On Friday afternoon, news came out that the Amarillo Wranglers had relived head coach Ryan Anderson of his duties. Now, most times when a head coach is let go, it's typically due to performance on the field, or in this case, ice.

The Wranglers are currently 26-16 on the season and sitting fourth in their division, so right about mid pack. That's truthfully not a bad place to be, especially considering their within touching distance of third place. So why was Anderson let go?

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According to a statement posted on the Wranglers Facebook page, it stems from "shortcomings in off-ice discipline and accountability, which have also impacted on-ice performance". It continued on mentioning things about their core values and positively influencing and mentoring the young men.

I went to a Wranglers game earlier this season because my son was performing the national anthem with his school choir. Our seats were right behind the Wranglers bench, so we got a great view of that and the ice. I can tell you this much. Anderson was VERY loud, not only with voice but with body language as well.

Now, while I agree that as these boys become young men, coaches begin to be a bit tougher on them. I'm all for that, as long as it's done in the proper manner. It's ok to raise your voice with them a bit to express your displeasure. However, it's beyond important to come back to that player offering corrections to help them be better.

If these things weren't happening, the players were essentially being berated and left to burn. I don't care if you're 10 years old or 22 years old, no one is going to react well to that.

While I can't speak on what was going on behind the scenes with Coach Anderson and the team, I can speak from the experience of being a youth coach on the baseball field. I've been coaching my kids teams since they started playing at the age of three.

I've personally been a boisterous coach who got a little too loud for his own good. I've admittedly berated my own kids, not someone else's, a little more than I should've. I've also learned from those mistakes and grown both as a person and coach who doesn't do that anymore.

We had our first baseball tournaments of the season for both my boys this past weekend. The teams we played against all had good coaches who were nothing but encouraging with their kids and never lost their cool on any of them.

There were those coaches around the complexes though that were yelling and screaming so loud that you could hear them across the complex. What are we teaching these kids by yelling and screaming at them? That mistakes are unacceptable? That not understanding how to execute a play won't be tolerated?

All of these kids are still learning, and I'm not just talking about a 10U baseball team, I'm talking about the Wranglers players as well. We forget these are still just young men on and off the ice still finding their footing. Whether it's taking that slapshot, or learning how to be a man off the ice, they're still learning.

If Coach Anderson forgot he was once a young man like that, and was punishing those players for simply trying to learn and navigate their way on the ice and through life, then yes, he should've been dismissed.

Hopefully the Wranglers players can pick up the pieces and play with even more of a purpose now, because they playoffs are definitely within reach. I hope these young men don't come away scarred, damaged, or lacking confidence because of something that may have happened behind the scenes. They deserve to grow all the way around.

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