Recently, ClearHealthLife published a story about a selfish mom who skewered public schools in Hawai’i for not providing her keiki with free Chromebooks. She has plenty money; just wants more for free stuff for her children.
Pua Nunes entitled, privileged and spoiled attitude characterizes so many families today. These families refuse to pay more in taxes; won’t join with activists to motivate legislators to better fund our schools; they simply whine, complain and fill social media with their negativity.
UPDATE 10.3.22: To the author of this article….you are spot on with your assessment! Maegan has been spreading lies and discord in the PHS volleyball program for several years! She has hurt and damaged so many girls and coaches…..this behavior has been driven by her own jealousy! There have already been several girls that have transferred schools or quit volleyball directly because of her behavior and manipulation. MATEJAH IS AN AMAZING ATHLETE AND PLAYER! ….but Maegan has done irreparable damage to so many others and to the PHS program by trying to get her daughter ahead. Enough with the lies. Enough with playing the victim. Enough with the narcissism. Just stop!!!!! Let the girls play and have fun!!! Be supportive of the coaches, and cheer for all of the girls! You’ve done enough damage already!!!
Yesterday, I came across a 10,000 word screed of hate, anger and vitriol posted by Maegen Jo Clark from Pocatello, Idaho. In sum, she disparaged the head coach, staff and athletic director at Pocatello High School for allegedly failing her daughter, Tejah.
It appears the staff who were recipients of her cruel and bitter criticism are female, and one is married to the district athletic director (AD). Maegen accused them of bullying, intimidation, discrimination and incompetence. Maegen reported to the public that she coaches at a lower level and had observed these female administrators and coaches “ruining” dozens of players.
I’m a professional level coach and have coached various teams of basketball for men, and volleyball and track for females. I understand parents don’t always agree with coaches. Their teens are important in their lives. They want the best. And coaches aren’t perfect!
At the high school level, many coaches are volunteers. Others are paid a small stipend — and these coaches end up working for about $0.87 per hour. They don’t coach for the money, but for the love of the game and their athletes.
I’ve met many coaches over the years who aren’t well qualified. I’ve never met any coach who doesn’t love the game or their players. Sometimes they play an athlete at a position the parent doesn’t prefer; sometimes they don’t play an athlete enough for the passionate parent; sometimes they coach in a way that is contrary to the opinion and style of parents.
And while I know our system of coaching at the high school level isn’t perfect, I have witnessed far more parents than coaches harm their teens due to their over-inflated egos, selfish demands and meddling in the coach’s program.
As I state in my discussion with Maegen, I don’t believe that females have been helpful to sports in America. I am not talking about women athletes or coaches. They’re awesome. I’m talking about mothers of athletes.
Life is risky. Sports are about taking risk and challenging ourselves to be the best we can be. In such pursuit, we will fall down, scrape our knees, break bones, tear muscles, tendons and ligaments, get head injuries — possibly even die. However, Hard Times Create Strong Men! Hard Times Create Strong Women! This reality is hard for mothers.
It is admirable that women want equality, fairness, and even equity in our world. However, life isn’t fair. Sports aren’t fair. Not all youngsters get a great coach. Not all athletes will be able to make a team, play for a team or be a star for a team.
As a young athlete, I worked harder than any other athlete in my community. I might have worked as hard or harder than every athlete in the nation. It paid off. I earned a scholarship and moved up to the professional ranks.
Then, I played against Michael Jordan. Those legs!!! That quickness!!! His jumping ability!!! Not fair!!! God gave those skills to Mike. Not fair!!! Sports are not fair. Life isn’t fair. I don’t feel cheated. I am one of the most blessed people on Planet Earth to have competed against Mike. I did my best! He was better. Welcome to life!
Female parents of athletes need to learn this lesson. Tennis great, Naomi Osaka, collapsed due to the mental pressure. Gymnastic GOAT, Simone Biles, destroyed herself mentally due to the pressure of Olympic competition. Women have to learn to “get out of their head,” as Maverick says in TopGun. “Stop thinking and overthinking.” Learn to #JustDoIt
Maegen’s negativity was so harmful that I reached out to her. First, it doesn’t help a coach, the school or players for parents to air their frustrations in public. Would be better to meet privately with the coach or athletic director.
Second, Maegen repeatedly discussed her daughter Tejah’s role on the team in public, how the coach was harming Tejah, how the program, staff and other athletes were discriminating against her and how Tejah was being ruined as a volleyball player by this incompetent and cruel coach.
Third, Maegen was extremely upset that the coaching staff had directed Tejah not to consume RedBull before matches. Coaches don’t want their athletes doing “drugs,” and caffeine is a drug. It’s a powerful stimulant. What goes up in sport must come down. Ultimately, if your athlete needs a stimulant to “get up” for a match, they’re in the wrong business.
I reached out to calm this overly-emotional and misguided parent.
Aloha Maegen, you probably don’t know me. Nice to hear you coach VB; congrats on Tejah’s success … First, I would not post the comments you made online. This criticism is bad for the team; makes you look bad; will hurt Tejah.
Second, she should not drink RedBull. It’s high caffeine and sugar. You’re doping her up. And what goes up artificially will come down — maybe in the final set.
Third, as higher level coaches, we can SEE talent. Don’t fret!!! I played for HHS — as a center at 6’5; had to move to guard in college and the pros.
She has talent. What coaches look for now is attitude and work ethic. She is a good kid. If you talk down about coaches, she will also.
Be positive. It will all work out. Please delete your online comments. Keep that between you and coaches. Don’t even share those feeling with Tejah. Only brings down her morale.
Always available to chat if you want.
This led to a two-hour-plus conversation via FB messenger — until Maegen blocked and unfriended me. For this reason, I post this history online. Gave her a lot of time on a Friday evening. For my volunteer effort to help her young athlete, she slammed the door in my face.
What a F***ing Witch!!! Seriously!!!
Maegen accused the community, primarily Mormon, of being discriminatory. She claims she is “documenting everything,” and that no one will do anything to help her daughter and end this “horrible behavior.”
My kids, my girls get bullied daily. My girls don’t get asked to dances or have boyfriends. The girls are evil at times.Maegen Jo Clark
Maegen doesn’t like coaches who are forceful because “these kids are soft and not as emotionally strong,” as we were generations ago she claims. However, she then countered her belief, “First of all you can’t be soft being black. It Mormon in this area. People are cruel.”
Maegen posts EVERYTHING about her children online for the public to view. She even criticizes the system since nobody asked Tejah to the Pocatello High School homecoming dance.
Maegen Jo Clark Summary of PHS Volleyball Coaching
Have met with coaches, have met with athletic director. Have even gone to the district office of how not only my daughter but how many girls are treated in this [Pocatello High School] program. Many parents over the last several years have tried to cry out for help but they continually get ignored. The coach is married to the District athletic director So this coach doesn’t even get a slap on the wrist for the way she has destroyed several athletes over her last 7 years or so. So we should just sit back and allow her to destroy many more lives? She has not helped one athlete make it to college level. She won’t even up keep max preps or any site that the IHSAA insists you do as a coach. So I should take down my post so she can continue to get away with horrible behavior? What is bad for the team is for the bullying way of these coaches and how they try to run their program with fear and consequence rather than positivity and encouragement.
COACH RESPONDS: I’m not suggesting you should sit back. However, airing your grievances in public does not help the team win. Including your daughter in your post harms her reputation; may lead colleges to steer away from recruiting her. And, as they are in season at this time, might be best to volunteer with the team, do what you can to help your daughter and team win, rather than be the Negative Nancy!
How do you drop your daughter from conversation if she is the point of the conversation and she is getting targeted? What do you do? Who do you go to when you have gone every route you can think of and no one will listen? When I say me I mean many athletes and parents have tried. No I don’t care what kind of bullying you encountered this coaching is unacceptable. My husband played college ball and also played at the professional level and he tells me we have to do something. I had a hell of a tough coach growing up and playing yet I knew is toughness came from a source of love because he cared. If so many children are getting mistreated yet no one in authority will listen what do you suspect we do?
COACH RESPONDS: As I said in my last comment, airing your grievances on social media is not helpful. This pathway does not generally lead to a positive solution. Nothing you told me supports your claim Tejah is being “targeted.” I told you my high school and college coaches probably “bullied” per our standards today. I hated my coaches; I loved my coaches. They were tough on all of us. As a result, we played for championships! And, I’m a better human being today because they were tough on us.
This coach has never had a 500 season. She has a 35% success rate. She has caused athletes to the point of depression. one moms testimony of her daughter having to take hours of therapy because she got beat so low and didn’t know how to cope. A coach that lets money and politics talk? Telling me she is going to start one specific player because her mom donated so much money to the program that she felt obligated. Or how about when her assistant coach was charging only certain athletes 100/ hour during season for extra help and then bringing them up as freshman to varsity while the ones who should be playing Sat the bench.
COACH RESPONDS: I’m a disciple of John Wooden. Coach didn’t focus on winning. I don’t either. We define success as doing our very best to be the very best we are capable of becoming. You claim one mom had to submit her daughter to “hours of therapy because she got beat so low and didn’t know how to cope.” You illustrate how soft our youngsters are today. How does an athlete cope with getting “chewed out” for not performing as expected? (1) Listen to the coach, (2) Thank the coach for the coaching advice, and (3) Get back up and execute better on the next play. This response develops Mental Toughness.
My daughter isn’t just a regular athlete. She is a two year state champion in track. She is nationally ranked. She just took 6th in the Nike outdoor Nationals in Eugene. Her track coach at Poky was devastated but even she knew how Tejah has been treated. She is the one who tells me to keep documenting everything because she knows how this vball program is. But it doesn’t do any good. No one will do anything.
COACH RESPONDS: Your daughter is a “regular athlete.” You admit you are her #1 Fan. We understand parents can be emotional this way. However, you are putting your daughter on some sort of pedestal. You expect her to be treated differently. I disturbs me that you are having these conversations with other coaches; and that you are repeating these accusations in public. In my professional opinion, you are hurting Tejah, her team, the coaching staff and the entire program.
I took my post down. I will continue to poke the bear to see if they will listen. It isn’t all about my kid. I have coached many of these athletes since 5th grade up until now and to see some of their lights just go out. Plus their love for the sport disappear it is heart breaking. I know 4 girls that are saying they aren’t coming back next year to play and volleyball is their life. It literally brings me to tears because there is nothing I can do for them. No one will do the right thing. Why should this coach have that much power.
COACH RESPONDS: You claim you will continue to “poke the bear” after I urged you to end this political and parental negativity. That you have coached “these athletes since 5th grade up until now” is irrelevant. You are too close; too emotional. If their love of the sport disappears, they do not love the sport. Sports test us! We face many obstacles. Champions find a way to overcome adversity. This process develops physical and mental toughness. What you can do for them is volunteer to coach; be the team’s leading cheerleader; and stop your ego-driven public rants. You claim “no one will do the right thing.” I’m asking YOU to do the right thing. Back off, sit down, let this coach run her program. If you’re unhappy, move your athlete to another school.
Ya but like we talked about unfortunately these kids are soft and not as emotionally strong. I will continue fighting for these girls they deserve better and deserve to have leadership and a mentor that cares about them and their future.
COACH RESPONDS: I don’t know “these kids.” I suspect they’re not as “soft and not as emotionally strong” as you claim. However, you don’t like it when a coach is tough. You want these athletes to be coddled. You keep them soft. And you believe you must “continue fighting for these girls.” You don’t let them grow up to become adults. You keep them in your protective parental bubble. You keep them mentally weak. You also claim they “deserve better.” This statement is an example your over-inflated ego. I’m truly disappointed in your parental attitude. Behavior like yours causes a lot of coaches, referees, staff and administrators to exit the profession. Get your coaching license. Apply for a head coaching job. Show us leadership rather than criticize others.
Oh no I meant fighting for the girls as in a way to try to see how we can get them to see a change needs to be made. You can ask any of my athletes or any of my 6 children I don’t just allow them to be soft. First of all you can’t be soft being black and. It Mormon in this area. People are cruel. My kids deal with racism and ignorance daily. My son was just told a joke the other day that said “what do apples and black peoples have in common? They both look good hanging from trees.” My kids, my girls get bullied daily. My girls don’t get asked to dances or have boyfriends. The girls are evil at times. I preach nothing but how to be tough and fight through adversity. I told Tejah this would be a tough year. I did tell her if they put you in middle then you do your best in middle weather [sic] it was a punishment or not. But there comes a point as a mother or a decent human being or you see so much injustice done you stand up for what is right.
And not Mormon
COACH RESPONDS: “fighting for the girls”? You sound mentally unstable. During season is not the time to fight for the girls against their coach and program. You believe changes “need to be made.” The ONLY change I see that needs to be made if for you to sit down and be quiet. Let the coach run her program. You have disparaged the coach, the program, and now Mormons. I know the Mormon community. Excellent people! Your attitude is frankly disgusting. You are racist, cruel and egotistical.
I can’t believe you told “Tejah this would be a tough year.” You’re instilling negativity and fear in this young, talented athlete. Punishment for playing middle? Imagine 2028. Tejah is OH for the USA Women’s Olympic team. The middle sprains her ankle in the 5th set. Coach has to assign Tejah to play that role. Thankfully, her coach at PHS played her in the middle position! Tejah easily slides over to the middle, has the best game of her life, and she and the USA woman earn the Gold medal. However, to you, she is being punished. You’re off your rocker!
“so much injustice done …” The ONLY injustice here is what you are doing!
Umm there was so much here that I disagree with. But we can agree to disagree at the end of the day. Plus the saying sticks and stones is a bunch of rubbish. That is actually the worst saying ever created. Words are actually very hurtful and can hurt more than actions or physical abuse. I have been in an abusive relationship and the emotional abuse was 10,000 times harder to forget or get over than the physical. The physical heals while the emotional does not. Do you have children? I don’t want to be a civil activist or a coach at this moment I want to be a parent. Your pretty much saying don’t stand up to the bully just adapt to the bullying? To me that sounds insane. I will never be one to teach my children to just allow themselves to be treated a certain way. There is always other coaches, other CEO’s other bosses, other jobs. There are people that will appreciate you and what you have to offer. If we lived a life where you set no boundaries that would lead to I miserable life. You don’t know me or my family. You read one rant message from a mom that you are 100% correct, I should not have posted but trust me you don’t know the first thing about me or how I raise my daughter or family for that matter. You say you coach volleyball, got a gold medal, played in the NBA? Congrats all on these crazy accomplishments. We obviously have some different views on different things. Which this is where I can say I respect your opinion for you have the right to it. I will in no way stop fighting the good fight and fighting for those I care about.
COACH RESPONDS: Yes, sticks and stone can break bones, but names DO NOT harm us! You are mentally weak. You look for reasons to be offended. Words are NOT “very hurtful.” I can call you “XYX$*7+*^%.” So what? Did that hurt you? Absolutely not! If I slap you, I hurt you. However, my words can only harm you if you allow them to cause harm. Athletes build up their armor to be both physically and mentally strong. Tejah may play before 50,000 screaming opposing fans one day. They will do their best to distract her and get her off her game. We witnessed Naomi Osaka collapse simply due to questions by reporters. Not mentally tough. No armor on her! We sadly watched Simone Biles withdraw from competition claiming the “twisties.” She twisted herself due to her personal thoughts, fears and negativity. And, now, you arrogantly claim you will “in no way stop fighting the good fight and fighting for those I care about.”
Overwhelmed By Negativity, Whining and Complaining
At this point, I had heard enough whining and complaining from this passionate, but misdirected, parent. She is filling the heads of her Black children with so much negativity. Listening to her, I would think they are afraid to leave the house. I wrote:
Need to go … let me leave you with a final comment. You can fight the good fight or prepare your daughter for college sports and a scholarship. Can’t do both!
I do not like women parents in sports. Women want life and the world to be fair. Life and sports are not fair!!! You can devote your time to helping her be a great athlete or work to make the world fair. Can’t do both!
You talk about racism, misogyny, politics, bullying, intimidation. Welcome to the world! There is Heaven; there is Hell. We have both here on Earth. Life is full of much sh*t. Sports are full of much sh*t. You are documenting the sh*t. You are focusing on the negative.
Women tend to overthink, to get anxious, to fret about all the what-ifs. Sports are about the NOW !!! Your attitude is hurting her. Your negative energy is harming her.
Coach Wooden was clear: if you believe you can or believe you cannot, you’re correct.
You’re in season now. All Tejah can do is play her best. After season, she plays club and runs track. Your track coach is fine!
Move next summer. What’s $5K for her future? Earn a scholarship; $5K investment cheaper than paying for college.
BUT seriously, YOU are harming her!!! Please end this political battle. You’re a coach. Is Tejah the best setter in Idaho? Best blocker in Idaho? Best middle in Idaho? Best serve receiver in Idaho? Best digger in Idaho? Best OH in Idaho? Best floor leader in Idaho?
This is ALL you should focus on. Don’t mention the coaching or politics again!!!
Seriously!!! If you want to win; want Tejah to be a winner; then drop all this political stuff. You don’t hear me. I understand this now. You’re upset and emotional. However, you’re hurting your daughter. You’re overwhelming her with negativity.
Maegen Jo Clark: I am not hurting my daughter she is tough and strong.
UPDATE 9.30.22: Maegen Jo Clark now criticized one female junior varsity coach who corroborated Maegen’s negative, destructive and abusive parental behavior, “I yell from the stands because they aren’t getting coached from the bench … your players have lost the light for the way you have treated them.”
Imagine: Meagen Yelling From Stands
PHS Coach: “OK, ladies, great job. Let’s run Play A.“
Maegen Jo Clark (yelling from stands): “No! No! No, Tejah. Don’t listen to the coach. Run Play B so you get more recognition.”
Poor Tejah! She doesn’t want to be in this conflict. Maegen also said, “leave my daughter out of what you have to say.” It was Maegen who inserted her daughter into the public discussion.
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Ko’olau of Kaua’i. I am the Defiant One
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