"Coachspeak” (also “coach speak") is the language of sports coaches. The language often contains hidden messages for the team’s players and for other teams; rarely is it simply the straight truth. For example, a coach might talk about a player to purposely raise or lower his trade value.
“For lack of a better term, I call it Coachspeak” was written by Brooks Peterson in the Corpus Christi (TX) Times on September 5, 1977. “A Selective Guide to Coachspeak” by Tony Kornheiser was published in the New York (NY) Times on November 16. 1977, and this column was reprinted in other newspapers.
coach + -speak
1. (informal) The jargon or pep talks given by sports coaches.
5 September 1977, Corpus Christi (TX) Times, “Coaches’ fall ritual: Tell it like it isn’t” by Brooks Peterson, pg. 12A, col. 3:
What is really fascinating about these exchanges is the language in which they are coached: For lack of a better term, I call it Coachspeak. It has some thing of an Alice-in-Wonderland quality to it; it is laden with subtlety, shot through with indirection.
20 November 1977, Boston (MA) Herald American, “...And then there’s the one about the triple reverse, double swerve” by Tony Kornheiser (N. Y. Times News Service), pg. B2, col. 3:
Football coaches make themselves indispensable by speaking in tongues no one else understands. Coachspeak. It suffers in translation: ..
5 January 1985, Atlanta (GA) Journal-Constitution, “C’mon, Vince, tell your boosters to play it straight,” pg. C1:
Give us no more CoachSpeak about not being able to control the boosters.
November 18, 1987
Please Don’t Pick Us No. 1
Coaches have learned the hard way that being first in the preseason polls can be the unkindest cut of all
Most overused phrase in the dictionary of hackneyed coachspeak: No. 1 is nice, but we want to be there at the end rather than the beginning.
By Skip Bayless
New York, NY: Fireside Books
No coachspeak. He hid behind no cliches or generalities or ifs. If a player was fat and lazy, as Tony Hill had become, Hackett told reporters, hey, he’s fat and lazy. Hackett dealt in reality.
Translating Classic College Football Coach Speak
By Amy Daughters (Featured Columnist) on March 4, 2013
If you’ve ever thought about ways to link college football with power politics, try considering the relationship between spin and coach speak.
Indeed, while the former allows politicians to verbally avoid tough questions by answering with evasive, issue-twisting and ultimately confusing dialogue the latter allows head football coaches the same type of defense mechanism against queries they can’t or won’t answer.
Dallas (TX) Morning News—Dallas Cowboys blog
Fox NFL play-by-play announcer Kenny Albert reveals his memorable moment at a Cowboys game
By Barry Horn / Reporter
7:52 pm on September 27, 2013
Jason Garrett doesn’t offer much more than “coachspeak” in his daily media sessions. How is he when he sits down with you, Daryl and Tony?