The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

December 30, 2013

A Paige Clark column: Players: Your coaches know...

For the Star Beacon

— Every student-athlete at one point has thought their coach was clueless about something — game knowledge, players’ talent and players’ lives.

I know young athletes are wise beyond their years and never been known to gossip or anything like that, but somehow, these coaches do know.

They know a lot more than you think they know.

Trust me.

Here are seven things your coach knows you have no clue he or she knows...

1. Annoying Person — That one person on the team no one can stand, don’t worry, they know “they who should not be named,” too. And odds are, they can’t stand them, either. But they work hard, so the coaches can’t say anything.

2. Party of the Year — Coaches, believe it or not, have ears, and use them. Even though they ignore your excuses about pretty much non-sports-related thing, they can hear. They know exactly who’s having the banger this weekend.

Ever feel like the practice after a fun night is the hardest?


Probably not.

3. What you really think — I’m convinced at one point, all coaches meet with Native Americans to learn how to walk quietly on any terrain because they all have the uncanny ability to sneak up on you just when you’re complaining about how bad they are.

No matter how well you cover it up, or think you cover up, they know. They know three seconds prior to making eye contact with them, you were spewing hatred about them for something.

And on a completely unrelated note, the team has 15 suicides tomorrow, “just because.”

4. Your arch nemesis — Ever feel like you always get paired up with your worst enemy on the team?

You do.

On purpose.

They know exactly who you hate and why. Either they want you to bond as teammates and work together, or they love watching you squirm during the three-minute drill.

Both could be possible.

5. “I worked out during the offseason” — They know you didn’t. You don’t have to lie, your mile time and regurgitated chicken nuggets and curly fries will tell them everything they need to know.

6. Mocking — Does your coach have the tendency to repeat themselves? I know mine sure did. Did you and your teammates use these phrases and make fun of them before practice and games?

I know I did.

They know you do this. They probably don’t care.

Hey, at least they know you can listen.

7. “But, but, but…” — Excuses. Every athlete has them. And most of the time, they’re a bunch of bull.

And coaches know this.

It’s a vicious cycle, really. You give an excuse, coach rags on you; you give more excuses, more negativity.

Cycles and cycles... until you’re back at No. 3.

Clark, a former volleyball, basketball running standout at Jefferson, is sophomore at Franklin College, where she majors in journalism and is a starter on the volleyball team. Reach her at