In an excerpt from his memoir A Promised Land published in the Sunday Times, former President Barack Obama reminisced about his time coaching his daughter Sasha's elementary school basketball team.
Although he recalled the time he spent with fondness, having enjoyed more traditional quality time with his daughter at the Washington D.C. school Sidwell Friends, Obama revealed he stopped after complaints came from parents about his involvement.
Obama had paired up with former Duke University basketball player Reggie Love to conduct practices for the team.
"After observing an adorable, but chaotic, first couple of games, Reggie and I took it upon ourselves to draw up some plays and volunteered to conduct a few informal Sunday afternoon practice sessions with the team. We worked on the basics: dribbling, passing, making sure your shoelaces were tied before you ran onto the court."
"And although Reggie could get a little too intense when we ran drills—'Paige, don't let Isabel punk you like that'—the girls seemed to have as much fun as we did."
However, shortly after the team, named the Vipers, celebrated a close win, parents began to voice their complaints.
"But of course nothing about our lives was completely normal anymore as I was reminded the following year, when, in true Washington fashion a few of the parents from a rival Sidwell team started complaining to the Vipers coaches and presumably the school that Reggie and I weren't offering training sessions to their kids, too."
"We explained that there was nothing special about our practices. That it was just an excuse for me to spend extra time with Sasha. And we offered to help other parents organize practices of their own."
With persistent complaints however the 44th President noted that it was "simpler for all concerned" for him to go back to cheering the team on from the sidelines.
Obama elaborated on his feelings saying:
"given all the time I'd missed with the girls over years of campaigning and legislative sessions, I cherished the normal dad stuff that much more."
Many Twitter users empathized with the respected former President on the struggles of coaching and dealing with other parents.
Being a volunteer coach is a thankless job. Parents are usually the worst part about coaching youth sports. Personally, I've learned to tune them out, but it took a long time to get to that point.
— Ryan Robinson (@rpr2300) November 18, 2020
Anyone who has ever coached youth sports in the 21st century totally gets this.
— Vanilla Jesus 2020 (@VanillaJesus1) November 18, 2020
Apparently it's easier to be President of the United States than it is to be a girl's basketball coach.
— I Said What I Said.. (@WatchMeBGreat) November 18, 2020
I can see the Karen's chasing him out of the gym. pic.twitter.com/rv6xXIBOQ8
— BigMikeEnforcer (@MichaelADLyons) November 17, 2020
Too many parents r ridiculous. I know a guy who was a fabulous Little League coach who believed every kid deserved a chance to play. So his team, with a few superstar players, didn't win the championship. Parents complained & the following year he was asked to not coach anymore.
— TheLadyInRead (@Up4Yes) November 18, 2020
Man able to be the leader of the free world for eight years finds out just how toxic parents are when it comes to their children sports. Not all that surprised about it but these people should take a good long look at their behavior. /bell "Shame!"
— Eric (@QcRoman) November 17, 2020
Human beings really need to learn how to enjoy life and set examples for kids. I'll have to read about the complaints. Decent Americans, please lead the way to respect and understanding. 🙄
— Tanya Hutchins (@TanyaHutchins) November 19, 2020
One brought out an apt example after this 2020 election…
See? Presidents can concede.
— null (@FrontalNode) November 17, 2020
Now a decade later Sasha Obama is a sophomore at the University of Michigan.
President Obama's memoir was released on November 17, 2020 by Crown Publishing Group.