How to handle a yelling coach

My son was nervous about his baseball coach. It was the first coach he had that would yell at the players. 

My son was worried the coach would yell at him.

I told my son the following story.

When I was in college a friend was struggling with an engineering course we were both taking. He asked me to tutor him. I accepted. We spent many hours reviewing concepts, problems, and solutions. I constructed many sample problems for him to work so he could gain practice at solving problems that were going to be on the next exam and gain an understanding of the material.

 The next exam finally arrived. As I worked on each problem of the exam I remember thinking to myself "George and I reviewed this type of problem...he knows how to solve this one...he should get this one right." And so I completed the exam confident George was going to do well. It was strange because I had very little concern for my own performance on the exam.

We got our grades back for the exam. George got a C. I was furious. How could he possibly get so many problems wrong when he had practiced doing so many similar problems? I grabbed George's exam and began looking at his errors. I started yelling at him. "George, we went over this at least 10 different times. How did you get this wrong?". My frustration grew as I continued to review George's exam, yelling at him about every error. I never once waited for a response from George. When I got to the end of the exam I finally looked up and saw George smiling. He said "I got a C. I'm going to pass. Thanks for your help".

I told my son that he should observe who the coach yells at and when. The coach only yells when the good players make mistakes - not the mediocre players. He yells because he knows they can do better and it frustrates the coach to see them make mistakes.

After the next practice I asked my son if the coach yelled at him. He said no. I asked him if he made any mistakes. He said yes. He said I was right that the coach only yells at the good players. Now my son had a different problem.

If a coach is yelling at you, smile, it means the coach thinks you're good and capable of much more.


  1. That is the so stupid! No you are a stupid father!!!
    Can you read that story back to yourself and think it is ok?
    I would love to meet such a perfect man as you! I will make sure to yell in your face when you realize you are NOT perfect!!
    What an idiot!!

    1. I'll imply from the liberal use of exclamation points in your comment that you are, in a sense, yelling at me. As my article illustrated this is a form of compliment and I thank you. And yes, I can always do better. By the way, where did I say I was perfect?

  2. I agree with Anonymous. Yes, coaches yell at the best players. But to humiliate young boys in front of both teams, both sets of parents so you can release steam out of your own frustration does not fit the definition of "coach." It is more like a childish rant from someone that needs to grow up!

    1. You posit that yelling at young boys will humiliate them. Maybe, but I'm not so sure. The coach yells "Come on Johnny, keep your glove down." in front of everyone but when Johnny comes into the dugout the coach says to Johnny very calmly "Johnny, you're an embarrassment to this team." Which is more humiliating?

      I was yelled at many times in my youth. I don't remember why I was being yelled at. I do remember, however, when someone said something degrading to me, no matter how they said it.


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