Patience and self-control are essential in teaching kids new skills, coaching games, and dealing with parents and officials.
But while they may be among the most important attributes a coach can have, according to a 2005 study by researchers at three midwestern universities, they appear to be the ones in the shortest supply among America's youth sports coaches.
One of my sons' soccer coaches, an education advisor to then-Massachusetts Governor William Weld, was suspended for the rest of the season after threatening a referee after receiving a red card for dissent.
Unfortunately, his behavior is all too common.
Simply put, there should be a zero tolerance for this kind of behavior. Coaches should be able to accept bad calls by umpires, refs and other sports officials (remember, most of them are volunteers, too) and mistakes by players without a public display of emotion or of dissatisfaction (remember: a coach can display anger or frustration by his body language). A coach who makes things tense by his yelling and shouting creates an atmosphere that is not conducive to learning and having fun.