Just stay calm — former Mercer Island coach to offer class for parents of athletes

Former Mercer Island High School graduate and coach Brad Rorem has had a lot of experience with parents and adolescent athletes. He has played and coached football and wrestling for the Islanders and is currently a high school teacher. Rorem will use his experiences to teach a class at Bellevue Community College and help parents through this phase of their child’s life, starting on June 26 for five Thursdays.

  • Wednesday, June 4, 2008 10:00am
  • Sports

Former Mercer Island High School graduate and coach Brad Rorem has had a lot of experience with parents and adolescent athletes. He has played and coached football and wrestling for the Islanders and is currently a high school teacher. Rorem will use his experiences to teach a class at Bellevue Community College and help parents through this phase of their child’s life, starting on June 26 for five Thursdays.

“Parents see most of what coaches see in terms of the growth of their sons and daughters,” said Rorem. “But as parents, we have a greater emotional and long-term interest in our kids, and it can lead to real struggles for us in the short-term. We worry about our kids’ relationships with other kids and coaches, injury risks, athletic confidence, training regimens, nutrition, scheduling and a myriad of other issues.”

Rorem said that the course is designed for parents whose children or adolescents are participating in team or individual sports, using the text “Whose Game Is It Anyway?” and instructor-provided materials.

“The book I’m using as a text for the class really drove me to pursue the idea of teaching the course,” said Rorem. “When I read the book earlier this year, I felt I’d finally found a decent teaching reference for a class in parenting young athletes.”

The class will explore issues such as “pushing” kids, teaching athletes to achieve emotional control, balancing athletics with other needs, understanding the role of the coach, coping with body image, and the benefits of participation in multiple sports.

“As both a parent and a coach, I recognized a real need for positive and proactive approaches to the issues that arise in parenting young athletes,” said Rorem, who received the Fran Nordstrom Volunteer Award for his work with the Mercer Island Boys & Girls Club.

In addition to reading the text, students will be expected to submit at least one parent/athlete issue for consideration in small group and class discussions.

“When we try to deal with issues surrounding our kids’ participation in sports, we usually don’t have the resources we need readily available,” said Rorem. “Often, we may try to run something past a friend or family member to get their take, or we may try to raise an issue with other parents at the ballpark. Usually the benefits resulting from these inquiries are limited, and sometimes results are disastrous.”

Rorem’s unique experience of playing, coaching and raising children on Mercer Island could give Island parents perspectives that they might not normally get in a class exploring these specific topics.

“I had great experiences in sports growing up,” said Rorem. “For three years in a row as a kid, I had a coach who drove a beer truck all day and then put on a whistle to coach us every evening. He didn’t have a son on the team or any other apparent reason for serving as a coach. I realized later, when I became a coach, what motivated him. It was simply the joy of seeing kids grow over the course of a practice, a game, a season, a year.”

Rorem was practicing law when he began coaching on Mercer Island, and the experience changed his life.

“Coaching taught me that I had a passion for working with kids and led me to a master’s degree in teaching from Seattle University and a new career in teaching,” said Rorem.

For more information or to sign up for the class, visit the Bellevue Community College web site at www.bellevuecollege.edu or call (425) 564-1000.

More in Sports

Soccer and hockey take center stage on vacation / Sports Scene

When you’re on vacation, you might as well pack as many vital… Continue reading

Mercer Island Islanders senior swimmer Killian Riley will compete in the 200 free, 100 free, 200 free relay and 400 free relay at the Class 3A state swim and dive championships on Feb. 15-16 in Federal Way. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Riley rises to the occasion in the pool

Mercer Island senior Killian Riley thrives in a quartet of events.

Mercer Island Islanders freshman Chris Clark (pictured) drives to the hoop in the fourth quarter against the Bellevue Wolverines in the 3A KingCo tournament championship game on Feb. 6 at Newport High School in Factoria. The Islanders defeated the Wolverines 44-41. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Islanders conquer Wolverines in 3A KingCo championship game

Mercer Island fends off Bellevue fourth quarter rally.

The Mercer Island Islanders boys swim team earned first place at the KingCo swim meet on Feb. 2 at Mary Wayte Pool on Mercer Island. Photo courtesy of Jay Na
Islanders boys swim team wins KingCo swim meet

Mercer Island swim team is a dominant program.

Northwest Yeshiva senior Zohar Hemmet, left, dribbles the ball down the court in the final game of her high school career against Rainier Christian on Jan. 30. Northwest Yeshiva finished the 2018-19 season with an overall record of 4-16. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Rainier Christian defeats Northwest Yeshiva in season finale

Northwest Yeshiva finishes the season with four victories.

Mercer Island Islanders wrestler Colin Farrell, left, registered a first place finish in the 182-pound weight division at the KingCo/Wesco 3A sub-regionals on Feb. 2. Photo courtesy of Billy Pruchno
Bevy of Mercer Island grapplers advance to regionals

Islanders wrestling team is peaking at the right time.

Mercer Island 220-pound wrestler Donnie Howard, pictured, pinned Interlake wrestler Cole Mullenix in their matchup on Jan. 17. The Islanders defeated the Saints 44-24 in the dual match. Photo courtesy of Billy Pruchno
Mercer Island grapplers conquer Interlake on senior night

The Mercer Island Islanders wrestling team earned a 44-24 victory in a… Continue reading

At long last, Edgar Martinez’s waiting game is over. Photo by clare_and_ben/Flickr
Edgar Martinez finally makes the Hall of Fame

In his last year on the ballot, the Mariner legend and greatest designated hitter of all time gets the Cooperstown call.

Mercer Island Islanders guard Nigel Seda, left, scored a team-high 15 points against the Interlake Saints on Jan. 22. Mercer Island defeated Interlake 63-46. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Islanders cruise past Saints in 3A KingCo hoops contest

Mercer Island dominates Interlake in the first quarter.

Mercer Island resident Desiree Berry, pictured with her children Beau, 5, and Bear, 3, clinched a berth at the United States Olympic trials after clocking a time of 2:39.17 at the Cal International Marathon on Dec. 2 in Sacramento, California. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Berry takes top spot at Cal International Marathon

Mercer Island resident clinches a spot at the USA Olympic trials.

Mercer Island Lacrosse Association to host a clinic in February

A free lacrosse clinic and giveaway will take place from noon to… Continue reading

The Mercer Island Islanders boys swim team earned first place at the Kentridge Invitational on Jan. 12. Islanders athletes capturing first place in their respective events consisted of Nate Robinson (50 free), Collin Ralston (200 IM) and James Richardson (100 back). Photo courtesy of Carol Gullstad
Islanders swim team earns first place at Kentridge Invitational

The Mercer Island Islanders boys swim team earned first place at the… Continue reading