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

Mercer Island football player Hunter Johnson, left, makes a play against the Issaquah Eagles during a non-league game this past September. Johnson was one of three Islanders football players that captured 2A/3A KingCo first-team, all-league honors. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Islanders football players earn accolades for stellar 2018 season

A plethora of Mercer Island Islanders football players earned 2A/3A KingCo all-league… Continue reading

The Mercer Island Islanders boys water polo team (pictured) earned fifth place at the Washington water polo state tournament on Nov. 9 at the Curtis Aquatic Center in University Place. Photo courtesy of Dawn Friedland
Islanders earn fifth place at state water polo tournament

Mercer Island defeats Bellevue in season finale.

Ryan Pang (pictured on the far right) poses for a photo with teammates Sam Schroerlucke, Chris Groer and Ross Duncan in Miami. Photo courtesy of Ryan Pang
Pang competes at ITF Young Seniors World Team Championships

Mercer Island tennis coach partakes in an experience of a lifetime.

The Mercer Island Islanders girls swim team earned a fifth-place finish at the Class 3A state swim meet on Nov. 10 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
                                The 200 IM relay team consisting of Alexandra Williams, Grace Olsen, Cayla Prophater and Elie Bailey captured fifth place. The 200 free relay squad of Annie Pearse, Julia Williamson, Hailey Vandenbosch and Bailey finished in sixth place. The 400 free relay quartet of Pearse, Prophater, Vandenbosch and Williamson captured sixth place as well. Prophater earned fourth place in the 200 IM and third place in the 500 free. Sophia McGuffin registered a third-place finish in diving and Pearse finished in fifth place in the 100 free. Photo courtesy of Allison Nelson
Islanders earn fifth place at Class 3A state swim meet

Mercer Island swim team performs well at state swim competition.

Mercer Island senior midfielder Jackie Stenberg, right, tries to keep the ball away from Bonney Lake midfielder Summer Kober, left, in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs on Nov. 6 at Mercer Island High School. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Islanders cruise past Panthers in first round of state playoffs

Mercer Island pitches shutout against Bonney Lake.

A Mercer Island based tennis team, representing the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Pacific Northwest Section, captured the national title at the USTA League 40 Over 3.0 Men’s National Championships on Oct. 28 at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Alabama. The Mercer Island team, which is based out of of the Mercer Island Country Club, defeated a squad from San Francisco, California 3-2 in the title match. Members of the Mercer Island squad consisted of John Whipple, Bernard Hensey, Brian Rogers, Christopher Loiselle, Christopher Martin, Dean Martin, Dean Winston, Jeff Omara, Richard Aylen and Ryan Flynn. Photo courtesy of the United States Tennis Association
Mercer Island tennis team wins national title

Team based out of Mercer Island Country Club dominates at coveted tournament.

Mercer Island junior Carter Burr (pictured) catches a pass in the flat from quaterback Clay Dippold in the first quarter of play against Bellevue. Bellevue defeated Mercer Island, 47-0, on Oct. 26. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Wolverines cruise to a victory against Islanders

Mercer Island finishes the 2018 season with an overall record of 6-3.

The Mercer Island Islanders girls soccer team captured a 1-0 victory against the Bellevue Wolverines on Oct. 25 in the regular season finale for both teams. Jackie Stenberg (pictured) scored the lone goal of the game between rival schools. The Islanders finished the 2018 regular season with an overall record of 15-0-1. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Ault Justus
Islanders earn victory against Wolverines in rivalry matchup

Mercer Island finishes the 2018 regular season with 15 wins.

A Mercer Island-based women’s tennis team, which represented the United States Tennis Association Pacific Northwest section, earned a national title at the USTA League Adult 40 Over 3.5 National Championships on Oct. 21 at the Arlington Tennis Center in Arlington, Texas. The Mercer Island team defeated a Cornelius, North Carolina squad 3-2 in the championship match. Members of the championship roster included Carol Gregory, Nancy Smith, Susie Harrington, Diane Panteleakos, Cindy Paborsky, Suzy Skone, Heidi Martin, Hilary Benson, Molly Fort, Ildi Koves, Shawn Wood, Kelly Everson and Leigh Perks. Photo courtesy of Andrew Ong/USTA
Mercer Island tennis team wins national title

Championship squad trains at Mercer Island Country Club.

Islanders player Leif Gullstad (No. 12) makes his fourth steal of the game in a matchup against the Ballard Beavers on Oct. 15. Photo courtesy of Dawn Friedland
Mercer Island loses close contest to Ballard

Islanders lose in home contest against Beavers.

The epitome of a legend

Paul Allen will always be remembered for saving professional football in Seattle.

Islanders water polo team loses to Bellevue, Roosevelt

Mercer Island remains optimistic despite recent defeats.