometimes this does not matter. Budget setbacks don’t allow the team to travel as much, force them to wear old uniforms or keep them from getting the newest technology in sports that helps better their performance. Coaches must work with what they have to ensure the players stay on track and don’t worry about the restrictions.

Personality Conflicts

Sports are full of personalities. Coaches, athletes, Athletic Directors, teachers all fit into the balance of coaching. Assistant coaches and head coaches don’t always see on the same level. Coaches must find the balance in order to have harmony with the entire team, including the other coaches. If conflicts are not shot down, the team will never be a success.

Categories: General

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