Thank a coach
School in Newton County starts today while Rockdale started last week. The start of school also means the start of a new sports season.
As with the any event, the beginning of something is always the most exciting. Part of what brings the excitement it that it is always filled with hope.
During the summer, baseball and softball tend to practice for about a month, mostly in July. The basketball players are usually occupied in June with their practices. Then lets not forget about the football players. Between weight training, drills and either linemen or 7-on-7 competitions they usually spend most of their summer putting in a lot of work to get better. Of course, all of this time is spent so they can be the best they can be and is normally done without complaining.
That doesn't mean cross-country runners, wrestlers, volleyball and all the other athletes don't get together to improve. Their summers are also used as a time to think about the previous season and figure out what they can do to make the next year better.
A lot of people think about the kids who sacrifice their time, but they are not alone. It seems that very few people really think about the coaches that are out there weathering the elements along with the players.
While the coaches do get paid a stipend for coaching, there is no way the extra money really compensates the amount of time they spend with their athletes.
I've seen where some head football coaches get about $12,000 with coordinators making in the area of $7,000 and regular coaches somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,500. I don't know exactly how much the local coaches earn, but whatever it is I'm sure they're worth it and more.
During the season, these football coaches stay after school for more than 20 hours a week between practices and game days. Assuming that a team does not make the playoffs, we're talking about 250 hours at bare minimum. Then usually starting in January until the end of the school year, they can be found for about another 20 hours a week, probably more, helping kids in the weight room and analyzing the talent they have coming back and what their possible weaknesses are and how to overcome them. Then the two months between the school year it would not be uncommon to find these coaches on the field another 20-30 hours a week. That does not include the time spent supporting other sporting events or the off-field commitments they have with the booster club, trying to raise funds or attending seminars to become better coaches.
If you were to take those extra hours, it could come out to less than minimum wage. Even though football coaches usually spend more time with players that does not mean that other coaches do not have less dedication or care for their players. If these coaches were in it for the money, they would take minimum-wage jobs. I've also seen where coaches spend their own money on equipment or to give their players something extra. A lot of times they could spend more quality time with their players than they do with their own families.
Even though I'm concentrating on high school coaches, actually all coaches from rec department to middle school have the same love of the game and desire to teach the younger players how to play and hopefully do it while showing sportsmanship. With high school sports starting in less than two weeks, I feel that all coaches should get some appreciation from the fans rather than trying to second guess decisions.