About Coach Erin

Erin is a 17 year veteran dance team coach in Minnesota. A 3 time MADT coach of the year (2009, 2010, 2014) and winner of 2 state championships in high kick with the Cannon Falls Bomber Dance Team. In high school Erin danced for Winona and Apple Valley high schools. Erin is a nationally known blogger, writing for the Radio City Rockettes and a Hollywood movie among other projects. Erin also teaches on a freelance contractor basis for many MN high school teams and can be contacted for date/time availability at mnhsdanceteam@gmail.com


Rochester News Article Sheds Light on Developing Coaching Issues

Read This Link First: Evolution of high school athletics puts coaches in the crosshairs

I’m not sure how I feel about this coming off my tenure at Cannon Falls myself.  I can say that the parents I worked with at CF were some of the most supportive and respectful group I’ve worked with – they never forgot how far we drove and how hard we worked there.  However, nothing was perfect and there were always a few isolated incidents, as happens anywhere with any sport, but nothing to make me think Cannon Falls is different from any other school in it’s quest for the best for its students.  The coaches at CF have endured pay cuts year after year (I make less now than I did my first year of coaching after 2 state championships and 9 years) and often drive from other areas as the town doesn’t have the complete resources to fully staff the athletic department with qualified coaches.  I personally never felt there was a legitimate threat to me or my fellow staff if we didn’t “win” (whatever that means) – we weren’t blamed — but parents knew we would back it with continuous improvement in coaching techniques, team strategies, and talent development.  This built a trust in the future of the program that is the best job security.   

I think coaches are now getting into trouble if they aren’t progressing in their method, more than if they’re not progressing in their scores.  Complacent coaching ’cause you’ve always done it that way very well could have lead to the 7 wins for the CF basketball team last year.  (the dance team had more wins with a greatly reduced schedule) I think AD’s should protect their coaches, yes, absolutely – coaches need to be allowed to be in charge and make those important/controversial decisions free from rebuke.  However, its’ not unreasonable to expect a top-tier educational experience and training for athletes that has little to do with “winning”.  If the educational improvement of the athletes isn’t happening, it’s ok to examine why and let the school administration make a determination if a change in the program should be made.  The tough part is  – where is that line?  How much say to parents and boosters have?  It’s happened already in Minnesota dance team (yup, several years ago in fact) and likely will happen again at other programs. 

The question will be how do we define job performance for underpaid, overworked, basically volunteer coaches that have the precious development of these students in their hands?  Doesn’t that statement perhaps isolate the problem?  Why are we allowing something that is seemingly so important to parents be run by someone making less than a minimum wage ?? I don’t get my sandwich at Subway from someone at that level of pay to responsibility.  Food for thought. 

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