Cussing Coaches

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I have often thought about the challenges of coaching sports. Coaches are often scrutinized and criticized for the many tough decisions they make. I’m sure it is a difficult job. However, all jobs have pros and cons. Regardless of one’s occupation, there will be good days and days when we feel as if we should quit. I have observed that on “bad days,” many coaches begin using foul, profane language when players do not perform up to the coach’s standards. I have no particular coach or coaches in mind in writing this article, but if you go to a lot of ballgames, you know what I mean.

I’m sure a lot of parents, grandparents, and even players feel that the use of profanity is offensive, rude, and disrespectful. No one is perfect. We all say and do things we shouldn’t do (cf. Romans 3:23). However, this does not give coaches a “free pass” to use obscene and filthy language. Here are reasons coaches should not use profanity:

It doesn’t work. If using God’s name in vain, and yelling “four-letter” words would help players perform better, some coaches would never lose. Most teams want to win. Screaming obscenities to “encourage” players to perform better makes no sense because it doesn’t work. Often, the coach who is known for his/her foul mouth is a losing coach.

It demonstrates a lack of self-control. The Bible teaches that we are to be self-controlled and to exercise temperance (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:5-6). If a coach cannot discipline himself to avoid using profanity, how can that coach expect the players to be disciplined?

The Bible explicitly condemns it. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29).

It sets a bad example for the players. Young people have enough peer pressure from the world. Shouldn’t coaches show more maturity, leadership, and moral character than to set such a poor example for their players?

It is not honorable and shows disrespect for others who have been taught not to use such language. Parents, grandparents, and players have more respect for coaches who show honor and integrity, regardless of the score, than for those who throw cussing fits.

Some might object: “You have no experience coaching, so you have no right to speak about the conduct of coaches.” My response: Neither do I have any experience as a thief, but I know stealing is wrong. I have no experience as a murderer, but I know murder is wrong.

I can’t think of anything good that comes from cursing on the court or field? Can you?

Mark Lindley
Chapman church of Christ
Ripley, TN

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