Column: The world needs more tough coaches

Karl Krynen
Oxford Stories

Another March has passed, and with it, another March Madness basketball tournament.

This year was just as entertaining as people could have asked for and was filled with a lot of special moments. Virginia captured their first Men’s Basketball National Championship with a 85 to 77 win over Texas Tech.

As the tournament progressed, many stories surfaced, one of those was Michigan State’s head basketball coach, Tom Izzo’s, altercation with one of his players in the middle of a game.

Michigan State started their tournament off against Bradley, where they struggled early on before eventually beating the 15th seed team. During the game, Coach Izzo was not shy about how he felt about his team’s performance in the beginning of the game. Heading into a timeout, Izzo got in the face of his freshman forward, Aaron Henry, and gave him an ear full about what he was doing wrong.

This altercation continued into the timeout as Coach Izzo had to be restrained. He can be seen lunging at the freshman forward again. This incident received a lot of criticism on social media and made many people angry at the Hall of Fame coach.

I think Izzo did the right thing and more coaches should be like him.

With the new generation, more people are becoming too soft and afraid of not being politically correct. We can see this in the backlash that Coach Izzo received. Many said what he did was out of line and completely unacceptable.

It’s not abnormal to see coaches make sure their team knows they aren’t happy with how they are performing. You can see it in every level of sports, whether it’s in high school, college, or at the professional level.

There were many times that my high school coaches got in my face and yelled at me for a mistake. It’s just a part of the game. But in today’s world, many people feel that we need to coddle our youth and hide them away from things that await them in the real world.

We’re so worried about whether someone gets their feelings hurt or if someone is being too harsh, people are not prepared for what life is really like.

Life is hard. It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t, we would all be millionaires, and I would be married to a supermodel.

When people are raised without having to face any adversity or real problems, they crack at the first sign of any criticism or real issues.

We need more people in this world like Coach Tom Izzo, who use their platform to teach youth about accountability and being mentally tough. It was funny to see all the people criticizing Izzo because many of the people against him had never played a team sport before.

Many players and coaches came to his defense. Even Aaron Henry, the recipient of Izzo’s criticism, came out and said this was normal, and it’s all about accepting the coaching. Good players understand that this style of coaching is what it takes to succeed.

Despite what many people think, Coach Izzo is the coach you want to play for. A coach is the leader of the team, almost like a general of an army. You don’t want someone talking to you softly and telling you everything is going to be OK in the middle of a battlefield. No, you want someone who is just as excited and fired up as you are, someone you want to follow into war.

The best kinds of coaches are the ones who hold you accountable for your actions, whether it’s something you did well or a mistake. A coach that tries to take the soft approach will be ineffective and will be walked all over by his players.

When I had one of these coaches in high school, their players had no respect for them and became complacent with losing. A great coach is one who wants to win just a bad as you do and will do whatever it takes. You need one who isn’t afraid to hurt someone’s feelings if they are under-performing and isn’t scared to ruffle a couple feathers.

Team sports are a great tool in teaching life lessons about how to be a part of a group united by a single goal. This is why we need strong and tough leaders like Coach Izzo to make sure these lessons are still being taught and aren’t being lost in this snowflake generation. If we had more people like Tom Izzo, this world would be a better place.

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