Master basketball coach Mark Jerome speaks candidly about social emotional complexities in sports culture and how his own ethical sensitivities have evolved over his decades of playing, coaching, and parenting. Mark describes enormous inequities in schools’ sports resources and discusses bullying and abusive parental behavior, as well as what he loves about basketball.


00:00-00:41 Intros

00:42-01:33 Why sports help so many students make it through high school

01:34-02:18 Similarities between sports and arts

02:19-05:03 Fostering individualism within a team structure: “like jazz”

05:04-07:11 Coach’s role in creating the team

07:12-10:42 Why parents find team sports compelling

10:43-14:40 Balancing winning and a culture where winning isn’t everything

14:41-24:53 Helping players cope with anxiety and embarrassment

24:54-27:15 Should a player help an opponent get up from a fall?

27:16-32:28 Bullying and abusive parents

32:29-35:28 Teachers v. professionals as high school coaches

35:29-39:20 Funding and facilities disparities for sports among schools

39:21-41:32 Commodification of sports and role of  corporations

41:33-43:00 Outro


Click here to see the full transcription of this episode. 


Photo by Markus Spiske / Unsplash

Soundtrack by Podington Bear