How To Throw The Best Coaching Tantrum

Ross LipschultzAnalyst IJanuary 26, 2011

How To Throw The Best Coaching Tantrum

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    We know why you are here. You've been coaching for a while, and no one seems to respect you.

    The players think your triangle offense is the name of your college band. The press calls you timid and a weak role model. Even the fans think your emotional level is permanently set on Jim Caldwell.

    Look at Bob Knight. Everyone respects him. He's a legend in college basketball. If he said he was coming back to coach, most schools would carry their current guy out of the gym to get Mr. Knight. What can you do to be more like the three-time NCAA champion?

    Hi, I'm Ross Lipschultz and welcome to the wide world of tantrums. Call it a tirade, rant or hissy fit, but the tantrum is a classic coaching action. It commands attention and shows the world, which is clearly against you, that you are not to be messed with.

    Yes, I know you just screamed: "Ross, that's exactly what I want! Make me a terrific 'tirader!"

    Slow down, turbo. First, stop talking to yourself.

    Second, you've got to learn the 15 steps to throwing a tantrum, on and off the field. It may be tough, but with this guide, you'll make the crying infant version of yourself look like Queen Elizabeth.

    So let's get mean.

Remember Your Elders

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    This is a classic tantrum, and don't you newbies forget it. History is bound to repeat itself, so you might be the lucky one to imitate Mr. Knight.

    If there's one thing to take away from this, it's that taking after Knight should be lesson numero uno in any tirade handbook.

    He's a pioneer of explosions. Look how he paces, seemingly quiet, and then all of a sudden makes his move. He flings the chair in between the referees, toward the Purdue shooter, and into the gaggle of cheerleaders. Everyone is in shock, and that's how he knows his tantrum was flawless.

    Further, he continues to go after the referee. He's the Energizer Bunny of tantrums, he never runs out of gas.

Be Memorable

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    A big factor in rants is how people remember it. If there's a chance it will pass out of the minds' of the world quickly, it's clearly not a good enough tantrum.

    Take a look at Mr. Mora. His quote "PLAYOFFS!" has been repeated more times than the opening of A Tale of Two Cities. Choosing a unique inflection to pound in a strong quote can prove critical. While Mora did it off the field, an on-field tirade must have memorable moments, or you just disappear into the annals of time.

    Also, if possible, repeat yourself. Over and over, as if the entire audience has anterograde amnesia. Yelling might help, but imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.

    So why not copy the most logical person in the world: yourself!

Stop The Game

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    Mississippi Braves manager Phillip Wellman's idol must be a five-year-old. The only way this could be classified as a grown man move is if he did this in a WWE ring. 

    And even then it's questionable. 

    The key component the minor league skipper brings to the table is the idea that if you don't want the game to continue, then it's sure as hell not going to continue. Take some bases, cover home plate with dirt, throw the resin like a grenade, and anything else that can halt the game.

    In fact, if you can throw a grenade like a grenade, the game really will stop. Mission accomplished!

Become The Attraction

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    This is often a difficult task, but doing it right makes a difference. Fans paid large amounts of money to come watch their favorite team play, and they couldn't care less about the coach.

    The best tantrums change that. The true "tiraders" make the fans feel like the ticket doesn't say "Real Madrid versus Barcelona" but instead "Head Coach versus The World." (Note: That's not a crappy Scott Pilgrim remake.)

    This Brazilian soccer coach managed just that. No one knows who he is, but when he runs on the field, takes the ball and goes Anderson Silva on a player and referee, the fans probably stopped caring about the other 21 people on the pitch.

    He's living the dream.

Teach A Lesson

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    Remember the adage: "If you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself." Well, Asheville Tourists' manager Joe Mikulik took that to a whole separate level with this explosion.

    He starts with the standard stuff: getting in the umps face, kicking the dirt, etc. But the innovation he brings to the table is that of governess, a.k.a. one who teaches.

    He mocks the umpire, showing him how a slide works. Then he gets behind home plate, and explains how the umpire is supposed to behave. If someone isn't doing the job you want them to do, show them how.

    Isn't that what dad always said?

Break Something

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    When psychiatrist's see an angry and stressed out patient, they normally hand them a stress ball and have them talk it out.

    Abbotsford Heat head coach Jim Playfair's psychiatrist, on the other hand, probably hands his client's a two-by-four...which is just awesome, despite the possibility of aiding and abetting.

    Still it's an important tantrum lesson: break things. Anything. Hockey sticks, helmets, hearts, whatever. Just don't dare clean the mess up afterwards, because angry people don't make messes.

    They just express themselves in a manner similar to elated primates.

Throw Unusual Things

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    Hats off to Mr. Ftorek. Not only did he manage to give the referee a piece of his mind, but he also made his players' lives a lot more inconvenient all in one move.

    The classic tantrum two-fer. Haven't seen one of those since the Helsinki episode of 1919.

    The New Jersey Devils coach had to get his players to get off the bench just to hurl the wooden obstruction onto the ice. Take that with a grain of salt, however. Had that assistant coach not handed over the bench, Ftorek probably would have tossed the little bearded man too.

    Which, by the way, is a novel idea. A coach catapult could be a revolution in tirade technology.

Attack The Players

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    Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Woody Hayes must not have listened to mom. Which is great, because picking on someone your own size is not for tantrums.

    That's for weaklings. 

    In the 1978 Gator Bowl, Hayes watched Clemson linebacker Charlie Bauman intercept his quarterback and return the ball right to his feet. The coach took matters into his own hands, punching and attempting to strangle a man who probably could have eaten him whole.

    But hey, he can stand up for himself. He's a man, ain't he?

Don't Take Questions

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    Sure, screaming can do the trick, but how cliché is that? Thanks to Michigan women's basketball coach Kevin Borseth, however, yelling is no longer passé.

    How'd he manage to change that, as well as affect other accented words? Easy, he did it before the question was asked.

    Pick things to complain about on the way to the press conference, and don't let anyone interrupt. To really perfect the art, start yelling before even crossing onto the stage. If a megaphone isn't already installed in your larynx, get on it.

    Costco's running a 2-for-1 special on that surgery right now.

Don't Listen To Questions

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    Warning, strong NFSW language

    If some pansy reporter manages to get a word in edgewise, don't dignify him with a response. Make sure the point is made, and that he can take his notebook and get out if he doesn't like it.

    So when the reporter asked Arizona Cardinals head man Dennis Green about how his team tried to shut down Rex Grossman, he answered it perfectly.

    By not answering it. Just yell about other things, and how the media built up the opponent to be some juggernaut. The more attention you give to a specific question, the less time you have to showing how much of a man you are.

    Note: Storming off works well too. Dennis Green left that stage like the Flash, and the journalist probably was as red-faced as the superhero's suit.


Freak The Crap Out Of People

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    People respond extremely well to surprise. No, not physical surprise, like a ghost. More verbal, like Colorado coach Dan Hawkins.

    He spends the first 45 seconds talking entirely normally and people want to hear his point. Then, he starts yelling like his arm was just lopped off. It sends the listener into a jolt, and they pay even closer attention than before.

    So now you have your audience on its toes and completely scared poopless. What's better than that?

    Oh yes, publicly insulting a player's mother. But that's too niche.

Get Personal

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    Some writers are just rude. All they do is sit in their armchairs and write away, citing lies and rumors that are hurtful to the men on the field.

    A tantrum is the perfect place to get revenge. If the Sith could, why don't you?

    Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy did it, and look how it turned out: He's one of the most watched people on the internet! He just had to verbally attack an editor, tell a reporter he didn't understand how it felt to have a family, and call a publication's credibility into question.

    Hey, if getting personal gets them to respect you, isn't it worth it? Gundy's a man! He's 40!

Threaten Lives

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    No rant is complete without making someone feel unsafe, right? If the listener doesn't call ADT immediately after, you haven't perfected the tantrum.

    John Chaney, on the other hand, is damn close.

    Chaney, the former Temple Owls' basketball coach, had to be restrained during a press conference after a game against John Calipari's UMass squad. While the press held him back, he still managed to squeeze in a "I'll kill you" and "I’m gonna tell my kid to knock your (bleeping) kid in the mouth.”

    Unfortunately for most of you, the target of your tirade won't normally be someone as smug as Calipari. That will make the motivation tougher. Still, a few threats on their life will do the trick. And if you can drag their family into it, you are on your way to the top.

Insult The Media

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    Warning, strong NFSW language, thanks to poor bleeping.

    Kansas City Royals manager Hal McRae has many of the key rant ingredients down: screaming, verbal abuse, and tossing random objects (which appears to include a McFlurry).

    Fortunately, McRae adds another element to the tantrum. The insult.

    Call their questions retarded. Tell them you've heard that stuff hundreds of time. Make it seem like the story has been written so much that the journalist should just copy and paste from yesterday's game.

    Note how many of the media members leave the room: dejected, silent, and head down. If a tantrum doesn't crush the reporter's soul, then grab a phone like McRae did, and try to do it the old fashioned way.


Make The Fans Feel Guilty

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    Warning, extremely strong NFSW language

    It makes sense that the most crude person on this list managed the Cubs. There's no job more frustrating that coaching a team destined for mediocrity.

    Yes, 1983 was a different time, but Lee Elia still can teach us our last lesson, which is not just a slew of new curse words.

    He shows us all that the fans have no right to blast their team. He makes them feel guilty for having no job and nothing to do in the middle of the day. So what if they support the Cubs? They need to respect the players and if they don't they are a bunch of (@&()&)$(&()@%*(_))$_*@_)*@_U)$(&%)(&)(.

    If the fans feel guilty, they will find better and more generous ways to support you and your team. Parades, sponsorships, parties and Fred Smoot-led sex-cations are all in your future if Elia becomes your idol.

    With that, you've made it to the end, and now have the tools to be make Derek Anderson look as tame as a baby sloth. Now go, make haste to your first tantrum. 

    Mom's been looking for more stuff to put in the baby book, and this is just another first.

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