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I teach in a small rural school system in the Central Maine area. Last year, I coached the boys' basketball team. This fall, I offered to coach the girls' soccer team after the coach left. If I did not pick up the team, I doubt anyone would have. By coincidence, the boys' coach also left and a female offered to coach the boys.
Anywho, I picked up the girls team (I am male) and a female teacher picked up the boys team.
A few parent have found this situation strange and they have asked us why a man coaches the girls and a female coaches the boys.
Nobody has been too obnoxious about it or directly insinuated anything, but it bothers me that people are curious about it.
What do you think? Is this situation strange, or is it just that I work in a backwards town that is still stuck in the Eisenhower era?
I NEVER EVER even so much as lay a hand on a player (male or female), with the exception of a rare "high-five". It kinda bums me out.

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What age/grade is it?

and I personally don't see anything wrong with it. Its very common in these parts.
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Actually, it is more a sign of today's times. Back then, people trusted priests and coaches and cub scout leaders.


Now, when it comes to their kids, people don't trust anyone. I worry about coaches/cub scout leaders/youth leaders (male or female) around my son. Too many horror stories--and although those parents couldn't really do anything about it until after the fact, it NEVER hurts to remain vigilant.


Please, please don't take it as an indictment of you or lack of faith in you as a man. And don't take it as an accusation, either. It is just parents, sick of horror stories, worrying about their kids.

FWIW--my husband has a security clearance for the US Govt if he wants to volunteer to coach any youth sports or work at the church, he has to undergo even more rigorous background screening. (I do too, but I don't have a security clearance anyway)
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Cappy---middle school kids

Airehead----I would also be scared about coaches and the like if I was a parent, so I understand your reservations. What strikes me, however, is that people only seem to find it curious because I am a male and the student/athletes are female. Is that suitable basis for people to be taken aback? I am too close to the situation to be objective.
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A lot of parents take athletics too seriously, violence and litigation by the parents is taking the fun out of sports, and that is what its supposed to be fun.
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It's more common to have a male coach a female team - at any level, than to have a female coach a male team.

The parents have made those comments probably because they don't understand the timing and circumstances of why the two of you are coaching your respective sports. All they see are two teams that need a new coach and an uncommon coaching situation.

I've coached both males and females, and if that's the parents only complaint, then you're gold!

The next time someone makes a comment, go into a long dissertation as to the whys and whens and whos of the whole coaching thing. Make it really long and tedious. They'll stop asking.
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True that, on all counts :)
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First of all, it's great that you "stepped up to the plate" and took on the job to coach that girls soccer team. It's unfortunate, but we live in an era where concerns are going to swing so far left of what we knew as kids. I had a male soccer coach and there was never a second look about his intentions as to why he was coaching us. However today, we've seen far too many instances where inappropriate relationships have taken place between adult males and underaged females. That might be the reason for mixed feelings of the parents you have been dealing with. Let's face it, we are much more protective of our children than our parents were with us. Unfortunately, men like you will have to be under scrutiny much more than women will be.

I'm sorry to hear that this brings some discomfort to you. Continue to coach the best you can. I would advise to keep your actions to just giving "high fives" if you feel there are questioning parents. Try not to get wrapped up in it all. Keep positive and make it fun for the girls.

I think there's always the need for good male role models for our kids to learn from. All to often that doesn't happen much with children today.

Good Luck!
:D
Marcie
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Thank you Marcie!

I have given the situation more consideration and I am now comfortable with it. Initially, I took the questioning personally. Having reflected upon it, I understand that nobody is accusing me of being a predator, they just wanted a little info about the guy who coaches their girls. That makes sense to me and I think of it as healthy parenting.
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:1: and a :1: to cappy too on the "taking the fun outta sports" bit.
it's a damn shame people can't just have fun without worrying about sexual harassment. there was a time when it was perfectly ok to look at the girls running by in the short shorts... :naughty:
it's not about you JBI, it's just the situation.
i know for me that i'm far too touchy feely when it comes to most things. that's just the way i am, from football and track we were into buttslaps and hugs and whatnot. granted you wouldn't buttslap the ladies... or maybe i'm still 20 and probably couldn't focus on "coaching" high school girls ;)
none of my coaches were completely hands off, but my school track coach always said "we used to be able to give our athletes massages to loosen them up from injuries, now i won't go anywhere near you".
but i knew my coaches well. so when my lady coach put her hand on my buttocks so i could feel where my piriformis was, i knew she was just being a coach, and not some weirdo touching me. of course she only did it because it was me, and not some kid that barely knew her.
they just want to know you. so unless you are a weirdo, once they get to know you, you'll be fine. :)
ps. of course it's probably just weird that the coaching couldn't be vice versa.
-blue
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Blue, I think this is the part that strikes me as strange. Why is it that males should coach males and females should coach females? Is this some unwritten rule that I am unaware of?
I already am coach of the boys basketball team and I think I had a positive influence on the the boys that I coached. I thought it would also be cool to give my coaching time to a girls team.
Yeah, I would possibly think it weird if a dude ONLY coached girls, but that is not my situation.
If someone is thinking, "Well, what about when the athletes are changing?"
Believe me, I refuse to go into a locker room, be it boys OR girls.
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it's not a rule. it might have something to do with the dynamics of the relationships... i don't think i've ever seen a woman coach football. but i've seen women coach almost everything else... so who knows?
i guess it's just one o them things...
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