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Private and Public School Sports: Same Problems With Coaches, But Handled Differently

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The subject of which has better coaches: private or public school always seems to spark some petty good debate but my experience and insight into the differences between private and public school sports is a subject that I have spent some time studying for the last year, and I have made some really profound discoveries.

The most revealing discovery was the dynamics of the high school teams that I researched from both private and public schools all had one very common thread. They all have the same coaching issues, the same drama, the same politics, the same favoritism, the same  nepotism, and most critically, the same breakdown in coach/player relationships and lack of understanding. But they are all  dealt with in a very different way.

Private school parents: staying quiet

In the private school setting, both parents and players seem far more patient and are less vocal when they have an issue or conflict with the coach. My belief is that it is because most (three-quarters) of private schools are church-affiliated, and if you or your kid is talking about a coach, it's going to circulate through the church pretty fast, and you probably won't be viewed in a positive light and may be labeled as a troublemaker. So your only option is to say nothing. Hold on to your faith, be patient and let be Lord handle it in his own way. I'm not going to add any Scripture here, but what I'm saying is that private school athletes and parents appear to bite their tongue until an issue becomes so bad that the Board of Directors is forced to take it up. Even then, most private school boards appear to be very reluctant to make coaching changes.

Public school parents: more quick to complain

By contrast, public schools athletes and parents seem to be a lot more willing to complain about a coach unlike a coach at a private school.  Since there is no tie to the church, the public school coach doesn't have the shield of the church, the pastor, or priest that the private school coach has. The parents and athletes are more likely to build an alliance, pull together as a group, and outwardly express their opinions. Which often leads to things getting resolved sooner, rather than later.

The bottom line is that while public and private schools have all the same problems with coaches, they deal with them in different ways, which might be something for you to consider if you have a sports-minded kid and are trying to decide what school best suits your child's needs.

What has your experience been with the coaches at your child's private or public school?