Friday, March 8, 2013

Coaching Credentials - Stuck In The Past?

I'd like to have a discussion about this article in the Independent Free Press in Halton Hills (posted on Thursday March 7th, 2012). In it, Guelph, ON, soccer coach, Ruben Flores has been fired by a Kitchener area Soccer Team for not being able to proof his credentials (Flores claims to have played for Mexico in the Olympics and World Cup matches - however, he claims that he played under an assumed name and cannot connect any of these achievements to his present identity). 

The line in this story that gets me is: 

Tack said Flores went through a time in his formative years in Mexico when he and other athletes played under assumed names and he shouldn’t be penalized for this.
If anything, Flores deserves praise for how well he performed in mentoring and coaching Guelph Soccer.
“We are the envy of the province. That all comes down to Ruben,” Tack said.

My question is this: how important is it to rest on your laurels of yesteryear? If Flores is such a remarkable coach, couldn't he just take the bits about his playing days out of his resume; wouldn't that effectively make this whole thing disappear? Why is this coach sticking so hard to this identity that he cannot prove?
I feel that coaches embellish their credentials all the time and so does everyone else in the working world. A basic search of many new and young coaches in Ontario will show that many of their biographies are written to embellish the achievements in their swimming career - thats kind of the point of a coaching bio - who doesn't want to swim for a high profile coach. However, given a bit of coaching experience, the focus should be put on what that coach has achieved as a coach anyway. Who cares if someone was part of the 1992 Olympics? Unless that coach has done something significant to enhance the landscape of their club and sport, they may as well be boasting that they created People Magazine or wrote Citizen Kane under the pseudonym Orson Wells*. 
In this case, Flores has contributed to the sport and his club... so why not just drop it? Why is this news?  I defy any parent reading this to say that they have never embellished a resume. I want to hear from you, but since I cannot seem to turn the comments section back on - you'll have to get my by Google+ or by Twitter. I want to know what you think about this story and how you feel about coaches. Would you rather swim for a former great athlete (even if you didn't know if they were a good coach) or a great coach who never swam competitively? Us the hashtag #greatcoaches.

*Update: Yes, I am fully aware that it was Herm Mankiewicz that wrote Citizen Kane, not Wells, but no one would have caught the Mank reference.