The notoriously animated coach explains why he quietly takes a seat when his children are playing.
Frank Martin knows that he has a well-deserved reputation for being an explosive and emotive presence on the sidelines as South Carolina’s basketball coach. While his squad didn’t make it into the NCAA tournament this year, his remarks at his season-ending press conference have him competing with March Madness for headlines.
While yelling and gesticulating may serve as trademarks of his coaching style, he made clear that he dials the theatrics all the way down when he’s watching his kids play. In his speech, he laid out his rationale for sitting down, staying positive, and why all other parents in youth sports should follow suit.
A transcript of his statement (via FTW), follows.
I know this, I’m the most animated coach you’ve probably ever seen when my team’s playing. I go watch my kids play, I don’t say boo. I don’t wave my arms. I don’t try to coach my kids. With all due respect to most parents out there, I probably know more about basketball than them. But I sit in the stands and don’t say a word.
There’s two guys refereeing a fourth-grade game on a Sunday morning. What could they possibly be making? Twenty bucks a game? … So on Sunday morning, instead of being in church, those guys are out there trying to make a couple bucks, pay their bills, feed their families. You think they really care which fourth-grade team wins? Do you really think they sat home and said I can’t wait to go officiate that game — I can’t wait to get that 10-year-old kid and embarrass him in front of people. Do you really think that’s what they’re doing?
While many may find his comments hypocritical, as he’s known as one of the most outspoken and aggressive coaches in college ball, it’s clear from his speech that he recognizes a profound difference between a collection of kids looking to try a new sport, and a team of collegiate players in pursuit of victory.
If this guy can rein in his behavior for the sake of kids’ development …
... then parents of young kids trying their best can certainly follow suit for the sake of their children’s development.