It’s never acceptable, in my opinion, for a middle school coach to ever, really under any circumstances, to talk to middle school athletes that way. Among many other levels of coaching, I WAS a middle school coach of basketball, football, and track. It’s where I began my coaching career and where I ended it. After coaching at both the HS level and at a DIII school as the JV coach, one of my former players, now the varsity coach, asked me to come out of retirement to coach his middle school kids. I LOVED coaching those kids. We worked SO hard. They got in GREAT shape and learned a LOT of basketball, but I NEVER said inappropriate things to my kids. NEVER. I yelled a lot, but it was positive, encouragement, never demeaning. There are other ways that coaches can get kids to understand the point they are making. It may involve some playing time or getting in REALLY good shape without going overboard, but obscene language is NEVER appropriate. I can honestly say, I’ve never sworn at a player…at ANY level. Well, at least not out loud!
I will say this, though, I worked as a caddie as a kid. It was a real job, not just show up and carry someone’s bag. We were by far the BEST caddies in the state. Our caddie master was tough as nails. His language was the worst, perhaps, I’ve EVER heard, and I’ve served in the US Army! Today, he would be fired for using such language. Someone’s momma would complain, and he would be gone! BUT he is one of the four men I respect MOST in life. He taught me a work ethic and a PRIDE in what I was doing that I try to use everyday. He taught me that there are NO excuses. He taught me there there is really only one way to do things and that’s the right way. Be the BEST. Interestingly, in my development as a man, a teacher, and a coach, while I NEVER used the example of his language, I strived to use his example of dedication, and work ethic, and effort to be the best. So, middle school kids? No. High school kids? I don’t think so. College kids? Not necessary, but we all know of those coaches who get away with it. I agree with Bacon. There are other very effective ways of making your point. Sorry for the length of this.