High School Football Coach's Advice to Player Who Wanted to Quit Goes Viral
Kurt Hines, head football coach at Coronado High School in California, posted a clip on September 16, explaining that the player had come to see him.
He began: “I just had a young man come in and quit—and I truly could not be happier. This young man was struggling all season with making it to practice, with committing. Never looked happy. [He has] some stuff going on.
“He came in, things washed, shook my hand and I said ‘sit down for a minute.’ He started to explain how his family has always been a football family. ‘They’ve always loved it, my father, my brother.’ I stopped him and asked him, ‘Do you love it?'”
Hines told the teenager he was proud of him, adding: “I saw his whole countenance change. He was smiling from ear to ear. I said, ‘You’re doing the right thing.’
“Football is not for everyone. I couldn’t be happier. Coaches, support your players if they want to be great. And if they want to be great in something other than football, support them just the same.”
The video, which can be watched here, has been liked more than 56,000 times and has surpassed 5,000 retweets.
Hundreds of comments have been left on the clip, with some Twitter users critical of Hines’ approach.
Ray Sullivan, a coach at Kirtland High School in Ohio, wrote: “What did he do in its place? If he is doing nothing then being part of a team, learning work ethic and learning life lessons is more than just quitting.
“The easiest thing in the world to do is quit. I believe that being part of something even if the love is not there is better.”
Another Twitter user, Bill McClure, posted: “I quit 2 times, 1st before Sr yr of high school but a great coach talked me back, it was best move of my life. 2nd during 2 a days Jr. yr of college, I’ve regretted it ALL my life! Quitting’s easy – keeping on is hard! Bad lesson to teach. I strongly disagree with your position.”
The play-at-all-costs mentality of some coaches is parodied by the Twitter account Three Year Letterman, who joked: “Sir, I am a youth football coaching legend, and when kids quit my team, I tell them their life will be all downhill moving forward and that I hope to never see them again.”
Hines replied to one of the more serious critical comments by saying: “I respect your thoughts (I really do), yet knowing the young man and his family (and all that they are dealing with), I stand by my decision in supporting him!”
Other Twitter users praised Hines’ actions, including Christopher Wilson, coach of the Plain Dealing Lions Football team in Los Angeles. “This is something I battled with this year coach,” he wrote.
“Losing a senior that was a starter but you could tell he HATED being out there everyday. At first I tried to talk him into staying, but his heart wasn’t there. Gotta let kids be happy man. We picked up the pieces and kept pushing!”
Elizabeth Garcia, known as @Bubbiespics, wrote: “Such a good attitude. My daughter’s HS basketball coach cut her after naming her captain her sr. year.
“He wanted her to quit the IB program, quit band (she was the drum major), and anything else that kept her from making basketball her life. Wanted new shoes every 2 wks also.”
An account by the name of @IceboundRio agreed, adding: “Awesome job coach! Thank you for being accepting of the young man’s decision and supporting him.
“I know it was hard for him to do that. To everyone saying ‘he shouldn’t quit’ or ‘should’ve made him finish then he could quit’ what the hell is wrong with y’all?”