By: Matt Jacobson
Coaches often get a reputation when it comes to their coaching methods, but so much goes into coaching a team that many never consider.
Coaches spend far more than the two or three hour practices worrying about the team. They have to set up game plans, decide who plays and be fully invested in the team to make sure they have the best chance to win possible.
Sharon High School head varsity football coach Dave Morse explains the toughest part of his job, “The toughest part of the job is preparing the football team to compete each week against top competition in the [Hockomock League],” he said. “Each team we play provides different challenges and skills and there’s never an easy opponent,” he added.
Sharon High School girls tennis coach Diane Micheroni says balancing playing time is her toughest job. “Toughest part of the job is trying to field a winning team while providing as many players as possible the opportunity to play in a varsity game,” she said. “… most of the players on the 16 player roster have the skills to compete and play… one can only field 7 players per match… and there are no substitutions,” she added.
Morse and Micheroni both say that watching players develop is the most rewarding part of the job.
“I enjoy the progression and development of players from raw freshman to solid seniors,” said Morse
“The most rewarding part of the job is watching my players grow as players and students over the 4 or so years they are on the team,” Micheroni said.
When it comes to dealing with angry parents, they have their own ways of dealing with them.
“Most parents just want to be heard and feel like they have to advocate for their player,” Morse said. “Other parents feel as though their player has been wronged in some way, in those cases I am honest with them and bluntly tell them every factor that went in to a decision,” he added.
“I listen to them and try to address why they are angry,” Micheroni said.
When players start not to care about the team, each coach has different ways of dealing with it.
“If a player becomes disgruntled and doesn’t listen, they have to be removed from have responsibilities because if one person has a bad effort, the other ten on the field get exposed,” Morse said.
“…I try to make practice challenging and try to vary the drills so the practice does not become repetitive. During games, for those players who do not get the opportunity to play, I try to get them involved in the match by having them chart their teammates and cheer them on,” Micheroni said.
Morse says he doesn’t like when players take time off during the offseason and training camp, “Parents think that a miracle will take place and the team should win games, despite summer long vacations, not checking in with their player to see if they are going to off-season workouts, or going on vacation during the first week of practice,” he said.Micheroni says that tennis is more of a team sport than others may think. “Parents sometimes forget that when their child plays on the tennis team, that child is no longer playing an individual sport,” she said. “They are participating in a team sport and decisions are made for the best of the team not the individual,” she added.