Dismiss Notice
Guest, I have a big favor to ask you. We've been working very hard to establish ourselves on social media. If you like/follow our pages it would be a HUGE help to us. SoSH on Facebook and Inside the Pylon Thanks! Nip

Worst Coach Stories

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

  1. BigJimEd

    BigJimEd Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    2,208
    Has your son asked him about it? I know it is very tough at that age but if your son can handle it that is the best way.


    And that coach seems like an ass. 11-1 is the perfect time to put someone in. And in no shape or form should winning take a priority over development at 10 years old.

    That whole league needs to look at their priorities if they are waiting until the last game for that.


    Edit: and the worst coaches aren't necessarily the ones doing it to give their kids an advantage but the ones doing it for their own ego.
     
    #51 BigJimEd, May 17, 2017
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  2. doc

    doc Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,424
    We had this old guy coaching in our town Cal Ripkin League for years, he passed away about a years ago and this fall the FBI was at his house digging up the yard and basement looking for bodies. They didn't find any human bodies but they did find a lot of weird stuff liked dressed up manikins.
     
  3. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    570
    I'm sorry for your kid to have a coach like this. Lower levels, meaning 9 year olds and younger? It's a shame if they even keep score at those levels. Baseball at those ages has nothing to do with winning and losing.
     
  4. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,822
    Yes, 9 and younger. When I started this thread last year, this guy was the inspiration.

    http://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?...erunning-in-little-league.15256/#post-2250293
     
  5. LeftyTG

    LeftyTG Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,017
    I wish more people saw it this way. This was my first year coaching at the coach pitch level (7-8 year olds). I had a couple of 8 year olds who were pretty advanced, and the rest of the team was mostly just out of tee ball and had very rudimentary skills. I ran my team such that everyone got to play all the different positions and my practices had an emphasis on basic skills (batting stance orientation, making contact, throwing, trying not to be afraid of the ball when it is thrown to you, etc) and lots of reps (splitting the team into smaller groups and rotating stations) with an emphasis on encouraging the good and taking time to correct mistake.

    I also wanted them to get used to "baseball" plays. Field a grounder, throw to first - even if I knew the chances of the throw being on target and/or the first baseman being able to catch an on target throw were low. I wanted them to learn "baseball" baserunning. I had no problem taking extra bases, but refused to let my team just run free hoping to draw errant throws. We'd play teams that specifically coached their kids to throw their arms up in the air as soon as a ball is fielded, in an effort to limit mistakes and runners getting multiple bases. The kids wouldn't even try to throw a runner out. We'd play teams where the runners just wouldn't stop circling the bases, knowing the chances of getting thrown out were low.

    I made my peace with the fact that I was making a long term investment in my kids rather than chasing runs and wins. I knew we'd probably "lose" a lot of games, and we did (only one win the whole season, with one game left). The hard part is that my parents didn't really get it. Some did and were appreciative, but there was a lot of dissatisfaction and complaining about me in the stands with a vocal minority (my wife had to sit through a lot). It has been such an aggravating experience that I don't think I'm ever going to coach again.
     
  6. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,822
    Yeah, I'm managing my other son's 7-8 coach pitch team now, and we played a guy last week who kept on having his kids take extra bases. I'm OK with it if the kid hits a bomb and you want to reward him with a double, but if it's your standard ground ball that goes through the infield, keep the kid at first. If nothing else, it keeps open the possibility of a force out at second, which is one of the few plays for an out that most kids that age will have a realistic shot at making.
     
  7. LoweTek

    LoweTek Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,058
    So I'll weigh in here since I just concluded coaching a 9-10 Cal Ripken team. First place finish, lost in the semi-final game of the playoffs. Yep playoffs for 9-10 year olds. They had playoffs for my 7-8 year old team last Spring as well.

    Firstly, I tend to agree with Heine regarding the guys who get involved in coaching kids or on the league boards. The majority make no bones about the fact they are there to take care of their kids and their kids' friends. There are some exceptions but very few. The league president had his youngest kid age out of the league 2-3 years ago but every other board member has kids in the program. They are for the most part nice enough guys, but it's understood why they are there.

    I have coached for the past 12 years every age level in the league except T-Ball. I have never had a kid in the program. I'm one of the guys doing it purely for the love and preservation of the game. I have known of only one other guy who coached without a kid and he lasted only one season.

    As far as competitive games go, I'm afraid it's what the parents want. I also think baseball is a unique opportunity to teach a kid the dynamics of success and failure and the cause and effect of same while the stakes are still low. There really is no where to hide on a baseball field. If anything the sooner they learn some of these lessons the better. They will be competing all their lives, one way or another.

    Now, my compromise is I play the kids at the positions they say they want to play for the first half of the season. I always poll the kids' parents at the beginning of the year and get their first, second and third choice of position. After the halfway point, I counsel them suggesting I do not want to place them in a position on the field where they will not be successful and they should expect to play the positions their skill sets make them best suited for. This is oftentimes as basic as a safety issue. Lack of fielding skill or fear of the baseball can endanger a kid playing a vulnerable position.

    Must play rules force me to sit one or two kids for the first two innings. In the first half of the season this was done on a rotating basis. Every kid, including the stars, took their turn sitting.

    If all 11 show up for a game, I also have to sit two kids every inning. Same proposition, this rotated for the first half and was more based on merit in the second half.

    As far as the pitching question, I give kids a shot if they demonstrate in practice they are able to throw strikes at least half the time. I encourage kids with stronger arms to try pitching. However, I always post a game plan on the fence. It shows where each kid is slated to play each inning. This includes pitchers.

    I always counsel the kids penciled in as pitchers the plan could and most likely will, change. This could be due to pitch count limits being reached, effectiveness vs. ineffectiveness, the game score, etc. I have had kids penciled in for their pitching debuts and had to disappoint them. They all eventually got a shot though.

    As for putting his kid into an 11-1 game, very bad optics. I would never consider it unless for some reason I was out of other options. However, in my experience a bad pitching outing, e.g. walks everybody to the point he has to be removed, does more damage to a kid than having him wait for another opportunity. I hate, hate, hate having to remove pitchers in the middle of an inning. I want the pitchers to be in a reasonable position to succeed pitching or at any position for that matter. If they don't, it's partly on me.

    If your son wants to pitch, practice with him. YouTube has a trove of free pitching mechanics videos. If you're not enough of a player to help him, have him practice with a friend or get him some pitching lessons. If he can consistently throw strikes, he'll pitch. Don't look at it as a right but as an opportunity to be earned.
     
  8. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,822
    Thanks LoweTek...I've been throwing with him a few times a week, it's really all we can do. He hasn't yet had a chance to prove himself in practice because...the team doesn't practice. We have a field reserved every Sunday, but that's AAU day so the coaches throughout the league all blow it off. We've practiced once all year, and that was for an hour that was just BP (the practice slot is two hours long). I'm pretty sure the guy hasn't seen my kid throw one pitch this year, in any setting.

    It's quite possible he just thinks the kid isn't good enough, which is fine. But then don't pencil him in, be all "hey bud, I hope you're excited to pitch today" and then pull the rug out from under him and give your own kid the glory in an 11-1 game, and offer him no explanation.
     
    #58 moondog80, May 18, 2017
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
  9. BroodsSexton

    BroodsSexton Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    7,372
    This is a huge pet peeve. You basically described my son, and the experience he had with a coach when he was a bit younger. We took it as an opportunity to talk about the role of a manager, and the nature of power, and to teach him the lesson that sometimes authority figures use their power in unfair ways, and he should be on the lookout for that and understand when someone is abusing their power.

    We encouraged him to talk to the coach about his concerns in an appropriate way (i.e. not during the game, away from the team after practice) and the coach just lied his face off to him again. By that point, though, he saw what was going on and understood it a bit better. I refused to be the parent fighting his battles for him--it's baseball, and this is a low stakes way of experiencing the world.

    He stuck with it, had a great time with his teammates (the whole thing probably bothered me more than him), and still plays. A couple years later he is getting pitching opportunities. He isn't the hardest thrower, or the coach's son, but he throws strikes. At some point the manager will need someone to put the ball in the strike zone.
     
  10. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    570
    You are awesome! I salute you. Youth sports needs more guys like you.
     
  11. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    570
    So true, so true. Plus, having a catch with your son is one of the greatest, most memorable things you can do as a father. Be patient, give him 3-4 positives for every correction and have fun. It won't last forever.

    My father's day present a few years ago was to go to Home Depot, buy supplies and build a wooden pitchers mound in our backyard. It gets a lot of use.
     
  12. troparra

    troparra Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,403
    Anyone have advice for talking to coaches about a kids' playing time? My son is a 6th grader on a 5th/6th grade lacrosse team, and I really don't think the coaches realize how little my son plays. After almost every game now, the coaches send an email, "Because the team played so hard last night, practice on Tuesday is cancelled!".
    So my son ends up playing 7 minutes of a game (running time) and then practice is cancelled. Considering in a lacrosse game you may not ever touch the ball, he may has well jog down to the 7-Eleven on the corner three times a week for all the lacrosse he's learning.


    edit: clarity
     
  13. Hendu for Kutch

    Hendu for Kutch Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    5,006
    Honestly, that just sounds like a shitty coach who doesn't want to put the time in. I could be wrong, of course, but practice is just as if not more important than games at the elementary school level, IMO. To be regularly cancelling them is pretty poor form and indicates to me that it's not about teaching the kids and helping them improve with that coach.

    One thing you can do is ask the coach if he's still willing to have the practice for any kids that would like to get some extra work in. If he says no, I'd just email the rest of the team and see if any of them want to practice with your son.
     
  14. troparra

    troparra Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,403
    It's odd because my son had the same coaches last year and it was lacrosse, lacrosse, lacrosse for 2 months straight - practices, games, tournaments, etc.. I don't think we had one practice cancelled last year.

    It's not a cheap club to be on, either.
     
  15. Doug Beerabelli

    Doug Beerabelli Killer Threads Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    8,552
    Practice much more important than games at that age - that's just stupid to "reward" the team by taking away an opportunity to improve. Even worse that you're paying for it in a significant way, and you're not getting your money's worth, even if it's a volunteer coach - they know the expectations (being in similar situation as asst. coach for baseball travel team).
     
  16. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,822
    I think a typical coach would likely to see that as showing him (her) up.
     
  17. Hendu for Kutch

    Hendu for Kutch Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    5,006
    Asking him if he'd still be willing to hold the practice or asking anyone else if they want to practice?

    If it's the former, I'm not sure how that would be the case. Asking the coach for help getting better is an insult?

    If it's the latter, I'm not sure why you'd give a shit at that point. He's shown he isn't interested.
     
  18. troparra

    troparra Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,403
    Yeah, with this team I wouldn't do that. There are 4 coaches, for one, so it's not like one coach is too busy and they can't have practices. It is a multi-coach decision. And overall the team is kind of clubby. My wife and I are relatively new to the area (and the sport), so we don't want to step into something we'll regret later on.

    My major issue is this. My son plays middie. On our team, and on the other teams we've played, middies play for about 3-5 minutes at a time, at which point a new line of middies enters. Middies run constantly, so they need a lot of rest.
    That's fine. However, my son's team has a "man up" team and a "man down" team, which is for times when there is a penalty flag. So when a player gets sent to the penalty area, the "man up" or "man down" team enters the game. If you're not on one of those, you come out of the game.

    Well, there are tons of penalties in these games, so my son enters a game, and literally 10 seconds later he'll be yanked back out because of a penalty (not his penalty, mind you). This happens all game long. So the coaches probably think they're putting him in the game a lot, but he's not staying in the game because of this man up/man down business.

    The same guys have been on the man up/man down team all season. They are all the best players (including all the coaches' sons). And it's not like they are rotating to let other players get experience in those situations. It's maddening.
    It makes sense to have a rotation like this, but only if your primary concern is W's and L's. I don't think that should be a primary concern in the 5th/6th grade level. Maybe on the "elite" team, where playing time is not guaranteed, but this is not an elite team.
     
  19. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    570
    5th/6th graders need a day or days off after a game? That's just silly. More likely, the coach wants a day off. Can you get your son on another team?

    You could try telling the coach how much your son enjoys his practices and how much you see your son improving because of the practices and how disappointed both of you are when practices get canceled.

    Have you asked any other parents how they feel about practices getting canceled?
     
  20. Freddy Linn

    Freddy Linn Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    7,832
    A bunch of random thoughts...

    I've been a rec lax coach for 3/4, 5/6 and 7/8 for a program that is dominant at the state level on the West Coast, and competitive nationally against East Coast prep teams. I am also somewhat involved with club/travel teams, beginning with 6th graders.

    Our rec teams lose a lot of games. And yet our high school team dominates because our teams are so much deeper than our opponents. And that starts with the philosophy at the rec level.

    At 5/6 rec, all players play all positions. They rotate from defense to middie to attack to bench. Many parents hate it because it results in a lot of losses. But we don't keep score or have a scoreboard.

    At 5/6 rec, there is no man up/man down unit. Everyone pretty much plays the same amount.

    Kids don't pick a position until the 5/6 rec season ends and they try out for the town select team to go to a few tournaments. Because we do it that way, we struggle for wins early against programs who have their kids pick positions (and try out for the select teams) in February versus May.

    Once we get to 7/8, "daddy coaches" are phased out or sit third chair. Since they might have more discretion with playing time (that is the point at which effort in practice and games is recognized with more run, and kids have committed to a particular position), they don't get to dictate who is out there. We have alumni of the program as official head coaches and a cadre of parents who get it as assistants. The dads deal more with strategy and managing personalities/dealing with issues and don't have much say on who goes out there.

    I battle with parents constantly about our approach. Some are pissed that we don't let them watch practices. I've had parents call me a shitty coach because we don't go undefeated and play just 14 guys. I tell them to look at the banners. Developing the bottom end of the roster pays enormous future dividends.

    "Elite" travel teams are a different deal. These are usually coached by dads who are former D1 players. My son plays the same position as the coach's son, so naturally his playing time is reduced as that inferior kid gets a ton of run. As long as the practices are great and the improvement is visible, I can tolerate the situation, but the daddy coach situation is definitely tiresome. I'm willing to go to another travel team to get more run if the situation doesn't rectify itself.

    Rec/town shouldn't ever be treated like elite/travel. It's a short-term mindset that may produce more wins in relatively meaningless games but ultimately forces kids out of the game.
     
  21. troparra

    troparra Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,403
    That's a good suggestion to let the coaches know how much my son liked the practices.
    As for another team, there are multiple options because there are some non-school based lacrosse organizations he could join. They are significantly more expensive, but it is an option.

    I haven't asked other parents about cancelled practices, but there are a couple other parents who are a little miffed with the playing time issue. They have kids in the same boat as my son in that they get yanked at each penalty.
     
  22. troparra

    troparra Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,403
    Thanks for this. I agree with your take on 5/6 rec teams. For some reason, my son was placed at middie on day one and that's where he plays no matter what. He didn't want to play middie, they just put him there. I told him to tell his coaches he'd like to try another position, but he won't because the coaches told them if any player asks to play a different position, they'll sit and not play. I told him I was pretty sure the coaches' sons were lobbying behind the scenes.

    It's a sad situation because he really enjoys lacrosse and he had such a great experience last year. This year is completely different and I don't think he has developed as much as he could have. The philosophy last year was much like you described for 5/6 rec. This year, I don't know what happened but it's so much worse. But it certainly seems that, for whatever reason, they are focusing on getting the best players the most minutes so they can win a lot of games. I don't know why the same coaches would radically shift philosophy, but they clearly did.
     
  23. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    570
    If possible, find another place for your son to play, this alone is awful. Coaches telling kids if they ask to play other positions, they'll sit? Terrible, terrible stuff, don't they want kids to have fun?
     

Share This Page