Keith Edmonds is a 32-year veteran of teaching and school administration from Fort Wayne. He coached boys high school basketball as an assistant at Snider High School, North Side High School and was the head boys basketball coach at Elmhurst High School for 12 years, advancing to the Class 3A State championship in 2003.

So many dichotomies’ go into coaching young people, that to name them ALL would be virtually impossible so I won’t bore you with those… But, one thing that I have always found to be interesting in being a coach is having the opportunity to coach your OWN child. This encompasses so many aspects and behind the scenes, views that I thought this would be an interesting read for those of you that enjoy reading Courtside!

Being the son (or daughter) of a Head coach is tough on everyone that is involved (Coach, player, mom, dad) and whomever else wants to be involved. Think about it for just a minute, if you are the offspring of a coach do you ever have the opportunity for success? To start with, in the eyes of many, you only made the team because your mom or dad was the coach, which sends cold chills down the spine of many of the readers of this column (including my son). You’re the scapegoat of any loss, you have to be the hardest worker in practices and games (to justify your position) and if you have ANY successes it’s only because the COACH made it that way or put you in position to be the hero! (Shaking my head)….

I enjoyed coaching my son because he accepted ALL of the dirt and shame that came with being a coach’s son and worked hard to overcome any deficiencies that the “court of public opinion” placed on him. I pushed him hard (maybe too hard at times) but he never wavered even when I had the audacity to throw him out of practice!  He endured the heckling of not only being a starter on my team, but he was also the captain and inspirational leader of our team(s) as our success continued to rise.

Unless you’ve been in the unique position of being a “coach’s kid you really can’t get the full thrust of what this column is saying.  It’s TOUGH! Not only do students and faculty look at you differently at the school you attend, but also you’re constantly harassed by the student sections of other schools that you compete against! You’re expected to be betrothed as the “second coming” of the basketball gods in terms of talent and “knowledge of the game” and ride on this magic carpet of skills right onto someone’s D1 collegiate roster. Talk about pressure!

With all this being said those of you that have had or are currently enjoying playing for mom or dad take a moment to ENJOY IT! We love every minute of coaching and working with you daily and wouldn’t trade it for anything! Coaching my son made me not only a better coach, but a better MAN as well because I wanted to be an example for him every time I stepped onto that floor or in the locker room.  It always pleased me to see him in interviews saying things like “We just tried to stick to coach’s game plan” or coach put us in position to be successful tonight so he should get the credit”. Now that warms a parents, (oops I mean coach’s) heart!

Enjoy this season folks, there’s a lot of talent out there to be seen. If you happen to see a coach’s son or daughter out there working hard, it’s okay to say nice job kid”, but keep it down so you won’t alienate yourself from your friends or school!

Courtside with Coach Edmonds will appear every Monday at Outside the Huddle. These opinions represent those of the writer. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. 

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