The Titanic job of our local coaches
With the recent 100-year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic in the cold Atlantic Ocean, it only seemed appropriate to draw a comparison from that disaster to the catastrophic coaching landscape in Valencia County.
A recent visit with a local director of athletics had the coaching and administrative veteran saying that landscape is now far more difficult than years past.
He compared it to an iceberg, where 10-percent of the job is visible on the field and 90-percent is out of view. He also said it is the out-of-view items that can sink the unsinkable and do it quickly.
The H.M.S. Titanic was thought to be unsinkable, so much so that no consideration was given to sailing into the icy Atlantic at the peak of iceberg season on April 15, 1912. When the ocean liner hit one, it was the underwater damage that hurt the ship the most.
It sank in 17 minutes.
From the stands around athletic venues in the county, I have heard from the less informed that teams could be doing better. I have heard aspersions cast upon officials, players and coaches as reasons for defeats, and sometimes even victories. I have heard parents of players say that they could do a better job of coaching.
A friend of mine has a saying, “Perception is reality and reality be damned.”
I hate that saying, because reality is where it is at for those of us in the journalism field. Perception is skewed by viewpoints, opinions, and here is the big one, our own desire to perceive things in the way we want them to be. We seek the reality of truth and not the perception of personal agenda.
The perception was that the Titanic would not sink. Let’s just drive the thing into an iceberg to test the perception. Mother Nature gave those of arrogant perception a great reality check.
My A.D. friend notes that parents of high school athletes and those that disparage our high school programs need just a tragic reality check.
He said that there are a large range of people who will tell you they can coach. The perception is that you are coming into a position where coaching is the same as it was in Little League. It is completely different on the high school level.
He also noted that the items out-of-view, the bulk of the iceberg, center around personal accountability, following policy and rules, getting paperwork submitted in a timely fashion, accountable for the kids and their grades, accountable for the financial part of the program.
He said that coaches will sink or swim based on that 90-percent, not because they do not know the game.
I have to wonder if undue and irresponsible criticism had anything to do with Albert Aragon ending his nine-year career as the Los Lunas basketball coach. I have to wonder if that was the burnout Dominick Romero experienced in a very successful run as the Valencia head basketball coach.
I perceive that it was the most certain factor in the release of a winning baseball coach in Robert Riggins, a two-game dubious appointment of Pete Candelaria, and the tremendous job of picking up the pieces done by Daniel Harmon to lead the Tigers to a post-season spot.
My A.D. friend noted that as a society we have gotten away from the reason that we play sports. This idea that parents are grooming their kid to be the next Emmitt Smith or Kobe Bryant, is to the point that almost every parent is thinking this way. We have lost track of the point where we just go out and play and have fun doing it.
Let’s get back to reality and let the perception be damned. There are a lot of fine coaches in the area that are tiring of the lack of support from administration and the interference within the programs by the most dangerous iceberg of all, someone who thinks they know how to do it better than an educated, trained professional coach.
Stay in the stands and keep your opinions within your own household and we will avoid the disasters of sinking athletic programs within the county.
Or maybe we like the crashes that will still be talked about 100 years later.