Don’t complain about who is absent in front of those who are present.
This is Coach Phil Tran, high school football, hockey, and strength coach.
Many years and several coaching stops ago, we had a 7:00am football workout during the summer time in July that was allegedly voluntary scheduled by the Head Coach. Only six people appeared for a summer football workout at a 4A school that morning.
The Head Coach was fussing all morning in the weight room about particular star players and starters who were absent in front of the six kids who were actually present.
While the Head Coach could not handle his emotions, in contrast, I gave the six kids who were present my time, energy, knowledge, and best coaching effort.
If a kid is willing to make the sacrifice and the decision to be present, I, too, must be present.
What does it say to a kid when the kid shows up to a workout and the Head Coach just complains about who is not there? The kid in such a case would justifiably believe he or she is seriously being overlooked and is unimportant to the team.
There is a time and a place to address the unexcused absences of star athletes. That time and place is not in front of the athletes who made the effort to come to a workout.
I never was and will never be that Head Coach who fusses constantly about absent star players in front of present role players who show up to a workout.
Whether I am coaching sixty athletes or six athletes, the athletes who made the sacrifice and the decision to be present deserve my presence and my best effort.
Some coaches find that a workout or practice with a very low number of athletes is not worth their time and will cancel such an event.
As for me, if I already made the time to be present, I only need one athlete to show up to make my time and the athlete’s time worthwhile. If an athlete wants to see me, I certainly want to see the athlete too.
Be present for those who are present.