For love of the game: High school coaches do their best to avoid burnout

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For love of the game: High school coaches do their best to avoid burnout


For love of the game: High school coaches do their best to avoid burnout


Reed Tyriver works 60 to 70 hours each week during the winter, making a little extra money to help support a growing family. There are some long and lonely nights, and sometimes all he gets is second-guessed or criticized.

But he keeps coming back every year. He loves his job, even if sometimes it’s easy to question why.

Tyriver is a high school basketball coach.

The leader of the Oshkosh Lourdes girls team wakes up at 6 a.m. He takes his two young children to day care and arrives for his teaching job at the school by 7:30. He teaches most of the day, slipping in some film work if he somehow has time during his prep periods.

If there is an early practice, he stays afterward to watch more film for an hour or two a couple of nights a week or travels to scout a game. If there’s a late practice, he first will watch film and do individual workouts with players. When there is a road game, he’s not arriving home until 10:30 or 11 p.m.

Tyriver, who also is an assistant athletic director at Lourdes, has been coaching in some capacity at the school since 2007. He was an assistant softball coach from 2007-09, an assistant basketball coach from 2007-14 and the head coach the past four seasons. He also was baseball coach from 2009-16.

Tyriver hasn’t experienced warning signs of burnout yet — they can include fatigue and a loss of passion — but he understands how it happens and why a growing number of his colleagues walk away to lead less hectic lifestyles.

“It’s definitely tough,” he said. “If I am going to coach, I want to be able to give 100 percent of myself to do it; where I’m feeling I’m giving the girls what they should be getting from a high school coach, if not more. But at the same time, being a husband and those kinds of things.”

Even when the season is over, the work is not.

Tyriver finds himself competing with club sports for attention. Within a week after the basketball season, he’s attempting to figure out dates for summer league and tournaments. If he doesn’t do it quickly enough, it starts to conflict with club volleyball or travel soccer, and he ends up struggling to get enough players to attend. He must make decisions early and get the information to parents to mark on their calendars.

“The club stuff has made it really difficult to get kids to fully commit to their school sports,” he said. “Where all of a sudden — I saw it in baseball a little bit, in AAU basketball — there are girls at Lourdes who should be playing basketball and they are not. They are playing club volleyball.

“That could be frustrating at times, so I can see how somebody would just be like, ‘You know what? I’m not getting the commitment level from the school and the kids here, why am I going to bust my hump and put in those 60 to 70 hours?’ I wouldn’t feel I’m doing justice to my kids if I wasn’t doing all the things I do.”

Read the rest of the story in the Green Bay Press Gazette


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