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Worst Coach Stories

Discussion in 'Coaches Corner' started by riboflav, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. riboflav

    riboflav Member SoSH Member

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    7,212
    As I've said in other threads, I felt charitable earlier this spring and took on a developmental AAU 12-year old boys' basketball team. The team is required to play in our organization's summer league and because we're technically an AAU team, we have to play D-1 (healthy, right?). So, we generally lose every game by 15-20 points (great learning opportunities losing by the same amount all the time and never playing competitive games; not bitter though). But, last night, we played the best team in our bracket and we typically lose to them by 25 if they show mercy. 
     
    We were playing in an aux gym at a middle school where the mid-court circle practically touches the top of the keys. So, they ran a 2-2-1 press which allowed them to get in it even after missed shots and because the court was so small we couldn't beat it going middle. Their defenders pinched in taking away the middle and it was also easy for them to recover if we reversed the ball. Given their length versus our lack of length, there was really no way to beat it. They jumped out to a 22-1 lead before the opposing coach took off the press.
     
    From that point, we managed to make it more of a game. With about five minutes to go, we actually started to get on roll of sorts. Our half-court man forced several turnovers in a row and we actually converted in transition, going on an 11-2 run. Just when we were feeling good about ourselves, the other coach calls timeout (they're ahead by 24 with one minute left), screams his head off at his team, puts his starters back in, and puts the press back on. They closed with a 5-0 run to win by 29. 
     
    Other than everyone learning what a dick he is, I don't think anyone learned much of anything else.
     
  2. HomeBrew1901

    HomeBrew1901 Has Season 1 of "Manimal" on Blu Ray SoSH Member

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    Yup, if I could copy and paste I would move my post from the Worst Parent's Thread
     
  3. Doug Beerabelli

    Doug Beerabelli Killer Threads Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Heinie post on bunting in 3...2....1....
     
  4. riboflav

    riboflav Member SoSH Member

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    FTR, I believe this coach did more damage to his own team than mine. I always teach my kids that we have no control over the officials, the opposing coach, and the opposing players' attitudes and behavior. We can only control ourselves and work through whatever adversity is presented to us. If it had been my team, I would have used the 11-2 run against us as a learning opportunity to improve our bench play and our half-court offense.
     
    Don't get me wrong... of course, he didn't do my team any favors by playing that stupid 2-2-1. We didn't learn anything about basketball either.
     
  5. Omar's Wacky Neighbor

    Omar's Wacky Neighbor Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Not 'worst ever' but this sticks in my mind as 'what are you teaching these kids????' all in the span of five seconds:
     
    practice for a U10 8v8  girls rec team, working on corner kicks:  not only is the coach doing it on an 11v11 field on 11v11 goals (and NOT moving the ball in, but using the actual 11v11 corner, so these third grader girls are squibbing the ball like five yards), but when one bigger girl ran to the corner from the middle of the field to take the corner, he loudly admonished her  "Who's supposed to take the corner kick?  Who??  THE PLAYER CLOSEST TO THE CORNER!!!!"
     
    Another one:
     
    we took a new town into our rec soccer league last fall.  Both my sons were assigned to ref a U10 boys game, both sons are certified by AYSO and USSF.  After a save, the visiting GK would punt from the six.  After he did this twice/thrice, my older son quietly informed the GK that he could go out to the twelve to punt.  Visiting coach yells at my son to "stop telling his GK the wrong rules, he has to punt from the first line!".  So their GK keeps punting from the six.  A while later, my younger son goes over and explains the same thing to the GK, that he can move out to the twelve to punt.  Coach yells the same thing to this son "Stop confusing my keeper!!"  So of course every time our GK would come out to the twelve to punt, the visiting coach would scream  "He can't come out that far!!" and the obligatory accusation of calling the game for the home team.  On the ride home, I asked my older son about it, and if he considered carding the coach.  He just laughed and said "Dad, you can't card stupid."
     
  6. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

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    Did your sons discuss this with the coach at halftime or after the game? He's doing his team a disservice.
     
    I hope at least a parent corrected him later--politely.
     
  7. HomeBrew1901

    HomeBrew1901 Has Season 1 of "Manimal" on Blu Ray SoSH Member

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    The boys did the right thing in trying to help the GK as well.  I've had a few refs in the fall help out the team with things they can and can't do like "Ask for 10" on a penalty kick. 
     
    Edit: As a coach that never played, I really appreciated it.
     
  8. Omar's Wacky Neighbor

    Omar's Wacky Neighbor Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Yes, my older son tried to quietly speak with the coach during half time, partly to explain the certifications and experience my sons have (like tonight, my 16 y/o was asked to ref two U14 club scrimmages, with three of the four teams being Top 25 in the state) .  He was quickly dismissed by the coach.
     
    (it's very common in youth soccer for coaches and parents to take the attitude that there is no way a kid in junior high can possibly know more about the rules than an adult.  As HomeBrew mentioned, when as a coach, something was pointed out to me, I was grateful for it, even if it was coming from a kid).
     
  9. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    I'm big on the "control what you can control and don't waste your energy on the things you can't", great life lesson.
     
    I hate games like that. Just a waste of time for both sides, can be even worse for the winning side as it's easy to get into some really bad habits in games like that, plus just a terrible life lesson for them. It's sad that it's pretty much just an accepted part of youth basketball even going all the way up through high school AAU.  
     
    Especially sad that it's a league with different levels of play and they won't let you drop down - even if it means changing schedules for all the teams, what is the goal of the league?
     
    Some coaches prefer to win games like that. We put our B travel teams in a league with very little leadership and every grade level has at least one team in B that should be in A. Coaches care about winning games more than having competitive games.
     
    One of the things I hate about AAU is that a tournament with advertise A, B and C divisions, so you sign up for B or C, and get there and they have only A teams, or they let teams that are A teams sign up for B. They're just in it for the money and don't care about having competitive games.
     
    At least in CT, there is not state wide organization for youth basketball.  I am very jealous of the soccer people who have CT Jr Soccer Assoc (CJSA) with different levels of play, so at least in theory, you should have more competitive games.
     
  10. riboflav

    riboflav Member SoSH Member

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    Sometimes, this season it's felt like I have more of a chance to find a fully in-tact dinosaur fossil in my back yard than I do finding a competitive opponent. There is nothing more infuriating than going to a tournament (especially one that's two hours away) and being scheduled against all A teams because the tourney director screwed up and forgot we we were a C team. And, then sitting there waiting for your game that you know will end about 62 - 10 and watching two teams that we would be very competitive against. All because the director doesn't want to change the schedule after it's set. Perhaps, I could start a "worst director stories" or "worst commish stories" thread.
     
    I might be giving away who I coach for, but we're NIKE org so, yes, money matters.
     
    EDIT: It's not about the kids and has never been about the kids.
     
  11. riboflav

    riboflav Member SoSH Member

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    To add to my previous post, I should say that it's not all on the director of our org. Believe me, if I thought I could get the parents on board with the idea that we should be playing down a division, I would push hard for us to do so. But, most of our kids' parents would rather lose game after game by 20 points than admit their snowflake is more of a D2 or D3 player than D1.
     
  12. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    That is sad. Too bad you can't drop a division without the parents knowing about it.  The vast majority of parents have no idea of the differences in the level of competition you're facing and how that impacts your performance. They'll think you played really well or struggled, depending on the final score, without taking into account the quality of competition or seeing how well or how poorly you actually played.
     
  13. HomeRunBaker

    HomeRunBaker bet squelcher SoSH Member

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    When I was in 5th(?) grade and playing Pop Warner football our coach was the prototypical "old school linebacker" complete with the high energy and vulgarity that accompanies this tag. I didn't mind actually kinda liked it as it pushed us hard. One day at practice Coach asked us if anyone got in a fight at school today.....nobody raised their hand. Next he asks if any of us got in a fight at school this week as we all look at the one kid who did as he hesitantly raises his hand thinking he's in trouble. At that point Coach has us all run a big loop lap except for his new hero the fight kid who is then inserted into the lineup with the first team.

    So what does this genius do on his way home from practice? I'm starting at wingback on offense but backing up at LB and FS and damnit I want to play both ways like the top tier players on the team......so I quietly calculate who I'm going to get in a fight with at school the next day. I spent all morning looking for my spot but how many opportunities do you get to punch someone in the face during math class? Now it's recess after lunch and time is running thin.....HRB has to make his move (yes, third person). I'm up next in Kickball and our teacher is on the hill.....when Boom! "Jonathan" thinks he's up next as he prances into the batters box. Uh uh....not on my watch. Roundhouse right sucker punch to break his nose.....I'm sent to principals office, Dad has to leave work to come pick me up and take me house. Result: 2 days suspension (vacation?)

    Fast forward to practice that night. Coach has us huddled after stretching when my buddy asks if he's going to ask who got in a fight today. The look on Coach's face was that of excitement of a proud leader as he asked "Really? Who?" When everyone points to me I don't run laps and guess who steps in at LB for that practice, Sunday mornings game, and the rest of the season? That's right.....lesson to all you young'uns.

    Coach of The Year.
     
  14. doc

    doc Member SoSH Member

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    Did they call you Killer?
     
  15. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

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  16. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    I watched an episode of Friday Night Tykes with my older two sons.  My ten year old couldn't believe it was real, he asked if the cameras were hidden because he thought nobody would act like those coaches were acting if they were on camera. When I told him they knew the cameras were there, he asked if those coaches were going to get in trouble.
     
    I feel sorry for everyone involved with that show and everyone who thinks that's what youth sports should be about.
     
    Sadly, my fourteen year old, who has had some bad coaches, not to the extreme on that show, but still not good, wasn't shocked by anything on that show. None of his coaches have been nearly that bad, but he's competed in basketball against some teams with coaches every bit as insane as the guys on that show. Including a coach who rambled on and on while giving out league championship trophies about many things, including how he made every kid puke during practice that season.
     
  17. ivanvamp

    ivanvamp captain obvious

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    Bad coaching (youth levels anyway) usually involves some combination of the following:
     
    - Terrible people skills.
    - Overzealous in terms of winning.
    - Blatant favoritism.
    - Lack of knowledge of the game.
    - Negative coaching philosophy. (that is, rarely is encouraging; most comments directed at players are negative)
     
    Being a good coach isn't really that difficult, at the youth levels anyway.  Focus on the right things (player development, attitude, work ethic, teamwork), encourage the heck out of the kids, make it as enjoyable as possible so the kids stick with the sport.  You do that and you'll generally be fine.
     
  18. bandito0

    bandito0 Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter SoSH Member

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    From Deadspin:
     
    http://deadspin.com/little-league-world-series-scandal-softball-team-throw-1724733555
     
    I feel like it's one thing for this to happen in pro sports, where jobs and money are on the line, but in Little League?  It's just a bad message to send.
     
  19. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    To someone who is a good coach at the youth level, it seems easy, because you've established the habits and processes that make you a good coach, few have done that. The bad to mediocre coaches far outnumber the good to outstanding coaches in youth sports (and from very limited experience, I'd say in High School too)
     
    A coach may have pretty good people skills with adults, everyone says "he's a good guy" etc, but doesn't even try to communicate with players.  A guy may knows MLB inside and out but have no idea what is appropriate to teach 10 year olds (or even HS aged players). For a guy who grew up with negative coaching and watches sports on TV where the criticism and second guessing is constant, the power of positive coaching may never have even occurred to them. When parents want to win and react negatively to losses, it's really easy to over emphasize winning and when it's extremely difficult to get other parents to help out and you're putting in a lot of time and energy, it become very easy to give your own kid every benefit you can.
     
    I agree with the part I bolded above from what you wrote, I just think it's very difficult for most people to do.
     
  20. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    They should kick the team that lost on purpose out of the tournament.  Disqualify the manager and coaches for making a travesty of the game, without coaches, they can't play.
    http://whotv.com/2015/08/17/crazy-scenario-at-little-league-softball-world-series-central-iowa-to-play-in-one-game-playoff/
    Central Iowa Little League President Chris Chadd told John Sears Tuesday morning’s game is being played under protest and it has been filed officially with the LLWS. The team doesn’t want the West girls to be penalized, but they want the coaches to be removed from the team.
    The Little League rule book states:
    “A manager or coach that takes any action that results in a travesty of the game that results in members performing poorly could be disqualified.”
     
  21. robssecondjob

    robssecondjob Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    If that is that is my program the coaches would be gone without hesitation.  I don't need a ruling to be made to know that is shit behavior.  
     
  22. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    I agree. As a coach, don't you want to play the best? What an awful example for the players. 
     
    The Little League Pledge:
     
    I trust in God
    I love my country
    And will respect its laws
    I will play fair
    And strive to win
    But win or lose
    I will always do my best
     
  23. Doug Beerabelli

    Doug Beerabelli Killer Threads Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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  24. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    659
  25. Fred not Lynn

    Fred not Lynn Dick Button Jr. SoSH Member

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    The real question is, given the LL rules that specifically prohibit deliberate poor play in pool play (but not deliberately playing poor players) and generally making a mockery of the game, where were the umpires?
     
    One vague answer is that this game was protested during the game by Iowa, and the protest was denied locally - but after the game, Iowa reached out to Williamsport, who over-ruled the protest and created the one-game playoff that Washington was trying to avoid (rightly so, I guess, as Iowa won).
     
  26. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    What could the umpires have done?  Declared a forfeit? Maybe eject the manager or threaten to?
     
  27. Fred not Lynn

    Fred not Lynn Dick Button Jr. SoSH Member

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    Only Williamsport can declare a forfeit, but as umpire I certainly would have started with an ejection.
     
  28. BigJimEd

    BigJimEd Member SoSH Member

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    Absolutely! I hope my children know enough that when they step on that field they are always given it their best.

    Listen to your coach in general but that is obviously way over line. They should know better than follow instructions to tell them to swing at pitches in the dirt and try to lose.
    But with the incentive of an easier path to move on I can see why they would follow along.



    About a month ago, my son was looking through the little league rule book and laughing at some the rules in there about making a mockery of the game. Wondering why they had to put them in there.
    He hasn't mentioned this incident so I don't think he heard about it but I'm going to find out his take tonight.
     
  29. TheYaz67

    TheYaz67 Member SoSH Member

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    Indeed, the rules (Tournament Rules) call for ejecting the manager during the game if the umpires perceive that a team is deliberately throwing a game to affect pool play outcomes.  The crazy thing is that Central Iowa appealed to the Tourney Directors and the Region (since they were playing in the regional finals, both were present) and both denied the appeal, so they turned to Williamsport who made the call. 
     
    The umpires can be somewhat forgiven for not acting during the game (especially since the Central Iowa manager would not be allowed to talk to them, since his team was not directly involved in the game) because they may not have been familiar with the tie-breaking dynamics in that pool, nor the teams involved "true skill levels", but the Tournament Directors had no such excuse for not recognizing what the Washington team was doing and penalizing them themselves....
     
    I also have a "worst LL coach" story to share, but will have to be later since I need to get back to work!
     
  30. Cumberland Blues

    Cumberland Blues Dope Dope

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    Yesterday - my kid's U-12 team was playing a team with a completely disengaged coach.  His kids were all there a half hour before the game - he rolls in at about 11:55 for a 12pm start.  First half is entirely in their end - our kids are up 3-0 at halftime and it wasn't that close - we had at least 4 posts/crossbars in addition to the three goals.  Opposing coach is on his phone the whole half.  Second half - things quickly got out of hand - we score a few more quick goals and were up 6 or 7-0.  Our coach puts the brakes on - tells our kids 5 passes before any shots.  Other coach must have had to get his football picks in before 1pm cuz he's still on the phone.   One of their defenders jumps in front of a shot and takes a rocket to the face...goes down...pops back up initially so ref lets the kids play on....but the kid was clearly dazed and went back down.  At which point parents on both sides and our coaches are all yelling for a whistle cuz there's a kid down...ref finally sees the kid and whistles.  All the kids take a knee.  The down kid is near our bench so our coach goes out to check on him - and only when a parent on the other side yelled at the other coach did he look up from his damn phone long enough to notice he had a kid down.  This is not a rec league - this is supopsed to be competitive club play - and this guy was completely disengaged from his team - the kids were completely on their own, it was disgusting.  I'd be demanding my money back from the club if my kid were on that team.
     
  31. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

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    Fall ball little league game the other night for kids who will be 11-12 next spring.  Kid on the hill for the other team is the hardest thrower in the league, a big 12 year old. He's quick pitching, literally starting his windup while kids aren't even in the box yet and delivering the ball while kids aren't looking.  He grazes a kid one inning. Parents are chirping a bit about it but our LL is absolute in their determination not to have parents say anything to umps, so nobody is being all that vocal.  I help out coaching but was a fan this night.
     
    The pitcher hits a kid in the elbow while he has his back hand up and is looking down at his feet, getting them set.  Kid leaves for x-rays because he can't move his arm. Several pitches are thrown while the ump has his hand up, but then the ump allows the pitch anyways. It's a kid ump, he's 15-16 years old.
     
    Next inning, another kid gets hit in the same situation, he never saw the ball coming.  Back hand up, head down. I don't think the pitcher was hitting anyone intentionally, but he was definitely trying to pitch when kids weren't ready. My son's team started with 9, they played with two outfielders after the first kid left, now this kid is definitely not going to be able to play so they have to forfeit (league later ruled it a tie).
     
    I was upset with myself for not doing anything, someone should have stepped up and said something. Stopped the game and addressed the issue. I regret not doing something, even if I was a fan. 
     
    What makes this a worst coach story is that I found out afterwards the managers got together between innings to address the issue and the other team's manager said it was the ump's responsibility to slow that pitcher down and make him wait until batters were ready, not his.  Zero remorse shown by the pitcher after he hit kids, in start contrast to all the highlights from the LLWS of pitchers checking on kids at first after they hit them.
     
    My 11 year old said after the game that all the adults were wimps.  Every kid knew what the pitcher was doing was wrong/unfair/illegal, but not one adult did anything to stop it.
     
  32. LeftyTG

    LeftyTG Member SoSH Member

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    I'm hoping to get some advice/perspective from some of the more seasoned coaches here...
     
    I'm the head coach of a tee ball team, ages 4 to 6.  It is a small, mostly informal affair.  Roster is only 8 kids (two of which are my kids) and only 3 teams in the league.  I was a very hesitant coach who only fell into the whole thing somewhat randomly.  I signed my boys up for tee ball for the first time in the spring season.  The coach backed out at the last minute and they asked me if I could do it.  I agreed, with reservation, because I had never coached anything before, felt very clueless, and was wary of crazy parents.  Fortunately, the spring was a resounding success.  Great kids, great parents, and while I was the head coach, i had a ton of support from other dads, who were very respectful of me (and I was open and encouraging of them and their involvement).
     
    Due in large part to the happy experience I had in the spring, I signed up for the fall.  The season has just started.  I have one family who, literally, moved here last week.  They missed the first practice or two, but made it for the most recent game this past Saturday.  In between innings, I was standing near home plate getting ready to help position my hitters, when the dad sidled up next to me and asked, "so where did you play your college ball?".  I laughed, as the question caught me off guard, and I thought it was a strange question/assumption to make.  I told him I stopped in high school and didn't play in college.  He nodded and said that he played 5 years in the Yankees organization, topping out at AA.  I told him that's great, I was impressed, that's quite an accomplishment.  I asked him what position he played.  He told me right field.  I told him I think that's great, and if he has any tips or anything to contribute, to go ahead and let me know.  He then started to criticize what I was doing in setting the kids up with their back elbows being too high.  He was right, and I thanked him for the observation and made the adjustment going forward.
     
    Being a bit of a minor league geek, when I got home I decided to look him up and see who he was teammates with, thinking that over 5 years and reaching AA, surely he was teammates with some MLB'ers.  I checked him at baseballreference.com, and it turns out he lied to me.  He played college ball at some NAIA school with an enrollment under a thousand, and then played 2 years on an unaffiliated team in an independent league.  He did play right field, and he sucked (OPS'ed in the low .500s, not that it matters).
     
    I'm at a loss for what to do.  My natural inclination is to just let it go, not embarrass the guy, and just keep on keeping on.  It's only tee ball and we don't even keep score.  The observation he had for me was a good one, and I know I'm far from the Connie Mack of tee ball coaches and am open to input.  At the same time, I'm a little spooked that some guy I barely know, in a super low impact tee ball environment, felt the need to lie about something like that (and something so easily verifiable).  It makes me not trust the guy and fear what else may be coming down the pike.  I'm not looking for some kind of power struggle over a tee ball team.
     
    Anyway, I thought i'd put it out there and see what any of you think.  Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
     
  33. soup17

    soup17 Member SoSH Member

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    I agree with your initial instinct - be gracious, thank him for his input, etc. However, unless he is a league-approved coach, I wouldn't allow him on the field during games (which, once you throw the "league-approved" thing at him, may discourage him from being a sidler at a future game).    If he does it again, I would gently remind him of your policy or the league rule (our league requires a background check to ensure we are not putting coaches out there with sketchy histories).  I don't expect he would continue to be a problem after that, but if he does, the direct approach is the way I would go next with a phone call or conversation in private away from the kids and the other prying eyes / ears of parents. I wouldn't reveal what you know - as one boss once told me, "never wrestle with a skunk - you might win, but you'll both end up stinky."
     
    Finally, if you continue to coach (as I absolutely hope you do - we need more volunteers sticking it out), begin a list of players you don't want on your team.  I have a list of about a dozen after coaching for about 9 years, mostly due to parents I don't want to deal with; I keep the names for fear of younger siblings and because I coach in Babe Ruth as well.  While you are getting assigned teams as you are now, you can tell your league's player agent to swap a child out with another team due to a previous personality clash with a parent.  Once you get to draft your own team, you will be in charge of your own destiny and having a list of the names of players/parents you don't want will help you (except in the most egregious cases, you likely won't remember their names 3 or 4 seasons later).
     
    I hope this helps.  Please don't hesitate to reach out either on the board or via PM if I can be of service to you.
     
  34. Just a bit outside

    Just a bit outside Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    This is great advice, especially the bolded.  I had a no pick list and would also give a list to my son so he could mark his friends. The most important part of coaching youth sports is having good parents. 
     
  35. SoxJox

    SoxJox Member SoSH Member

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    Unfortunately, an affliction many fall prey to: BWS (Brian Williams Syndrome)
     
  36. Skiponzo

    Skiponzo Member SoSH Member

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    I'll add another voice that agrees with this. Been coaching LL for 8 years. Oldest has aged out and youngest began kid pitch last year. I draft according to families which inevitably gets me some weird looks in the draft room "Why did he take THAT kid?" but I've never had a season that wasn't fun and honestly isn't that what it should be about at this age?

    Amongst many other things I talk about during my season opening parent meeting I always tell my parents that my goal is to have them understand the game more at the end of s season than they did at the beginning and to play hard with good fundamentals. Stay focused and try to do the right thing and you'll never get the "mad" voice from me. How do I measure success? If at age 25 they want to sit down with you, drink a beer and watch the game then I have succeeded.
     
  37. Omar's Wacky Neighbor

    Omar's Wacky Neighbor Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Picking up my son at the end of a U10 rec game he was AR-ing, to find an adult (I presumed the coach of the visiting team) walking goal line to goal line on the parents' side of the field, actively coaching the game. I looked at his bench, and it was empty: no players, no coaches.

    I approached him (I'm on the league exec board), confirmed he was the coach, and pointed out that it's rather inappropriate to be going end to end on the parents' side while coaching. I fully expected to get an earful, but he gave me a genuine look of confusion and asked where he was supposed to be, so I pointed to his bench and told him that we had a nice bench for him right over there. So he walked around the nearest goal line, and went to his bench.

    (reason the CR didnt say anything to him previously is because I mentioned pre-game to the refs that it was the final game of the season and the visitors are new to our rec league and (from first hand experience) had issues finding coaches and getting their program off the ground, so as long as it didnt hurt anyone, the CR should let things slide. But I didnt think he'd let something that out of the ordinary slide......)
     
  38. Bowhemian

    Bowhemian Member SoSH Member

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    I am pretty late to this party, but that show is disturbing to those of us who at least think we are decent coaches. I coached youth football for 4 years, and have been coaching at the high school level for 4 years. All the guys that I coach with, or have coached with feel the same way.

    The coaches on that show, all they care about is winning. Sure winning is great, but they do at at the expense of developing all the players on the team. For example, they will play their best players no matter what. The players who may not be so good do nothing but ride the bench. In the youth league I coached in, every kid saw the field. We had a rule that all kids played a minimum of 10 plays, not including special teams. Yes, it is a little different at the high school level. We get all the JV players on the field in JV games. Varsity is different, but we try to get all the kids on the field. Not always that easy, especially in close games.

    I know this sounds like quite a rant, but that show truly offends me. It is disgusting.
    /end rant
     
  39. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

    Messages:
    4,618
    I know everyone has a "my kid is being mistreated story", so tell me if this is routine, but it goes far beyond what I've seen before.

    My son, based on both my own eye and the manager's usage pattern, is about the 8th or so best kid on his little league team. Which is fine -- decent player, not a star. He's certainly not one of the top pitchers -- strike thrower but speed isn't there so he'd get hit around. Still, we have a ton of games so he was told he'd get a chance to pitch, and a couple of weeks ago he was penciled into the 3rd and 4th innings. 3rd inning comes, manager decides to keep going with the starter (his own kid), who is pitching well, and he ends up going four innings, the kid penciled in to the 5th and 6th innings finishes the game. My kids isn't given any sort of explanation, just "we changed things". I'm a little annoyed, but the first kid was pitching well so maybe he sees it as a chance to give some confidence to a pitcher who might actually help us in the playoffs (my kid will justifiably never pitch there), so I don't lose any sleep over it. Then last week, my son gets to the field and is told by the manager "you're pitching today, I hope you're excited", and of course he is. He's penciled in to innings 4 and 5. 4th inning comes, we are ahead 11-1 so this is potentially the last inning via mercy rule, and out to the mound goes...the manager's kid again. Wasn't even scheduled to pitch, but there he is to close out the game. They don't give up a run, game ends. No explanation given. My son is crushed, crying in the car, never wants to play again, all that. I know the cardinal rule is to never bitch about your kid's playing time and I've never violated that, but I'm tempted to say "look, if you don't want to pitch him, fine, but you're torturing the kid".
     
  40. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

    Messages:
    28,973
    There's absolutely nothing wrong with asking the coach what changed and explain that's twice that it's happened.

    Don't do it yelling during practice, but an email/text/call is perfectly acceptable.
     
  41. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

    Messages:
    4,618
    I'm going to wait and see --this happened last Friday and he has a game tonight, I want to see if they even acknowledge it. Not with me, but with my son. I do sense that the assistant realizes what is going on and feels badly. I don't think the manager is purposely doing it to mess with my kid, because that would be a sociopath, but he simply saw it as an opportunity for his kid and was obtuse to the impact it had on anyone else.

    And yes, if/when the issue is discussed, it will be a calm email, free of "you're just propping up your own kid" accusations, even though that's exactly what is happening.
     
  42. budcrew08

    budcrew08 Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    4,662
    You have the right attitude, I think it's appropriate to ask him... it's not so much about playing time it's about telling him he's going to pitch and then changing your mind.

    Definitely don't go in angry, even though you want to protect your son.
     
  43. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    659
    I'd make sure to:
    • First, thank the manager for coaching the team and tell him something that he's doing with the team that you like
    • then ask about your kid pitching and ask if he can communicate better with your kid in the future, it's fine if something changes and he doesn't pitch, if he's penciled in to pitch and doesn't, please give him some explanation
    • finish up with something about how much your kid enjoys playing for him
    • realize that you don't have to say or do anything wrong for that manager to think you're a dick and never pitch your kid and maybe even tell other managers in the league that you're a dick
    Most guys who coach or join youth sports boards do it so they can give their kids every advantage. Next on their list is helping out their buddy's kids and anyone else who has kids and who might be able to return the favor.
     
  44. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

    Messages:
    4,618
    I've decided I simply can't say anything -- it just changes the whole dynamic for the rest of the season. I've seen it happen where a dad complains, the kid gets hammered, and the manager leaves him in there to die as if to say "there, you got your wish, happy now?". If he does get a shot, it needs to be organic. Doesn't mean I'm not pissed though.
     
  45. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    659
    I think you made the right decision. As the father of 4 kids who have played or are playing youth sports, giving negative feedback, no matter how hard we tried to do it the right, has ALWAYS had a negative impact on the opportunities our kids get from that point forward (and we have extremely athletic kids).

    Use the emotion from the situation, both yours and your sons, to get him to throw to you in the backyard and work harder at improving.
     
  46. Bowhemian

    Bowhemian Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,849
    While this is true in some cases, holy crap I complete disagree with your premise that most guys do that.
    There are a LOT of decent guys who coach sports. I think it is the opposite of your premise...most guys who coach do it to help the sport/game/league/kids. That includes myself and every coach I have ever coached with.
     
  47. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

    Messages:
    28,973
    Each situation is different, but if my kid was that upset, I think it's perfectly legitimate to ask the coach if maybe your kid is getting something wrong.

    What about asking the assistant coach? "Hey, my kid keeps telling me the coach says he's gonna throw, and gets upset when he's not. I don't mind him not pitching necessarily, but I just want to see if I'm getting the whole story from my son."
     
  48. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    659
    We'll have to agree to disagree then, especially with the part I bolded. I'm not saying it necessarily makes a guy a bad guy to get involved to give their kids an advantage, lots of decent guys do this.

    I'm on kid #4, soccer, baseball, basketball. Most of the coaches my kids have had absolutely are in it to give their kids advantages over other kids or earn advantages by coaching.

    It's not like many guys without kids or kids too young to play are getting involved to "help the sport/game/league/kids".
     
  49. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

    Messages:
    4,618

    In theory yes, it's legitimate, but the question is how it would be received?

    Some more variables:

    -My son was on the 10U all-star team last year, he was definitely a borderline kid and his playing time reflected that, which was legit, I had no issue with it. The manager (and presumably the manager for the 11U this year) is of course the same guy managing him now. I was an assistant with him in the lower levels and he definitely place winnings above development moreso than any coach I've seen.

    -Last year as a 10 year old in majors, he was promised the chance to pitch, the coach came up to me after practice (completely unprompted) and said he was going to work him in, and he ended up as the only kid on the team who did not pitch. He's terrified of a repeat -- I've told him he has a right to be upset, but that the only thing he can do is just keep trying the best he can.

    -He's missing the last game of the regular season due to another commitment, which is no big deal except that that's often when coaches put these kids in. If we get to the point where there's 3 games left and still nothing, do I have a conversation like "FYI, he is missing the last game, so if you want to get him in there..."?

    -It's not like the guy hates my kid, I think not anyway. As far as I can tell, there's 4 other kids on the team who have not even been listed to pitch. He puts him around 7th or so in the lineup. He's told him "100% you will pitch this year", so hopefully the situation will take care of itself. Clock is ticking with each game though, regular season ends two weeks from Friday.
     
  50. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

    Messages:
    28,973
    Absolutely--you need to judge your situation and see.

    As you know, the welfare of your kid comes first, and that includes his self-esteem. That does not mean he has to pitch, he needs to learn to deal with things like that, but the coach needs to be upfront.
     
    #50 DrewDawg, May 17, 2017
    Last edited: May 17, 2017

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