One responsibility of a coach is to inspire and motivate your players to perform better; Anneliese Neitling, coach of the South Tahoe girls softball team, has taken that to another level. Seems the coach forced players to drink from a shoe. The eight girls who were forced to drink from a shoe had struck out in their previous game.

At a slumber party following a game in which eight players struck out, Coach Anneliese Neitling forced players to drink from a shoe. They drank soda. I suppose it’s a positive that they weren’t required to drink from a protective cup or something really nasty.

Coach Neitling has given the obligatory apology and school Superintendent James Tarwater says that the incident will be addressed during Neitling’s postseason evaluation. He chalked it up to a young coaches mistake.

I’ve got to come to the defense of Anneliese Neitling on this one. I played school sports. I understand how these things go. Mix in a little razzing, some motivation, a little fun and you get kids who struck out drinking from a player’s shoe. I suppose I could relay a few stories from my time on the activity bus coming home after a loss but I won’t. Let’s just say far worse happened than drinking from a shoe.

A parent of one of the eight girls forced to drink from the shoe complained about the incident. I’m sure it wasn’t pleasant, it may have even been gross, but it’s doubtful the players who had to partake will be scarred for life. Who knows, they may even be motivated to try a little harder next time.

Hopefully Coach Anneliese Neitling who forced players to drink from a shoe will not be punished to an extreme. But in this day and age of political correctness and over protection of people’s feelings all bets are off. As long as a student wasn’t in danger or hurt what’s the big deal?