Coaching
09/26/2012 12:14:24 PM
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Is it ok for a runner to use a personal coach. The team has had 3 different coaches in the last three years . The runner is the fastest on team and works hard only runner to run all year long .wants to reach next level.
Is it ok for a runner to use a personal coach.
The team has had 3 different coaches in the last three years . The runner is the fastest on team and works hard only runner to run all year long .wants to reach next level.
09/26/2012 8:48:25 PM
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If you were Galen Rupp in high school, what would you do? Also, multiple athletes who work with different coaches come together on the Olympic team, and they support each other as representatives of the US while still working with their own coach that they trust most. does the lead Olympic coach say, everyone has to follow my training regime now? If you are a top runner in high school and have potential for a scholarship in running if you have an opportunity to get good training advice from experts, what do you do?
If you were Galen Rupp in high school, what would you do?
Also, multiple athletes who work with different coaches come together on the Olympic team, and they support each other as representatives of the US while still working with their own coach that they trust most. does the lead Olympic coach say, everyone has to follow my training regime now? If you are a top runner in high school and have potential for a scholarship in running if you have an opportunity to get good training advice from experts, what do you do?
09/27/2012 11:02:09 AM
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Speaking as a coach, I think there are a few variables at work here. Ego should not be a factor, and there may be a very good reason why an athlete may need something outside the team regimen. On the other hand, XC is a team sport. If an athlete is doing something additional or different, it needs to gel with the team's goals. What a coach would not want is for a perception to develop that "if you're fast, you can do anything you want, but the rest of us all are held to some standard." That can be cancerous. You also don't want that top athlete sneaking around and being passive-aggressive, sandbagging team workouts to save up for his "real training." Good communication is key--between the athlete and the coach(es), and also with the team. Unfortunately, I can give this assessment because I've had times when I have handled situations like this poorly, and have had to learn the hard way.
Speaking as a coach, I think there are a few variables at work here. Ego should not be a factor, and there may be a very good reason why an athlete may need something outside the team regimen. On the other hand, XC is a team sport. If an athlete is doing something additional or different, it needs to gel with the team's goals. What a coach would not want is for a perception to develop that "if you're fast, you can do anything you want, but the rest of us all are held to some standard." That can be cancerous. You also don't want that top athlete sneaking around and being passive-aggressive, sandbagging team workouts to save up for his "real training." Good communication is key--between the athlete and the coach(es), and also with the team. Unfortunately, I can give this assessment because I've had times when I have handled situations like this poorly, and have had to learn the hard way.
09/27/2012 11:07:32 AM
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There is an appropriate time for a runner to have a personal trainer(coach). During the off-season. It is a disrespectful slap in the face to the high school coach to usurp their authority by hiring a personal coach during the season. Seeking advice from someone is VERY different than getting coaching from someone. The Galen Rupp/Olympic team analogy is irrelevant in this situation. This is about a high school team, not an all-star team or Olympic team. It is my opinion that this sends a very negative message to the coach, creates a negative dynamic with the team, and tells the rest of the squad I'm better than you. With all that said, since I know the individuals involved, I will say that I know down deep that success is the motivation and there is no ill intent in what you are trying to do. However as a coach, I have to look at the bigger picture. My team is more than just one person and no one is more important than the other no matter how good they are. The athlete in question is as far as I have been able to tell, a fine young man, a committed runner, and very determined runner. If I had an athlete that came and talked to me about their dreams, I would perhaps work with them to tailor workouts that would assist them with that goal before seeking outside advice during the season. It is a very disappointing situation that you have gone through three coaches in three years, but it is not fair to the new coach to have their authority usurped like this. It is not their fault that coaches have come and gone.
There is an appropriate time for a runner to have a personal trainer(coach). During the off-season.
It is a disrespectful slap in the face to the high school coach to usurp their authority by hiring a personal coach during the season. Seeking advice from someone is VERY different than getting coaching from someone.
The Galen Rupp/Olympic team analogy is irrelevant in this situation. This is about a high school team, not an all-star team or Olympic team.
It is my opinion that this sends a very negative message to the coach, creates a negative dynamic with the team, and tells the rest of the squad I'm better than you.
With all that said, since I know the individuals involved, I will say that I know down deep that success is the motivation and there is no ill intent in what you are trying to do. However as a coach, I have to look at the bigger picture. My team is more than just one person and no one is more important than the other no matter how good they are. The athlete in question is as far as I have been able to tell, a fine young man, a committed runner, and very determined runner. If I had an athlete that came and talked to me about their dreams, I would perhaps work with them to tailor workouts that would assist them with that goal before seeking outside advice during the season. It is a very disappointing situation that you have gone through three coaches in three years, but it is not fair to the new coach to have their authority usurped like this. It is not their fault that coaches have come and gone.
09/30/2012 11:08:22 AM
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Galen Rupp had running talent that was recognized while he was playing soccer. He had an opportunity to work with Salazar when Salazar was a high school coach and Rupp was in high school. I don't know about the particular case being referred to in this thread, but if a kid is performing well for the team and scoring points for the team, and their performance is an outcome of private coaching, why is this only viewed as a slap in the face and not as an opportunity to get some extra help with coaching?
Galen Rupp had running talent that was recognized while he was playing soccer. He had an opportunity to work with Salazar when Salazar was a high school coach and Rupp was in high school.

I don't know about the particular case being referred to in this thread, but if a kid is performing well for the team and scoring points for the team, and their performance is an outcome of private coaching, why is this only viewed as a slap in the face and not as an opportunity to get some extra help with coaching?
09/30/2012 10:04:49 PM
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I am not at all opposed to the idea of a personal coach. Just think there is a time and a place for it. That time and place is not during the high school season. There of course could be isolated situations in which I might agree. But I believe there needs to be up front communication in any of these situations.
I am not at all opposed to the idea of a personal coach. Just think there is a time and a place for it. That time and place is not during the high school season. There of course could be isolated situations in which I might agree. But I believe there needs to be up front communication in any of these situations.
10/02/2012 9:32:28 AM
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Wow I can't believe this is actually being argued. Look I understand that coaches want to know what there team is doing and that there needs to be open communication but really? Just because it is high school doesn't mean that a runner can't be a superstar. I think the real problem is the pride of the coaches. They don't want one of their runners to be successful unless it is a result of their coaching. If a runner has the chance to become elite then go for it! Most high school coaches don't know how to get runners under a certain time. If it is your dream to become one of the best runners in SC history and you don't think your coach has the ability to get you there then do whatever you can to make it! Its not like your speed won't benefit the team.
Wow I can't believe this is actually being argued. Look I understand that coaches want to know what there team is doing and that there needs to be open communication but really? Just because it is high school doesn't mean that a runner can't be a superstar. I think the real problem is the pride of the coaches. They don't want one of their runners to be successful unless it is a result of their coaching. If a runner has the chance to become elite then go for it! Most high school coaches don't know how to get runners under a certain time. If it is your dream to become one of the best runners in SC history and you don't think your coach has the ability to get you there then do whatever you can to make it! Its not like your speed won't benefit the team.
10/02/2012 10:55:40 AM
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Proven coaches very rarely have parents or athletes to question their ability to build, enhance or develop their athlete(s). Often times a proven coach is a trusted coach and because we have different levels in coaching ability sometimes a novice coach may need mentorship himself. Many times rather than seeking help or advice to develop an exceptional athlete "egos" magnify. I moved into an area where running is not a priority on a winning level. I spoke with the running staff and express my intentions which was not to undermind but to position my athletes to be successful. So I ran them independently off season and would seek the advice from proven successful coaches. The fact that I have girls and I played sports that differ from what they are playing and I wasn't satisfied with the current results of the program they played in. I realized my athletes and the program needed help. The help my athletes received totally changed the success rate of our program. The only drawback is some coaches want total responsibility for athlete but only coach track and not cross country or vice versa. The athlete s committed to running and the coach is committed to his season. Coaches are on a different time schedule than athletes. He may have a 5 or 10 year goal that athlete goal may now be reduced down to 1 or 2 years. Negotiate. Negotiate. We are all the SCHSL. More experienced coaches proven coaches help mentor our lesser proven coaches and our novice coaches need to drop the egos and realize even the more proven coaches are still trying to get better.
Proven coaches very rarely have parents or athletes to question their ability to build, enhance or develop their athlete(s). Often times a proven coach is a trusted coach and because we have different levels in coaching ability sometimes a novice coach may need mentorship himself. Many times rather than seeking help or advice to develop an exceptional athlete "egos" magnify. I moved into an area where running is not a priority on a winning level. I spoke with the running staff and express my intentions which was not to undermind but to position my athletes to be successful. So I ran them independently off season and would seek the advice from proven successful coaches. The fact that I have girls and I played sports that differ from what they are playing and I wasn't satisfied with the current results of the program they played in. I realized my athletes and the program needed help. The help my athletes received totally changed the success rate of our program. The only drawback is some coaches want total responsibility for athlete but only coach track and not cross country or vice versa. The athlete s committed to running and the coach is committed to his season. Coaches are on a different time schedule than athletes. He may have a 5 or 10 year goal that athlete goal may now be reduced down to 1 or 2 years. Negotiate. Negotiate. We are all the SCHSL. More experienced coaches proven coaches help mentor our lesser proven coaches and our novice coaches need to drop the egos and realize even the more proven coaches are still trying to get better.
10/02/2012 1:36:42 PM
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I think this is an interesting discussion. Athletes in other sports (golf and tennis come to mind) use personal coaches to help develop athletes beyond what they might get at the high school level. I think in some instances, the same can be done in cross country or track. I know of a couple of cases where personal coaches were used with success. Of course, there are some concerns from the head coaches standpoint such as how would the use of a personal coach by one or two athletes might affect the team dynamic and does the personal coach actually know what they are doing. There are plenty of people out there on the Internet who call themselves coaches that don’t have any business coaching. The one thing that I would be most concerned about if I were a coach would be the health of the kid. When the kids are under my direct supervision, I can monitor the intensity of the workouts, the weekly mileage, etc. and make adjustments as needed. However, as long as there is sufficient communication between coaches and parents, and everyone is on the same page, I think it could work. Also, I wouldn’t view it as a slap in the face if an athlete wanted to use a personal coach because not everyone shares the same philosophy about training. I don’t think it would work for every runner, but depending on the situation I think it could work.
I think this is an interesting discussion. Athletes in other sports (golf and tennis come to mind) use personal coaches to help develop athletes beyond what they might get at the high school level. I think in some instances, the same can be done in cross country or track. I know of a couple of cases where personal coaches were used with success. Of course, there are some concerns from the head coaches standpoint such as how would the use of a personal coach by one or two athletes might affect the team dynamic and does the personal coach actually know what they are doing. There are plenty of people out there on the Internet who call themselves coaches that don't have any business coaching. The one thing that I would be most concerned about if I were a coach would be the health of the kid. When the kids are under my direct supervision, I can monitor the intensity of the workouts, the weekly mileage, etc. and make adjustments as needed. However, as long as there is sufficient communication between coaches and parents, and everyone is on the same page, I think it could work. Also, I wouldn't view it as a slap in the face if an athlete wanted to use a personal coach because not everyone shares the same philosophy about training. I don't think it would work for every runner, but depending on the situation I think it could work.
10/02/2012 2:53:49 PM
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@lifeguard21 Is there perhaps a difference between how the other kids on the team view the top runner who is getting private coaching and how the HS coach perceives the top runner who is getting private coaching? I think the negotiation and communication approach is probably key to making the relationship work, if it is going to work. Focusing on the "slap in the face" problem (rather than how can this work to the benefit of all?) has high potential for being counterproductive and could make the the top athlete (who is motivated to seek private coaching) feel like an thorn rather than a valued contributor.
@lifeguard21 Is there perhaps a difference between how the other kids on the team view the top runner who is getting private coaching and how the HS coach perceives the top runner who is getting private coaching? I think the negotiation and communication approach is probably key to making the relationship work, if it is going to work. Focusing on the "slap in the face" problem (rather than how can this work to the benefit of all?) has high potential for being counterproductive and could make the the top athlete (who is motivated to seek private coaching) feel like an thorn rather than a valued contributor.
10/02/2012 7:50:17 PM
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good stuff on this. . .If a coach only ran a 17:00 5K in highschool, and his atheete can run a 16:00 5K, logcally the coach wouldnt know HOW the runer got there because he hasnt been there himself. Then, i think a personal coach COULD work. But, if the coach was pridefyl or the runner was prideful, it would not work at all. Openess, Sincerity, honesty, intent, humilty would all be needed. . . now hpow often do the states top runners shows this? I have RARELY seen it i HATE to say.
good stuff on this. . .If a coach only ran a 17:00 5K in highschool, and his atheete can run a 16:00 5K, logcally the coach wouldnt know HOW the runer got there because he hasnt been there himself. Then, i think a personal coach COULD work. But, if the coach was pridefyl or the runner was prideful, it would not work at all. Openess, Sincerity, honesty, intent, humilty would all be needed. . . now hpow often do the states top runners shows this? I have RARELY seen it i HATE to say.
10/02/2012 8:36:31 PM
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I have met top runners in the state who do exhibit the positive qualities you mention. I think that the interviews that John Olson has done with the top runners and seniors have highlighted the fine character of these runners. Care should be taken in misinterpreting motivation, focus, commitment, and competitiveness as being prideful or egotistical. Also, why shouldn't a runner be proud of their success after all the hard work it takes to train for a cross country race?
I have met top runners in the state who do exhibit the positive qualities you mention. I think that the interviews that John Olson has done with the top runners and seniors have highlighted the fine character of these runners. Care should be taken in misinterpreting motivation, focus, commitment, and competitiveness as being prideful or egotistical. Also, why shouldn't a runner be proud of their success after all the hard work it takes to train for a cross country race?
10/02/2012 9:31:01 PM
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I had intended to stay out of this, but to say if a coach could only run 17:00 for 5k they would not know how to coach an athlete to run a 16:00 5k is absurd! You don't have to be able to actually accomplish the goal yourself to know how to coach. I never pole vaulted but through going to numerous clinics and camps as well as reading and viewing film I have been able to develop vaulters who have won 13 State Championships and a number of 2nd place finishers in the past 15 years. The great Paul Brown, founder and coach of the original Cleveland Browns in the 50s and 60s never played football but won numerous championships.
I had intended to stay out of this, but to say if a coach could only run 17:00 for 5k they would not know how to coach an athlete to run a 16:00 5k is absurd! You don't have to be able to actually accomplish the goal yourself to know how to coach. I never pole vaulted but through going to numerous clinics and camps as well as reading and viewing film I have been able to develop vaulters who have won 13 State Championships and a number of 2nd place finishers in the past 15 years. The great Paul Brown, founder and coach of the original Cleveland Browns in the 50s and 60s never played football but won numerous championships.
10/02/2012 9:49:41 PM
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[quote=Countrygrown]good stuff on this. . .If a coach only ran a 17:00 5K in highschool, and his atheete can run a 16:00 5K, logcally the coach wouldnt know HOW the runer got there because he hasnt been there himself. Then, i think a personal coach COULD work. But, if the coach was pridefyl or the runner was prideful, it would not work at all. Openess, Sincerity, honesty, intent, humilty would all be needed. . . now hpow often do the states top runners shows this? I have RARELY seen it i HATE to say.[/quote] @Countrygrown What on earth? Can you "logcally" explain how world records are broken, if a coach has to have been there himself? Many world class runners don't make very good coaches, while many world class coaches weren't necessarily good runners. Bill Bowerman being a great example of the latter.
Countrygrown wrote:
d stuff on this. . .If a coach only ran a 17:00 5K in highschool, and his atheete can run a 16:00 5K, logcally the coach wouldnt know HOW the runer got there because he hasnt been there himself. Then, i think a personal coach COULD work. But, if the coach was pridefyl or the runner was prideful, it would not work at all. Openess, Sincerity, honesty, intent, humilty would all be needed. . . now hpow often do the states top runners shows this? I have RARELY seen it i HATE to say.


@Countrygrown

What on earth? Can you "logcally" explain how world records are broken, if a coach has to have been there himself? Many world class runners don't make very good coaches, while many world class coaches weren't necessarily good runners. Bill Bowerman being a great example of the latter.
10/03/2012 10:45:51 AM
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Carl Lewis' coach Tom Tellez never ran a sub 10 100m, but he sure did help Carl Lewis get there. It is great when an athlete is serious enough about their training that they want to find the best coaches possible to help them reach their goals. However, during the season, the high school coach they run for should be consulted before any type of decision is made regarding a personal coach. Leave out the arguments of ego and pride for the coach and athlete. This is plain and simple a matter of respect. It is a slap in the face if the athlete goes out and gets a personal coach without first consulting the high school coach. Again, getting advice from another coach or runner is great. But realize that by joining a team, you are a voluntary subordinate of that coach. Follow their guidance. You may not always agree, but sometimes what you need is not what you think it is. My team this year is the best it has ever been. Why? I got rid of the kids who questioned everything we did, they were the cancer that was keeping us from reaching the team goals. Now I have a group of kids who have bought into my philosophy. If one of them came to me wanting to seek outside advice, I would have no problem with that, but I would want to know that person and their philosophy. Why? I have invested a lot of time building these athletes up. If I am unable to get my runners to the next level, from an ego standpoint, I can deal with that. What I can't, and won't take is being left out of the loop. That is the "slap in the face" I was referring to.
Carl Lewis' coach Tom Tellez never ran a sub 10 100m, but he sure did help Carl Lewis get there.
It is great when an athlete is serious enough about their training that they want to find the best coaches possible to help them reach their goals. However, during the season, the high school coach they run for should be consulted before any type of decision is made regarding a personal coach. Leave out the arguments of ego and pride for the coach and athlete. This is plain and simple a matter of respect. It is a slap in the face if the athlete goes out and gets a personal coach without first consulting the high school coach. Again, getting advice from another coach or runner is great. But realize that by joining a team, you are a voluntary subordinate of that coach. Follow their guidance. You may not always agree, but sometimes what you need is not what you think it is. My team this year is the best it has ever been. Why? I got rid of the kids who questioned everything we did, they were the cancer that was keeping us from reaching the team goals. Now I have a group of kids who have bought into my philosophy. If one of them came to me wanting to seek outside advice, I would have no problem with that, but I would want to know that person and their philosophy. Why? I have invested a lot of time building these athletes up. If I am unable to get my runners to the next level, from an ego standpoint, I can deal with that. What I can't, and won't take is being left out of the loop. That is the "slap in the face" I was referring to.
10/03/2012 11:34:28 AM
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Conur with those who believe the high school coach is the primary leader and their student-athletes are the followers. One of the principles of leadership in any endeavor, sports included, is unity of command. Iwannarun summed it up nicely. Concerning the comments about qualifications of coaches---a willingess to learn while getting your hands dirty when putting in long hours is far more important than personal athletic accomplishments in a coach's salad days.
Conur with those who believe the high school coach is the primary leader and their student-athletes are the followers. One of the principles of leadership in any endeavor, sports included, is unity of command. Iwannarun summed it up nicely.
Concerning the comments about qualifications of coaches---a willingess to learn while getting your hands dirty when putting in long hours is far more important than personal athletic accomplishments in a coach's salad days.
10/03/2012 12:07:09 PM
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Concerning the comments about qualifications of coaches---a willingess to learn while getting your hands dirty when putting in long hours is far more important than personal athletic accomplishments in a coach's salad days. Sometimes I think this is where the breakdown comes in. Most of your top runners put in the long hours and is also willing to learn while getting their hands dirty to make an attempt to run on the next level. Some coaches never competed on the next level so they are not always considerate that to some athletes that's their ultimate mission. It seems that a coach dedicated to his sport would want as many athletes as possible to run on the next level. Most college coaches initial look is at talent the top runners. A sophomore athlete may not have 6 years learning curve that a novice coach need or a coach that don't have the tools currently to give that athlete. Should the athlete suffer??? And miss his or her chance to run on the next level??? Personal Athletic recognition is exactly what initially give these athletes a chance to compete in college. Once upon a time....a athlete opportunity to get a college education and compete on that level meant something. I think that would be ones purpose to seek additional help. I'm glad we haven't banned the tutor from teaching a student because the teacher may take it as an insult. It would not benefit the student to seek help after the class is completed. The extra help is needed to co exist that it might benefit the student.
Concerning the comments about qualifications of coaches---a willingess to learn while getting your hands dirty when putting in long hours is far more important than personal athletic accomplishments in a coach's salad days.

Sometimes I think this is where the breakdown comes in. Most of your top runners put in the long hours and is also willing to learn while getting their hands dirty to make an attempt to run on the next level. Some coaches never competed on the next level so they are not always considerate that to some athletes that's their ultimate mission. It seems that a coach dedicated to his sport would want as many athletes as possible to run on the next level. Most college coaches initial look is at talent the top runners. A sophomore athlete may not have 6 years learning curve that a novice coach need or a coach that don't have the tools currently to give that athlete. Should the athlete suffer??? And miss his or her chance to run on the next level??? Personal Athletic recognition is exactly what initially give these athletes a chance to compete in college. Once upon a time....a athlete opportunity to get a college education and compete on that level meant something. I think that would be ones purpose to seek additional help. I'm glad we haven't banned the tutor from teaching a student because the teacher may take it as an insult. It would not benefit the student to seek help after the class is completed. The extra help is needed to co exist that it might benefit the student.
10/03/2012 1:04:06 PM
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@iwannarun no student/child should EVER be referred to as a "cancer"
@iwannarun no student/child should EVER be referred to as a "cancer"
10/03/2012 1:35:17 PM
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@leapsoverhedges - It is not that they are cancer, it is their attitude and behavior that spreads like cancer on a team. Thus the analogy. There are many who for whatever reason, do not want to conform to the rules of the team. For me it does not matter if they are the fastest or the slowest. If they question everything, refuse to give their best, or are simply insubordinate, they are cancer and need to be off the team until they can follow the rules and be a positive part of the team. Ask any coach, if these individuals are allowed to stay on the team, their attitude will fester and grow. While the coach is trying to sow positive seeds, they are constantly undermining. Again, thus the analogy of cancer.
@leapsoverhedges - It is not that they are cancer, it is their attitude and behavior that spreads like cancer on a team. Thus the analogy. There are many who for whatever reason, do not want to conform to the rules of the team. For me it does not matter if they are the fastest or the slowest. If they question everything, refuse to give their best, or are simply insubordinate, they are cancer and need to be off the team until they can follow the rules and be a positive part of the team. Ask any coach, if these individuals are allowed to stay on the team, their attitude will fester and grow. While the coach is trying to sow positive seeds, they are constantly undermining. Again, thus the analogy of cancer.
10/03/2012 1:56:30 PM
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"Again, thus the analogy of cancer." @iwannarun I would encourage you to come up with a different analogy, coach. We have all known people who have suffered terribly from cancer. To compare high school students' behavior to a malignancy of this nature is not helpful. I hope you agree. If you removed students from the team because of what you perceive was a bad attitude or irreconcilable differences, then just say that. Thanks.
"Again, thus the analogy of cancer."

@iwannarun

I would encourage you to come up with a different analogy, coach. We have all known people who have suffered terribly from cancer. To compare high school students' behavior to a malignancy of this nature is not helpful. I hope you agree. If you removed students from the team because of what you perceive was a bad attitude or irreconcilable differences, then just say that. Thanks.

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