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Lee: Parents’ attitude toward coaches changes with time

Thu., May 19, 2011

This will be my final words on the subject of coaches and parents – at least until next school year.

Lake City athletic director/vice principal Jim Winger, who coached his third season this year in a return as the school’s boys basketball coach, understands some of the frustrations of parents.

More so now than when he broke into coaching.

Winger sees discontentment from three distinct angles – as a coach, a parent of athletes and an administrator.

He believes something a mentor told him years ago still holds true today.

“In the 1960s and ’70s, they (parents) just wanted you to win,” Winger said. “In the ’80s and ’90s, they wanted you to win but make sure their kid plays.”

Winger added to that statement in the 2K world.

“In the 2000s, it’s, ‘Just play my kid,’ ” Winger said. “Now it’s, ‘Play my kid and get him a (college) scholarship.’ ”

Still, Winger believes most parents keep things in perspective and support coaches.

When Winger landed his first head coaching job in 1992, he kept parents at arm’s length. Now he believes coaches have to do all they can to keep the lines of communication open with parents.

“In this day and age you need to embrace your parent group,” Winger said. “You almost have to be a psychologist. You have to be able to read your parent group.”

Winger will talk to any parent about anything except playing time and the shaping of team rosters.

Nearing finish line

Idaho state track, softball and baseball tournaments begin today and Friday across the state.

The State 5A and 4A softball tournaments are in Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene. All the state track meets are in Boise.

North Idaho should be well- represented in each sport. In 5A softball, Lake City (23-0) is among the favorites; the CdA girls and boys track teams will contend for state titles; and the CdA baseball team (23-1) will challenge for a state crown.

Consider this: If CdA baseball wins, that would give the school a hat trick this year. The Vikings have already won states title in football and wrestling this school year.

Next week, all of the Washington state tournaments will be held across the state, from some golf tournaments in Spokane, to tennis in Vancouver, with track, baseball and soccer at points in between.

Eastern Washington will be well-represented as usual in track in all classifications.

If I could give the spring sports athletes in Washington and Idaho one final gift it would be this – decent weather. It doesn’t have to be warm. That would be asking for too much. The athletes would settle for pleasant with no rain.

How about it, Mother Nature?

CBBN up, GSL down

University baseball coach Scott Sutherland has no problem admitting it.

The Columbia Basin Big Nine was better than the Greater Spokane League this year.

“We actually played very well (against Kamiakin),” Sutherland said of the Titans’ season-ending 8-0 loss in which Braves left-hander Garrett Anderson (10-0) took a no-hitter into the seventh. “We hadn’t seen anything like him in Spokane. He throws 85 mph, has a sharp curveball and slider and throws a straight change. He’s the real deal.”

Sutherland talked with Kamiakin coach Ryan Carter.

“He (Carter) felt the CBBN was deep top to bottom and as competitive as it’s ever been,” Sutherland said. “He thought there were seven or eight good teams.”

And Sutherland thought it was a down year in the GSL.

“There were a number of freshmen that played on varsity,” Sutherland said. “In normal years, that wouldn’t have happened.”

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