Letters from a student athlete

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Dear Administration:

There have been a lot of changes regarding service clubs, sports teams, and academic clubs — even school spirit continues to decrease as time goes by. Many students who were once dedicated to sports are now quitting the teams. Why would a student who has been on the same team since they entered high school quit in their final year?

One potential reason is the revolving door of coaches here. Coaches are not getting paid as much as what they deserve. Coaches make half of what the Speech and Debate adviser, band director, Associated Student Body adviser, and Academic Decathlon adviser make. These advisers all make around $6289 per season which is double what some coaches get. Coaches contribute just as much time, commitment, and efforts as these advisers. As such, they should at least have equal earnings. They deserve it because they spend all year training us. Even within the coaching community, football coaches get paid more than any other coaches. Why the difference in pay? The low pay coaches earn despite investing so much of their time can also be a factor in why there is a shortage of coaches. Some coaches are getting better offerings at a different school.

Another reason that students quit is the absence of the coach who they have already made a bond with. The constant changes of coaches in some teams do not allow the team to develop meaningful coach-athlete relationships. There are barriers between the students who were in the team before the new coach, and the new students who just joined. For example, after the announcement of Coach Kwon not being rehired,  most of the students on the volleyball team quit. Students would also compare the coaches and complain about the differences.

Dear Coaches:

You are also held responsible for why teams are falling apart. The idea of being more strict or threatening us with bad grades does not mean that the team will get better. Being on a team means that we enjoy doing what we are doing, so we should not feel threatened for not being able to perform well. It should not be like a job where we clock in and out for practice.

Not only do coaches need the right attitude to be successful for themselves, but they also need to provide the motivation that their athletes need to strive throughout the season. Yelling is necessary in some cases but there is always a limit to it. Rather than wanting the students to perform at a level that meets your expectations, be more open-minded and understand that not everyone is the same. Do not expect us to prioritize the team over everything. We also have family and school to put our time into. It is not about winning the games. Do not set high expectations or compare us to the years before us. Putting pressure on us by comparing with the previous year makes us doubt our skills.

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