Tripping 13-Year-Olds and Fun with Concussions: When Coaching Goes Bad

Ben Johnson for Spike

The quest for victory can sometimes turn even the most well-intentioned coaches into rage-addicted maniacs whose antics lead to injury, traumatized players, and, worst of all, defeat. On Spike's Coaching Bad, premiering Sunday at 10/9C, out-of-control coaches get a crash course in cooling down from NFL legend Ray Lewis. Here are some coaches who should make sure to tune in — or start preparing their audition tapes for season two.

The Youth Hockey Coach Who Teaches Sportsmanship by Tripping Players

Hockey's not a sport for softies: success takes both mental and physical toughness. But while it's good for coaches to teach young hockey players not to be pushed around on the ice, the way to toughen them up probably isn't by tripping them during the post-game handshake and causing them to break their wrists. Even the best coach in the world can't do much for team morale while locked up in the pokey on assault charges.


The Major League Manager Who Has a Thing or Two to Say to the Fans

Every baseball manager wants to be remembered through the ages. Those who are caught on tape in epic, florid, and outrageously filthy tirades explaining what pathetic worms they find their team's fans to be will be remembered alright — but for all the wrong reasons.

The Ivy League Football Coach Who Still Doesn't Care About Concussions

You don't have to be some Ivy League egghead to know that concussions are a problem in football. After all, the science is everywhere, and eggheads love science. Which means that an Ivy League smarty who chooses to send his football players (and their beautiful Ivy League brains) back onto the field after they've just suffered concussions must have access to some kind of next-level scientific study that no one else knows about, right? Or maybe he's just a dick.


The Christian Golf Coach Who Didn't Learn to Talk That Way in Sunday School

Inspiration comes in many forms, and for a hard-charging coach, it sometimes takes some old-fashioned motivational screaming to get the team fired up and ready to go out and stomp some golfer ass. But if Jesus was coaching a Division III golf team, would he think the path to victory led down an insane, profanity-laden rage hole?


The Rec-League Softball Coach Who Will Not Tolerate a Recreational Approach to Softball

Sometimes coaches have to make hard choices. For instance: is it always advisable to take a struggling player out of a game, or is it sometimes better to leave them in to teach the value of self-confidence and fighting through adversity? It's one thing if you're playing in the World Series, but when it comes to small-time rec-league softball, most coaches would probably opt for emphasizing fun, learning, and sportsmanship over the cutthroat impulse to win by any means necessary. But some coaches know that fun is for losers — and that the only way to screen out starry-eyed, fun oriented wimps from your team is with an extensive questionnaire that evaluates potential players on criteria like throwing speed and how many bats they own.


The Girls Soccer Coach Who Loves the Smell of Napalm in the Morning

The single most important quality when it comes to coaching six- and seven-year-old girls soccer is not being a total lunatic. Sure, you also need to be able to teach a bunch of easily-distracted children the basic rules of soccer, plus organize who's bringing the orange wedges and fruit punch for snacktime every week. (Both of which are easier said than done!) Mostly, though, it's all about not being out of your mind. Is that really too much to ask? Apparently sometimes it is.


Can out-of-control coaches truly learn to mend their ways? Check out the Coaching Bad preview below, then find out by tuning in this Sunday, February 8, on Spike at 10/9c.

Ben Johnson is a Chicago-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in Vice, Red Eye Chicago, The Classical, The Cauldron on Medium, and Chunklet Magazine. He is also a proud cofounder of Total Bozo Magazine.


This post is a sponsored collaboration between Spike and Studio@Gawker.

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