Friday, June 26, 2009
Does sailing need a Jim Pierce Rule?
The debate about invasive coaching in sailing has been rumbling along here for a while and last Friday we were discussing an analogy between Sailing and Tennis. Carol Anne of Five O'Clock Somewhere reminded us in the comments of the sad and strange case of Jim Pierce.
Jim Pierce was the ultimate intrusive parent/coach. His daughter Mary Pierce (pictured above) is a professional tennis player who burst on to the professional tennis scene at the age of 14 in 1989. Unfortunately she became more famous for the outrageous behavior of her father (who was also her coach) than for her play. He often shouted abuse at her opponents during matches, notoriously once screaming, "Kill the bitch!" and he was also verbally and physically abusive to his daughter. Eventually things became so bad that the tennis authorities enacted the Jim Pierce Rule which allows a player's disruptive family members or coaches to be banned from attending tournaments, and Jim Pierce was denied entrance to tournaments in which his daughter played.
So is Carol Anne suggesting that sailing needs a Jim Pierce Rule?
I hope not. I may rant on here occasionally about Mommy Boats and the like but I haven't seen anyone in sailing, parent or coach, whose behavior is anywhere near as bad as Jim Pierce's was.
Oh. I see what's happening here. Carol Anne was trying to trick me into posting a picture of some attractive female tennis player wearing skimpy clothing and striking a modeling pose. She wants to turn Proper Course into a clone of that other so-called sailing blog that has suggestive photos of young ladies in swimsuits every Friday. Well, I refuse to sink to such depths. Others may be prepared to use soft porn as a way to boost ratings but I have certain standards. This is a serious sailing blog about serious sailing subjects. Shame on you Carol Anne!
That's why I have posted a serious sailing picture of Ms. Pierce doing some serious sailing on a serious sailboat to illustrate this post. Enjoy.
Posted by Tillerman at 8:13 AM