LETTER: Actions Of SMS Boys Coach Concerns Parent


My children attend Short Mountain Elementary and play for the Boys Basketball team. Just barely into the season they would come home from practice stating they were being told they were lazy and out of shape. As a parent, I have a problem with this. My children are not lazy nor are they out of shape. Here is my problem, how does this being said affect the children? My children got angry and really put out with the coaches. Not just because it was being said to them but, because they seemed to have singled out one child more than the others. What happens to the child that has that insecurity about his weight? A comment like that could be very damaging.

On January 19, 2012 one of the coaches crossed the line again. While playing a game against East Side, she put her hands on one of my children in a way that no adult, teacher, or coach should have touched my child. Why? Because he wasn’t playing the way she thought he should play. He wasn’t mad enough, he wasn’t playing aggressive enough. Simply because he was having too much fun. Talk to him and bench him for a few minutes …okay. Hit him in the chest three times … absolutely not.

Now this coach wants to have summer practices. She informed the team last week that anyone who had harassed her, she had deleted their numbers from her phone. She went on to tell them that they had better hope they had a good enough friend on the ball team that would inform them when practice would be because she would not be. As a parent, I feel this should have never been said to the children. If you have a problem with me, come to me. That is just not something that should be said to the kids.

This is just a short list of the problems with the coaches of the Short Mountain Boys Basketball team. I have spoken to the coaches. I spoke to the principal and Barbara Parker just last week. Again, just this afternoon spoke with the principal about this matter. I do not feel like my concerns were taken seriously. I was told it would be looked into and handled. I’m fairly certain they thought that would shut me up and sit me down. Boy, were they wrong. When is okay for a coach to speak to a child that way? When is it ok for a coach to lay hands on a child? It’s not! Not in my book. These coaches should be replaced by someone who will help these children, who will help them have fun and win. Not, someone that tells them they are lazy and out of shape every time they turn around.

Mandy Litchford

Liberty, TN