PCA Development Zone®

Resource Center

Joe Ehrmann On His Children's Coaches

SPORTS CAN BATTLE RACISM: As a force in education through sports, we vow not to stop at condemnation, but to strive to be a force for reconciliation, through the collaborative actions with coaches throughout our country.

Share This Resource

Joe Ehrmann (@JoeEhrmann76), a PCA National Advisory Board Member and winner of PCA's Ronald L. Jensen Award for Lifetime Achievement, is a former NFL Pro Bowl defensive lineman, founder of Coach For America and author of InSide Out Coaching. Ehrmann gained additional prominence when Parade Magazine dubbed him “the most important coach in America” for his unorthodox, but highly effective, coaching at Gilman School in the Baltimore area. Ehrmann was also the subject of Season of Life by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Marx.

In this video, Ehrmann shares his experiences as a sports parent, and his relationships with his children’s coaches. His approach is one of straightforward expectations. It’s important for any sports parent to get a clear understanding of the coach’s values and purpose so that a parent can make an informed decision about letting their child be a part of that team. Parents need to make sure coaches understand the needs of their child so that it is the best possible experience for everyone involved. It’s crucial that parents are active members of the child’s experience, and this starts with vetting the coach.

The key distinction for Ehrmann is that he never inserted himself into discussions on the play or strategy. Even at the collegiate level, he would reach out to the coach to make sure his child was getting the most support throughout the experience, but he would never talk about playing time or other decisions that should be left to the coach.