Family Meeting: Coaching

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Heather Hardy says boxing is not an individual sport. She says she could not win without her coach, Devon Cormack. (Sue Jaye Johnson)

We spend two hours talking about coaching, from sports to professional life, parents and coaches, and how coaches can influence our bodies and minds. First, a call-in for you to talk about your best and worst coaches and what they taught you. Plus Stefan Fatsis, panelist on Slate's Hang Up and Listen, sports correspondent for All Things Considered, and author of Word Freak and A Few Seconds of Panic, takes your calls and discusses what makes for a good coach, from the pro level down to youth soccer.


Stefan Fatsis

Comments [17]

fizz ed from New York City

The 500-lb gorilla in this discussion the huge budgetary school cutbacks in phys ed, sports, band, and other extra-curricular activities in which kids learn from coaches, mentors and others. Lots of today's kids won't have these fond memories of wonderful coaches -- or any coaches -- a big gap in their educations.

Mar. 19 2014 07:09 PM
Carlie Berlin from Manhattan

I would like to acknowledge with deep gratitude my parenting coach, Julie Ross of Parenting Horizons in Manhattan who my wife and I have benefitted from for the last 11 years. Julie's scholarship, wisdom and practicality have combined to change our lives and those of our children (and of course the lives of her other acolytes). I don't make any special claim to be an exceptional Dad but I know I'm a much better Dad than I would have been without Julie's guidance and coaching. I believe that parenting responsibility is the most important activity of my life and that I could use all the help I could get to acquire the skills to meet this every-day challenge (and joy) and I'm so lucky to have found the best coach imaginable. This is coaching of the highest order, the broadest need and of the greatest importance.

Mar. 18 2014 06:32 PM
Bonnie from NJ

Would love you to interview and have a segment with the guy who left coaching because he wouldn't market , was it Nike? because the company exploits the workers, so he could talk more about his time in Indonesia and what he is doing now.

Mar. 18 2014 03:20 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I want to express my appreciation for the caller (Jim, I think?) who is holding sports equipment companies responsible for how they treat their contractors & advising players to choose their equipment based on that criterion. His integrity is impressive, & I hope his organization changes the way these things are done in sports.

Mar. 18 2014 11:57 AM
Xtina from E. Village

It's amazing that people are so amazed at the thought and practice of being conscious and present in the moment. Don't they do anything all day that requires awareness? No wonder the world is so messed up.

Mar. 18 2014 11:12 AM
William from Central NJ

My father & i were watching a boxing match back in the day ('60's) & when one fighter was KO'ed after the bell & I said that he cheated, my dad pointed out that the unconcious fighter was more at fault for failing "to protect yourself at all times", the first rule of fighting, which I have come to realize over the years that this implies being responsible for yourself & be prepared for adversity in essentially all facets of life, not to be distrustful or fearful, but simply viligent and empowered to apply one's skills in any forum to one's best ability. To this day this has been my best zen lesson.

Mar. 18 2014 10:57 AM
bernie from bklyn

is this a joke? you start the show with a call-in about listeners experiences with coaches? dear bl show producers- the only ones who care about hearing the listeners call in with their coach stories are those listeners calling in, everyone else will turn the dial... good job!
no..really..are you seriously dedicating an entire show to COACHING? what is going on with this show lately? brian- i guarantee that 75% of your listeners have tuned out for this one.
wow. this is on the level of- i want my pledge money back!

Mar. 18 2014 10:51 AM
Looking back from Westchester

Hindsight is 20/20. I recently found a Facebook post on my high school's alumni page. Someone had written a shout-out to Jacqueline Wahl, a Spanish teacher at Hunter College High School in the seventies. Miss Wahl, as we called her back in the day, was prim and proper and strict, and not my friend by any stretch of the imagination. She made us complete verb books in which we conjugated verb after verb. She gave lots of quizzes. Some of the work was tedious. It turns out that Miss Wahl gave us a wonderful, thorough foundation, and I have reaped the benefits of this my entire life. The posting alum, Coach Dave Crenshaw (a coach?) made me look back and recognize at all that this teacher had given me. I am sure that I am not the only one who did not, at the time, appreciate Miss Wahl. Unfortunately, I am sure that, as a result, most of us never did thank her.

Mar. 18 2014 10:47 AM
Susan T from NYC

I met a family when I was volunteering at a shelter in the South Bronx, they eventually returned to North Carolina and I stayed in touch with them. I received a letter one day from Freddie Frazer,the basketball coach at the high school they were attending in Raleigh. He was asking for help in putting one of these kids (John) through college by asking for donations. For four years he kept the donations coming, helped John apply for student loans, organized the boy's budget and John did graduate with a degree in accounting and is now working in the book keeping department of a car dealership. I think John was among a number of kids that he helped in this way. Coach Freddie Frazer is a true hero.

Mar. 18 2014 10:45 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Yes, any decadence in high school and college sports reflect the decadence in society. E.g., too high salaries, etc.

Mar. 18 2014 10:38 AM
leslie from pearl river

i learned a great life lesson from my h.s. cheerleading coach. there was an older girl who bullied me - she didn't know me, but didn't like me. one day i had enough and the expletives went flying. she vowed to kick my a$$ the next day. i called my coach that night and told her the situation, basically asking what would happen to me if i got into a fight. she said regardless you will be suspended from the squad so... don't throw the first punch, but don't be a punching bag either.

Mar. 18 2014 10:38 AM
Glenn from Manhattan

Any discussion of coaches has to include Dean Smith. As a native of North Carolina, Dean Smith was coach to us all - even when we were just citizens and fans. Two recent excellent articles about him include John Feinstein's Washington Post entry:
and ESPN's:

Mar. 18 2014 10:20 AM
Mandee from New York, NY

The most memorable and influential coach in my life was my college field hockey coach, Anne Adams. Anne showed me and my teammates that you don't have to be the stereotypical scary coach who screams and intimidates to get the best out of her players. In fact, I'm not sure if I ever heard Anne scream or yell once. In Anne's quiet way, she instilled confidence, encouraged us to dream big and believe in ourselves-- and we did. Which is not to say that she wasn't tough. Anne worked us hard and held us to a high standard. But what she managed to do was help us set that standard for ourselves, so we began to hold ourselves and one another accountable. We were a better team and better people for it. Thanks Anne!

Mar. 18 2014 10:19 AM
Shay Kilby from Lake Peekskill, NY

I want to thank Jim Kilby who was president of the Olney, Maryland Boys and Girls club and also my father, he coached football basketball and softball in Montgomery County Maryland. He treated all of the girls equally to the boys and taught us that we deserve a level playing field in life as well as on the field. Now, this wasn’t always the case, I remember when I first started playing softball and I’d ask him why the fields were terrible and the boys fields were always better, and he would say “Well you are girls.” At that time he didn’t coach girls ao one day I came home with a softball rule book and asked him to coach. After that he was often heard constantly fighting for his girls to have fair treatment, better equipment, and fair fields. And he succeeded in changing things within the club. So it was quite a turnaround for him, for our relationship and for that club. And when I think about how many women went through there in the 80s 90s and beyond I realize how many women’s lives he affected in a positive way, I am very proud to call him Dad.

Mar. 18 2014 10:19 AM

I'd like to send up a thank-you to English Professor Anne Kaier, who pointed out to me that another professor's opinion that I should not be an English major was just that, one opinion. I majored in English and went on to earn graduate degrees, and it has always been my greatest pleasure. I owe her so much for helping me put one person's discouragement in perspective. Long gone now, but thank you Anne!

Mar. 18 2014 10:15 AM
Robert from NYC

Another shmaltz show?

Mar. 18 2014 10:10 AM
Kate from Manahttan

This segment hasn't even started yet but I'm so excited for the next two hours! I'm a mom of a nine year old boy who is into sports and I've done a complete 180 on sports, teams, coaching and even contact sports. As in I'm a bigger supporter of all of the above.

Mar. 18 2014 10:02 AM

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