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. RIFan

    RIFan Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,482
    That's exactly what I did when I coached t-ball. It worked out great and the kids liked it because they didn't get bored.
     
  2. Saints Rest

    Saints Rest Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,314
    I had my first experience as "head coach" in my kids U7 rec league soccer over Memorial Day weekend (regular coach was away). Normally in this league, with each team having 9-10 kids on roster, they set the games to be two games of 4v4 right next to each other so there is little need for subbing and all kids play most of the time.

    Well this time, they just set it as one game -- maybe because they were short on refs due to the holiday? So my team has 8 so I simply divide the team in half and ask the ref to notify me at the 5-minute mark so I could do a whole-sale substitution. My thought is that this way all kids play equally and I don't have to try to manage constant subs.

    A few minutes in the ref comes over to say that the other coach wants to play 5v5 because "she has a lot of players". I tell the ref that I want to stick with 4 but I'm fine with her playing 5 at a time. (It's not like the amoeba-like blob that is U7 spacing is going to be made much different with an extra kid, but I didn't want to have to upset my simple substitution pattern). So that's what happens.

    A few minutes later, parent #1 comes over. "Are you aware that the other team is playing with 5 players?" Yes. "But we are only playing with 4." Yep. "But that's not fair." Well, the score is only 2-1 and more players won't change that. Plus the way I have it set up all our kids will play the same amount. "OK. But it doesn't seem right to me."

    A few minutes later, parent #2 comes over. "The other team has 5 players on the field." Yep. Their coach wanted to play with 5 because they have more kids than us. "But that's not fair." Well I thought it was more important that all kids play the same amount rather than having to try to figure out how to divide 40 minutes by 9 players and then try to keep track of it all. And I didn't think the score mattered. "Ummm." <walks away>

    Parent #2 did come over after to say "thanks for coaching."

    This past weekend, we had 2 games, one on Saturday, one on Sunday. In the Saturday game, we "won" 5-0. My kid scored 5 goals. But I spent the entire post-game praising the kid who made the pass (maybe the only intentional pass of the game by either side) to set up a goal and the kid who has just brilliant sweeper-type defensive skills and who stopped at least 3 goals all by himself. Our regular coach joked that he was going to move my son up to the U10 division.
     
  3. riboflav

    riboflav Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,980
    Youth tee ball should be 5 on 5, period. No pitcher spot (the pitcher basically fields 90% of the hits) and no catcher who just stands there in the stupid equipment and never moves or touches the ball. It's absurd that youth basketball and soccer have figured this out and not baseball.
     
  4. riboflav

    riboflav Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,980
    Also, pro tip: anytime there are just about as many coaches on the playing surface as there are kids, you're doing it wrong.
     
  5. Brohamer of the Gods

    Brohamer of the Gods Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,237
    I now have one in coach pitch, and it is still everyone hits every inning and occasionally the tee gets brought out after a dozen pitches.

    We are still all in the infield, but he assigns certain kids to play each base like a first baseman whose main job is to cover the bag to take throws for the forceout. Before each batter the kids call out where a forceout is in play and where they should throw the ball. It is mostly 6-7 year olds, so making a throw to first isn't an option half the time.

    Interestingly, on their own the kids on the team have begun to keep score by how many outs they make on defense, since we still don't keep an official score. It is also keeping the kids more engaged in the field since they are tracking where the runners are, the fielders at the bases have a job, and there is something going on beyond three kids bonking heads chasing the same ball followed by the inevitably hopeless throw to 1B. Last game they generated 7 outs in 3 innings, and they were all quite pleased. Playing defense is now part of the game for them, rather than something to be endured while you wait to hit.
     
  6. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

    Messages:
    4,541
    I think the problem is that's way too many kids on the bench. And if you make the teams smaller, field time for games and practices will become an issue (it would in my town anyway).
     
  7. RIFan

    RIFan Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,482
    Hopefully, you're already doing this, but the coach should pitch from one knee in front of the mound and not from a normal throwing position. I've seen too many coaches when they 1st introduce pitching to throw normally from the top of the mound. It's like Randy Johnson pitching to Freddie Patek, not exactly conducive to them learning how to hit.
     
  8. Brohamer of the Gods

    Brohamer of the Gods Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,237
    Oh yes, although racking up 30 Ks in three innings is quite the boost to a coach's ego.
     
  9. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

    Messages:
    4,541
    Having a 6 year old take 4 or 5 pitches in a row while you are trying to find your control and all the parents are watching is a very lonely feeling.
     
  10. RIFan

    RIFan Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,482
    Here's a video on the technique.
     
  11. riboflav

    riboflav Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,980
    My kid is six so I'm just starting out in the world of little league baseball, but yes I figured this is biggest con to having smaller teams.

    Still, I'm not sure they should be playing formalized games anyway. I like how soccer does 30 minutes of skill work (in small-sided games format) and then 30 minutes of four on four scrimmaging. They have two teams practice on adjoining fields and then they split the squads after the skills session to play four on four. Baseball for six year olds doesn't need real baseball fields. They could just use the plastic bases I have in the back of my car and follow the same format. Too many kids get turned off by baseball because it's incredibly boring at six to sit in the outfield and pick grass.
     
  12. riboflav

    riboflav Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,980
    As a coach of almost 15 years in youth, HS, and college sports, the key at ages below 9 is to get them to love the sport, period. That means having as much fun as possible.
     
  13. WinRemmerswaal

    WinRemmerswaal Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    266
    The t-ball stuff cracks me up. My sons are about 5 years apart so when #2 started on t-ball he had been hanging out at #1's practices for years and played a lot of catch. So he quickly figures out that if he lurks a little in front of the mound he can catch a lot of the balls on the fly. Thankfully he doesn't make a fuss, just comes up to me between innings and asks how come we're still letting the kids go to first if he caught the ball. I came up with some explanation that he bought at the time and made up a rule that he could catch one per inning and that seemed to get us through.
     
  14. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    649
    Agreed, most of T-ball (and the first couple years of baseball) is a waste of time because they're trying to do something that closely resembles a regular game of baseball. 5v5 would be great.
     
  15. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    649
    Very wise words, I'd even go up to age 11 or so. Nobody is going to be very good if they only play the sport at practice/games, get them to love it and they'll be doing it on their own and getting better - leading to more fun!
     
  16. Saints Rest

    Saints Rest Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,314
    Honest question: when did youth sports start so young? When I was a kid back in the 70’s (I’m now 51), I started T-ball as an 8-yo for one year; then right into a league where kids pitched (at 9 and 10). In soccer, we started in 4th grade.

    Now I was an active kid where everyone in my neighborhood played sports every day after school, but when I started baseball, even though we were hitting off a T, we tracked outs, we played positions, and we could throw and catch (not always well, as there were more than a few “4-base error Home runs”).

    As has been noted up thread, and as I’ve seen in my son’s team’s (both baseball and soccer), there’s very little resembling actual smart play, in either sport. So why starts them at 4 and 5 years old???
     
  17. Dummy Hoy

    Dummy Hoy Angry Pissbum SoSH Member

    Messages:
    5,411
    I did TBall last year, station to station, games would go about 40 minutes before hell broke loose...borrowed some rubber "dots" from a gym teacher to tell the kids where to stand (answer- spread out), and had one kid be the 'fielder' and rotated each AB. That way only one kid would have to get the ball and everyone would have a turn. When the 1-2 kids on the other team who could actually hit came to bat, I moved the fielder back. It was effective enough, but most of my time was spent trying to keep these 2 kids from punching each other in the dick.
     
  18. drleather2001

    drleather2001 given himself a skunk spot SoSH Member

    Messages:
    24,794
    And, conversely, for those that already play it a lot on their own/with siblings/with friends in the 'hood, it's the first experience they have of being on an actual team. Learning that show-off heroics and being a ball-hog might wash when it's in the backyard, but when you're with a team it's important to let others get practice and improve, too. And be happy when others sometimes do things that they didn't.

    False modesty aside, my two kids are the best on the t-ball team (as much as such a thing is possible) and while one is very good at moving around without complaint to give others a turn, the other has a hard time dealing with the fact that even though he can field and throw better than everyone else, he still has to take some time over by 3rd base to spread the wealth. He also pouts when he doesn't hit the ball into the outfield, and that's gotta stop, and I often take him aside at first base and give him a little talking-to.

    And that's fine. Gotta learn it sometime, might as well be at 6 (or maybe 7, the way things are going) and not 11. Learning to be a teammate is important.

    But there are still issues. Like, my kids are super-enthusiastic, and I can tell that rubs some parents of the less-engaged kids the wrong way. They run the fastest to get in line to hit, that type of thing. They are 6. And even though everyone gets a turn at bat, and even though I am literally out there making sure the play distribution is as fair as I can reasonably make it, my wife has heard other moms grumble stuff like "Those [my] kids are a couple of ringers. / They need to understand they can't always be the best!".

    Look, I'm sorry my kids are excited and have, in fact, spent a lot of time already playing ball and yours hasn't. If you want to get up off your ass and help wrangle 12 5-6 year olds like I'm doing, or have some constructive ideas to tell me or the other coach, be my guest. But don't talk shit about a couple of 6 year olds who just want to play.
     
    #118 drleather2001, Jun 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  19. LoweTek

    LoweTek Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,178
    It gets worse, Leather. So sorry to say, it gets worse.
     
  20. LeftyTG

    LeftyTG Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,148
    I coached for three seasons in tee ball and then a season of coach pitch. I finally quit. I am firmly in the camp that kids that are 6, 7, 8 years old need to just have fun and learn the game along the way. I had about 4 semi competent players on my coach pitch team, and the rest were such that a random foul ball was cause for celebration. Still, I rotated all my players among all positions in the field and in the batting order (1B was the only place I was cautious, for safety reasons I didn't want an outclassed kid eating one). We would play teams that were run by drill sergeant types, where kids ran laps for letting grounders go through their legs and were assigned fixed positions. These teams crushed us. Half my parents were on board and understood the bigger picture and half thought I was a fool who was keeping the team from winning. My wife had to hear all the complaining and trash talking in the stands. This year my 7 and 8 year old sons didn't want to play, and I have to say as much as I hate to admit it, a part of me was relieved.
     
  21. BigJimEd

    BigJimEd Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    2,365
    I was thinking about this post this weekend. A couple fields over from my son's game, there is a tee ball "game" going on. Walking by heading to the concessions and sure enough they have a 6'5 guy standing up and coming all the way over the top. The ball was basically coming straight down on the kids.
    When he was still doing it on my way back, I had to say something to a group of parents.

    Agreed it is all about having fun at younger ages. As a coach if the kids had fun and don't want the season to end then you've had a successful season.
     
  22. Omar's Wacky Neighbor

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

    Messages:
    6,683
    Figuring that out at that age, you're both ahead of the game. It hit my son (a great all around athlete) in the last game of the 4th grade season, and he hasn't looked back once (finishing his jr year of HS now).

    Maybe give lax a shot?
     
  23. MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

    MyDaughterLovesTomGordon Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    7,291
    I ran the T-ball league in our town for five years. I can't tell you how many tough guy dads were like, "my kid's already hitting lasers in the backyard, so I'll just pitch to him when he gets up."

    Yeah, no.

    Plenty of dads still think the tee is for losers. It's pathetic.
     
  24. AlNipper49

    AlNipper49 Huge Member Dope

    Messages:
    40,030
    The Joe Maddon of sandlot baseball

    #youmonster
     
  25. santadevil

    santadevil Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    It's still a bit of a chore each year to get the older kids to use them to work on swing mechanics at first.

    Eventually they come around
     
  26. RIFan

    RIFan Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,482
    Tangently related to this thread is Kevin Youkilis' twitter feed. He's been openly critical of youth sports and baseball in particular. It's amazing the number of people that respond to a former major leaguer that he doesn't know what he's talking about.
     
  27. riboflav

    riboflav Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,980
    YOUK is absolutely correct.
     
  28. riboflav

    riboflav Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,980
    BTW, if you're a parent of a young kid (under-8) who loves to play and you want your kid to be athletic and coordinated and maybe good at a sport someday, the absolute best thing you can do besides making all games/sports fun is to have your kid play a ton of tag and takes some gymnastics and/or martial arts classes.
     
  29. riboflav

    riboflav Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,980
    To follow up because I've been asked about this a bunch... what I did with my son, who is now almost 6.5 is I enrolled him in three different classes until the age of six. He did swim, gymnastics (one of only two boys!), and martial arts. Among these three activities, he got exposure to all the various movements and use of different limbs and gained the understanding of body control and angles that he would ever use in any sport he decides to play in the future.

    The rest of his "free time" was playing on his own with either neighborhood kids, classmates, or with his mom and me. And, after going through his inaugural tee ball season this spring, he won't be playing again for a few years.

    EDIT: Dodge Ball is also another great game for young kids that transfers really well to just about any sport.
     
    #129 riboflav, Jun 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
  30. LoweTek

    LoweTek Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,178
    Why will he not be playing? Did I miss something? Did you or he have a bad experience?
     
  31. riboflav

    riboflav Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,980
    Not a terrible experience. I just don't like how Little League handles its younger players/teams. As I wrote above, it should be 5 on 5... He gets far more out of playing pick-up baseball or with me than he does in 10 on 10 little league. I don't want his frustration at not getting any action in Little League to lead to indifference to baseball.

    EDIT: We had four players on his team who's older brothers had all quit baseball by age 8 or 9... because they were bored to tears as their moms relayed to me.
     
  32. LoweTek

    LoweTek Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,178
    I guess it makes sense. Regarding your 5 on 5 idea, where would the players be positioned on defense?
     
  33. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    649
    Sorry to hear that but I know exactly how you feel. I'm on son #3 (10 years old) and I play catch with him in the yard, throw him pop ups etc, but I have no desire to coach or help out with a team. Baseball is the worst. It brings out the worst in coaches, maybe because the coaches have so much control. And so many guys think they can coach with zero effort put into learning how to teach kids individual skills. If I see another LL coach have 10 year olds practice the 4-6-3 double play, I may scream.

    My 13 year old probably is done with baseball and he was maybe the best in his age group (tough to do with AAU hoops) and while I'll miss watching him pitch especially, part of me is very relieved. More than any other sport, baseball coaches seem to coach for the wrong reasons.
     
  34. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    649
    ABSOLUTELY! Swimming too and not necessarily competition, just get in a lake or pool and move around a lot.
     
  35. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    649
    5v5 baseball would be so awesome. Everybody hits 5 times, everyone plays all over the field. Much more efficient and effective use of time.

    But parents want to watch kids play a "real" game. My wife (who was a D1 hoops player) convinced the youth hoops program in town to have the younger kids play 3v3 halfcourt, more touches for everyone, more opportunities, faster paced, more kids (2 games 3v3 vs 1 game 5v5) on a court etc. Parents didn't like it, not as fun to watch, they should play full court is what many people said. Ugghhh!
     

Share This Page