Coaches Encroaching on Our Time


Kelly DiFonzo, Opinion Managing Editor

The daily grind of a student-athlete here at RHS is all about pushing yourself to the next level. When the clock strikes 2:30, it is time to get in your zone. Unfortunately, due to some coaches, this “zone” is often abusively extended for hours and hours.
Time is of the essence in high school. We go to school for seven hours, practice for over two hours, and complete much more than an hour’s worth of homework. This does not include time to eat, shower and relax.
Participation in high school athletics is rightfully encouraged. Being on a sports team builds friendships, keeps you active, and teaches commitment. However, coaches can twist this “commitment,” making a mere high school sports team seem like more of a priority over more important aspects of life. Missing a practice or a game should not deem a player as uncommitted to a team.
Some students believe a team and coach should mutually respect each other.
“Since I am a freshman and cannot drive, it is really important to me that a coach respects my time. If I am at practice on time, it is only courteous to allow players to leave on time so our parents are not waiting all day in the car. Coaches should respect the fact that I don’t want to be up past midnight doing homework or other things.” freshman Kaelyn Mashburn said.
Excessively long practices will only serve to burn out the players. Fall sports start an entire month before school starts, and this can infringe upon our already short summer. Two hour practices a day do not sound like a lot, but it makes athletes’ schedules inflexible.
Furthermore, many coaches schedule exhausting practices before a game. As opposed to practicing a whole two hours before a game, some students believe it would be more beneficial to go home, eat food, complete homework or take a nap before a game.
“It really depends on the team. For example, football is a sport with such a large team that structure and lengthy practices are necessary for success,” junior varsity football player John Devanadera said. “But if the team is small and not very skilled, three hour practices are excessive and not helpful.”
Coaches need to utilize their allotted time throughout the week effectively in order for their team to improve. New drills will be more beneficial than waking up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday after a long school week only to run through the same practice your 0 and 9 team has been doing for eight weeks.