As a coach or team administrator, the greatest thing you can have is a player’s trust. If a player trusts you, he will work hard in practice. She will run a new play without back talk. Trust allows you to be the “third parent” when the athlete needs help. It’s like a precious gem that is hard to find – and even harder to regain once lost.
Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn forgot about that. During a recent radio interview he was asked about newly acquired forward Michael Beasley. Beasley was traded to the Timberwolves from the Miami Heat last week. He has had some off-the-court issues since being drafted No. 2 overall in 2008. Kahn said during the interview, “He’s a very young and immature kid who smoked too much marijuana and has told me that he’s not smoking anymore and I told him that I would trust him as long as that was the case.”
OK, so Kahn will trust Beasley as long as he does not do drugs. That’s fair. But how can Beasley trust Kahn? Drug use is a very personal issue. It takes great courage for someone to even admit they have a problem to another person. You certainly wouldn’t betray that person’s trust by talking about it on-air. From a kids’ perspective, that would be like getting on the intercom at school and telling all their teachers and classmates. How could the young person ever come to you for advice or help again?
With a situation as serious as drug use or similar, you can’t keep it a secret. Parents and the appropriate officials must be notified immediately. However, this does not give you the right to tell the whole world. When trying to figure out who to tell and who not to tell, ask yourself this question. Will telling this person or people help the young man or woman who trusts me? Maybe this is a question Kahn should have asked himself before the interview. Until next time…