Weber: Coach of the Year

Michigan volleyball

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Michigan vs. Michigan State volleyball game with one of my friends from high school. During the game, between chants and cheers for our girls, we reminisced the time we spent together playing varsity volleyball in our home town. We even recalled specific games playing some of the girls from the collegiate teams; Abby Cole, playing for Michigan, and Autumn Christiansen, playing for MSU, are both from the west side of Michigan, and they both came from schools in our conference. While watching the game, I noticed the dynamics of both of the coaches, and how their characteristics are similar to those Weber describes as a good politician. 

I noticed how it was the same rotation of girls through the entire game that got court time, while the rest of the team never left the bench. This reminded me a lot of my high school coach; he had his starters, and the rest of the team was essentially there for moral support. Regardless of how many of the girls had their feelings hurt by not getting the desired playing time, Weber would consider this tactic a good one. The way coaches select and only play certain girls is the type of judgment Weber would applaud. Coaches consider the outcome of winning; the ends justify the means. Equal playing time is not a consideration when the objective is to win. Also, it is the coach’s responsibility to be concerned for the future. Taking Weber’s politician characteristics into consideration, coaches shouldn’t coach with “good intent.” They should coach with concern for the future, or the final outcome; that is their responsibility as a coach.

A more positive quality listed by Weber that I see in good coaches regards their passion for the game. Coaches cannot have “sterile feelings” of passion when it comes to the game. Coaches need to have a committed and loyal passion. For example, coaches don’t hop on the bandwagon of shaming other teams and yelling profanities at referees like student sections do. A good coach will appreciate a good team and a strong game, regardless of the outcome. Similar to not having “sterile feelings,” coaches aren’t fair-weathered fans. They stick with their team through thick and thin!

Politicians and coaches both have to be great leaders and express the characteristics outlined by Weber. Weber saw these characteristics in politicians. I saw them in my high school coaches, and continue to see them in collegiate coaches today.


One thought on “Weber: Coach of the Year

  1. That’s a very interesting connection between the coaching styles of high school and collegiate sports and then Weber’s definition of a politician. Now I can definitely see where this parallel comes from! I can agree (from personal experience) that a truly good coach knows how to get wins under his belt, no matter what. One of the best coaches I ever had was hated by a lot of his players, and their parents, but he made us one of the best teams in the tri-state region. “The ends justifying the means” is a phrase that applies perfectly to the coaching situation in which you described, as well as Weber’s definition of what a good politician should emulate, such as their unwavering focus on the future and the best possible outcomes to come.


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