Playing for a tough coach or with a difficult teammate

You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can't always pick your teammates or coach. Or something like that.

If you have played a sport for any length of time, you have likely already encountered either a tough coach or teammate. Teams consist of many different styles, attitudes, and demeanors. In some ways, this is what makes team sports special. Sometimes though, it can be really hard to adjust to.

You will have teammates over the years that will not play hard. Some may not even have any desire to play at all. Some will hog the ball, others may pick on you at practice. These things will seem very difficult to get over in the moment, but in the long term, you will be better for it. Not only as a player, but as a person.

These people will not be limited to sports, but all aspects of life. You will experience many of the same personality traits someday at work, or in social situations. Learning to roll with the punches and taking the high road is not easy, but it is a key part of growth.

Ask not what your teammates can do for you, ask what you can do for your teammates.
— Magic Johnson

Not meshing with your coach

Not always getting along with teammates is one thing. Those are your peers that you share many of the same circumstances with. Even more difficult is experiencing a coach that rubs you the wrong way or that you do not see eye-to-eye with.

It is easier said than done, but this situation must be treated similarly to the teammate issue above. Taking the high road in a situation where you are the subordinate is a very backwards-feeling scenario.

If your coach is on you for no reason, stand tall and do not let him/her get a rise out of you. If you are not getting minutes or situations that you deserve, keep grinding until everyone in the gym can clearly see the mistake. Learning to turn the other cheek to those in positions of authority will pay off exponentially as far as your growth as a person.

Know when things have gone too far

Standing tall and not retaliating is the go-to response when you encounter these tough situations. That does not mean that you should just allow yourself to be bullied or harassed. If you feel that things have gone to far with a teammate, bring it up to them. If that does not resolve the issue, it may be time to approach the coach.

If the coach is the problem, discuss it with someone that you trust. A lot of coaches are intense people, and it may just be that they get a bit too passionate about the sport or getting the most out of their players. If it is going beyond that or becoming personal, it may be time to voice your concerns to someone with the ability to resolve the situation.

For examples of great coaches, a player-first atmosphere, and a true team mentality, you are in the right place and Robert Yanders is your man. Contact us at to get involved in our program!