I played sports at Holy Name just like 90% of the boys in the neighborhood.

The best thing about this experience was the coach.  I had some of the best the neighborhood had to offer; I was taught lessons which I still use today.


Whether it was basketball in the winter, baseball, track or cross-country, there was always a coach who raised his voice to get their message across.

Did I like it?

Probably not.

I even quit the basketball team a couple of times because the coach yelled at me. That’s soft isn’t it?

Esquire Magazine published this article a few months back on coaches who yell. The author didn’t have a problem with the “old school coach.”  Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

One important aspect of coaching; everyone has a different philosophy on how things should be. Bob Hurley at Saint Anthony’s and Tom Izzo at Michigan State scream a lot. They are two Hall of Fame coaches.

Today, we have a lot of advocates who are against the coach yelling at their son or daughter.

There’s also a connection to how a kid is treated at home.  Did the parents play sports?  Is the kid a good athlete or not? As a high school coach, I have had parents tell me it’s fine with them that I yell at their kids where on the other hand there have been parents upset at me for yelling.

Take time to read this piece and tell me what you think.



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9 Responses to OLD YELLER

  1. Andrew Purdy says:

    I learned the reason you were yelled at was because much was expected from you, and you weren’t performing to your potential. I remember Ray Nash asking me to tell my parents not to sit behind our bench, then telling Mergin Sina “You couldn’t go to F–K you University”….Much was expected.

    • hoopscoach says:


      I used to sit behind the bench in the stands of course just to hear Ray yell.

      Believe it or not, deep down I always wanted to play for him.


  2. Dan Leary says:

    Great topic Red. Never played for a yeller. I know alot of guys who loved played for my brother Tim. He was a pretty yeller in his day.

    • hoopscoach says:


      Your brother was a great coach. Question; would you have been able to play for him? I hope he is doing well as well as you my man.


  3. jimmyvac says:

    I think the best coaches pick their spots to yell. I had a great high school basketball coach, If we played bad, he would say okay pack it up. The next day at practice he would rip us a new one.

  4. Jim Casey says:

    as long as the coach balances the corrections(not criticisms) with positive reinforcement, and stays away from cynicism, there is nothing wrong with raising the voice a bit–just don’t become a Mike Rice
    players must allow themselves to be coached

  5. Curly says:


    As someone who has been reading your blog for awhile now and who grew up on LI in the schoolyard around the corner and played every single game imaginable….1-1 self hit baseball, kill the guy with the ball on the front grass patch lined with thorn bushes, 1-1 tackle football games no pads, tackle football with pads, sotball, baseball, half court 1-1/2-2/3-3/4-4 hoops, Full Court 1-1 hoops, hoop games with backboard & hoop on the brick wall and if you went down the lane you were getting smashed in to the wall, running up the wall & dunking contests and falling flat on your face, stickball(spaidings or tennis ball), stoopball, wiffle ball, handball with asses up for the losers, dodgeball, riding bike down the serivice entrance ranp and trrying to skid as long as you could before you smashed yourself and bike into the brick wall contets, and so many more……….as well as becoming friends with some Brooklyn boys in the 80’s(Daly, Logan, Leary, Gigs, Woodsie, Edgar, Lowney, amongst others…) and getting to play Summer League with those guys at Bliss Park and then Ft Hamilton, and drinking at Lento’s, TJ Bentley’s?, Skinflint’s, O’Sullivans, Short Ribs, Farrell’s, Circle’s….,and playing at Ford on Wed nites and Sat mornings, I can relate to so many stories that you have noted here, despite what Logan says about LI schoolyards….. So, along with those experiences along with my father’s tuff love style, and having football coaches that were hard in the right way, meaning they were gonna hold you to a standard of work & expectation, that’s the way I coach HS Football for many years…..

    Just beacause a voice gets raised doesn’t mean that the Coach/Adult is not relentlessy encouraging Educating, Teaching, Pushing, Challenging, Motivating, Preparing, Competiing in Mental & Physical Practice to help the player/kid attain the sheer Fun of the successful Athletic moments to occur effortlessly over an extended period of time during the Live Competition….. The Schoolyard/Playground was and always will be the greatest Coaching & Playing laboratory ever because all of those elements existed every single day you showed up, no matter who yelled at you or not……If you didn’t get yelled at, then no one thought you were any good……

    So, thanks for the Esquire link, and keep up the great & no matter the neighborhood, relatable stories…..

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