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Calling Out an Opposing Coach


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#1 Bigpupp

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:13 PM

I'm currently in my second year coaching an 8th grade girls basketball team and let me start out by saying that the team I'm coaching is horrible. I have a team full of first year players and have been playing against schools that feed into a state championship level high school team. Big losses are expected (and have been happening) but until tonight the opposing coaches have been wonderful about pulling their starters and stopping their press so both teams can work on something. I've been quick to thank these coaches for doing this and they have just said, "Do the same for us if we have a down year."

Tonight was quite different. Our "B" team was playing and was getting slaughtered (per the normal) but the opposing coach kept their press on. Through 3 full quarters the score was 50-1 and they still had their starters in.

After it was clear that the press would continue through the end of the game I went to the end of my coaching box and told the coach in the most civil way possible that he has done a good job coaching the press and now he needs to coach good sportsmanship. The coach simply said, "We don't let up" and kept pressing. From there I said a few more things throughout the game (nothing that would get me a technical) and that was it.

Has this ever happened to anyone? If so, what did you do? What did you tell your kids who, obviously embarrassed, want nothing more than to play that team again (which we have to do in a few weeks)?

Any advice would be great. Hell, just more stories like this would help me feel better about this.

Thanks

#2 Zomp


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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:23 PM

You know what? I don't think you would have been out of line with getting a few technicals and getting tossed out. I'm sure the refs saw what was going on and didn't appreciate it, and your girls may have loved that you stuck up for them like that.

Fuck that other coach.

#3 Buckner's Boots

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:31 PM

The problem is, it's about the kids. So even if you're in the position to beat his team down in the future, you don't want his kids to suffer for what he did. It would be great to whoop up on him, but maybe someday you can remind him of his actions when you're subbing in kids from the end of your bench, up 25 with 5 minutes to go.

At least that's what I'm hoping to do to an opposing soccer coach who piled on my team this past season.

#4 Bigpupp

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:32 PM

You know what? I don't think you would have been out of line with getting a few technicals and getting tossed out. I'm sure the refs saw what was going on and didn't appreciate it, and your girls may have loved that you stuck up for them like that.

Fuck that other coach.


I think I would have given it more thought, but after an accident with my assistant coach I'm actually coaching solo right now. Getting thrown out would have left my team without any coach at all for tonight and the next game as well (My State enforces a mandatory one game suspension for all ejections).

The refs might have given me a lot of wiggle room, however. Both refs clapped when we got our one point, and then apologized after the game.

#5 StuckOnYouk

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:36 PM

How close were you to having a Woody Hayes moment.

#6 Bigpupp

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:44 PM

How close were you to having a Woody Hayes moment.


I had about 6 inches and 150 pounds on the other coach and he left before the teams did their post game handshaking. No way he would have let me get close enough for that.

Edit: it's probably closer to to 100 pounds. I'm 6'4" and 265. Either way, he's trying to compensate for something.

Edited by Bigpupp, 10 January 2013 - 11:49 PM.


#7 StuckOnYouk

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:30 AM

I had about 6 inches and 150 pounds on the other coach and he left before the teams did their post game handshaking. No way he would have let me get close enough for that.

Edit: it's probably closer to to 100 pounds. I'm 6'4" and 265. Either way, he's trying to compensate for something.

I was talking about with a player not a coach :rolling:

In all seriousness there's not much you can do unless you're italian and can get moose and rocco to take care of it.

If the guy wants to be a douche, he'll be a douche. Sounds like you let him know you weren't happy which is good. You can't really pull your team off the court (unless they're having such little fun they're pleading with you take them off the floor lol)

All you can really do is try to lead by example and sounds like you did.

Edited by StuckOnYouk, 11 January 2013 - 03:34 AM.


#8 bandito0

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 07:24 AM

Do you have an Athletic Director? Talk to your AD and have him or her contact the AD at the other school and go from there. That could potentially put pressure on the other coach to clean his act up. I know that may seem like an out, and that you'd rather confront this coach on your own, but if you have the resources available to to put pressure on this douche from the top, I'd go for it. That said, it all depends on the AD's philosophy at the other school.

Last year our girl's high school team got hammered to the tune of 73-12. The opposing coach had his starters in until the 2:00 mark of the 4th, during a running clock situation, and essentially gave the same answer to the "why?" question. The way we approached the girls the next day in practice was to create little goals within a game. Let's win the first minute, let's win a quarter, etc. The rationale we fed them was that meeting these little goals each game will help us to be able to meet bigger goals, like winning a game. I know it's hard to find positive things to focus on, but saying things like, "You didn't quit" or any other motivational stuff really does help.

#9 someoneanywhere

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 12:41 PM

Shoot, you know what I'd do if my team was in and up for it, and understood why I was doing it? The next game, I would have my five stay the whole game -- including the jump ball -- in my offensive end of the court. And I would have them work the entire game on drills -- shadow drills, since they won't have the ball -- while the other team "pressed." You wouldn't even take the ball out of bounds. Every single possession would be a 5-second violation. They'd stay in their offensive shooting layups or whatever.

You'd get squashed, but you're going to get squashed anyway. But you would be practicing while you were completely ignoring the other team. You could sub people in, of course, so that different players could work on things.

And the point would be twofold: you would be conveying to everyone that one of these teams respects the game, that would be yours.

And point number two: you'd embarrass the hell out of coach jackass. Among other things, he'd have no press to let up on.

#10 jjamie12

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:52 PM

I have a little bit of a different view on this, so I thought I'd chime in.

Let me just say that, of course, that "coach" is a jerk-off. No question about it.

My recommendation on how you handle it is this: You ignore it. What a great teaching moment -- Coaches are constantly telling players to 'control the things you can control'. "You can't worry about referees calls", "You can't worry about what is being yelled from the stands."

Likewise, you and your team can't control how an opposing coach coaches his team. Walk the walk.

Make sure they understand that as long as they tried their best then there is nothing to be embarrassed of, and that you're proud of them for how they handled themselves in a difficult situation. You know, 'man in the arena' and all that.

#11 Bigpupp

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 08:52 PM

I went ahead and met with my AD this morning to at least let it be known what had happened. He said he would make some calls but that middle school coaches in the area are notorious for doing this. I left the meeting at least feeling good that it was off my chest but still bummed that nothing would happen with it.

At the end of the day, however, I was surprised to get a call from our high schools AD (not the AD that I had a meeting with). He told me that he had been contacted by "someone at the game" this morning that told him what had happened (FYI, we had no parents at the game, so it had to have come from the opposing teams parents, or one of the refs). To make a long phone call short, he said that he was once the AD in that town and is very close with the one there now. He said that he has my back and he'll try his best to make sure that coaches like that aren't coaching in our conference.

So yeah....probably the thing I was least expecting.

#12 knuck

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 05:57 PM

I had a coach once who had us get a few 5 second calls after they scored and kept pressing. at first they thought it was defense, but after a few obvious ones, the other coach really looked like a jackass. we were losing by 40 points at least. The other team did eventually stop pressing.
But now that i am coaching, i experience the opposite of this. I will be up by 20+ points in the first half or around halftime, and we are clearly going to win. I sub kids evenly, everyone plays, keep the kids from fast breaking evertime, but the other teams keep trying to press and guard us in the backcourt when we get rebounds. I'd love to slow it down and run new plays and such but these teams keep on 'pressuring' us. Or they try to do some sort of half court trap. As a result, we get lots of lay ups and increase our lead. I've had a few coaches say something, but I usually don't respond.
Any suggestions besides hoping the other team just gets his kids to run back on D?

#13 Guapos Toenails

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 11:40 AM

I used to coach 8th grade boy's soccer. We were playing at another school and when we arrived we were told that the ref wasn't coming and one of the kids from their high school was going to ref. There was one kid on the other team that was an ultimate spoiled little shit stain. Yeah, there's alot of kids like that, but the other coach literally seemed afraid of this kid. Every time the other coach tried to say something to the kid about his sportsmanship, the kid would SWEAR at the coach and tell him to shut up. I'd never seen anything like it in my life. I couldn't believe this kid was allowed to play. The kid ran his mouth the whole game and NOBODY watching...parents, coaches, anybody...told this kid to cut the shit. At one point the ref missed this kid being obviously offsides. It was bang-bang and right as I saw it, I mildly yelled "OFFSIDES!" as ANY coach or spectator would. The kid didn't score on that play, but for the rest of the game if he came near me he would mockingly yell at me "was that offsides coach? Huh? Offsides?" I would look over at the other coach and he would just shrug his fucking shoulders. Trying to be a good example for my players, I didn't engage with the kid. So they murdered us 10-1, and even on the 10th goal, those little bastards would do a celebration dance. Their coach would just shrug at me with a smile on his face.

Game ends and its time for handshakes. The kid gets to me and starts in with his "how bout that offsides, coach?" I was clearly out of line with the next thing I did. I stopped, got in the kid's face and asked him "How is it that nobody has ever punched you right in the face?" The kid started to lose his shit, and his coach came over to DEFEND him. At that point I let loose with some choice words for that coach about how pathetic he was to let the kid run wild like that. I got in his face and the high school kid ref came over (he was a big kid and would have kicked my ass) to defend the coach. We were all yelling pretty good at each other...then the spectators started to posture like they were going to come onto the field...I got my team safely back onto the bus. I told my team on the ride home that while I should not have let the kid get under my skin like that, there comes a point when a coach needs to stand up for his players. There comes a point when you have to say enough is enough. It was a pretty emotional speech and the kids responded well to it. We won the next 4 games to close the season after that. I didn't coach again after that season. At that level the focus should be on sportsmanship. It clearly is not, and there is no way I could exist in that kind of setting. My God people suck.

#14 Average Reds


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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:58 AM

I have a lot of empathy, because that kid is an obnoxious little shit who deserves to get what's coming to him. (And rest assured, it will come to him, eventually.) But as an adult coach you cannot engage an 8th grade kid like that under any circumstances. It's just not your place. And you placed yourself in a very bad spot because no matter how justified your anger, you can't win because he's an 8th grader and you're the adult. You also placed your team in some peril because you were in hostile territory and your actions gave the other team's parents permission to engage with you, because your behavior was inappropriate. And a situation like that can spiral out of control.

The correct response in a situation like that would be to look the kid right in the eye after he commented on the offsides, say "shame on you" and move on. If the coach engages you, you do the same and again, move on. He's not your kid or your responsibility. Leave him be and walk away.

Edit: And now that I think of it, there is a way to avoid the entire scene in the future. The answer is simple: if refs don't show, the game does not take place. Period. This should be a hard and fast rule that all schools adhere to.

Edited by Average Reds, 14 January 2013 - 11:01 AM.


#15 DrewDawg


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Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:04 PM

Yeah, no refs mean no game. Or, at least, no official game.

And I agree with Average Reds---you can't engage the 8th grader...whether or not he deserved it, it's not going to come off well.

#16 Guapos Toenails

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 02:37 PM

No question I did the wrong thing.

Middle School is the bastard child of school systems that includes athletics. That wasn't the only time that a ref was a no-show or was really late. My kids just wanted to play.

#17 DrewDawg


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Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:39 PM

Would the other team have objected to simply playing a scrimmage? Not that "official" middle school games really matter.

But with no ref (or ARs on the sideline I'd assume) I would suggest maybe a parent from each time running the sidelines and maybe the coaches each taking half the field.

#18 HomeBrew1901


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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:57 AM

Damn it, my longer post got eaten.

Not sure why you confronted the obnoxious little shit, you should have discussed it with the ref and coach during half time.

Had my first confrontation with an opposing coach this weekend. Long story (that I typed up) short... I coach a U9 developing travel team and we play indoor for the winter to get better. We played an older U10 team that was better, and more aggressive team this past Saturday, expected to lose and the max 5 goal differential was scored 6 or 7 minutes into the game. Got to the point where the other team was being overly aggressive, which was fine because my kids need to toughen up, until they started hurting my players. Within 5 minutes two players came to the bench crying because they were spiked over the knee while they were up against the boards.

One time is an accident, 2nd time I told the coach off which is something I never ever do. I avoid confrontation with other coaches because I don't want to set a bad example for the kids, but when you start injuring them I lose it.

To his credit during the handshakes he apologized and said it wasn't intentional but he didnt' do anything to reign his players in either.

Edit; I didn't go overboard, the entire thing last about 10 seconds where I yelled over to his bench to control his players and that two of my kids got spiked in the same spot above the knee.

Edited by HomeBrew1901, 15 January 2013 - 10:02 AM.


#19 twothousandone

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:02 PM

While it can open a coach up to claims of bad sportsmanship, one can always pull a team off the field.court.

bigpupp, you may want to consider that for the next game against the clowns. It may not be the right solution in all situations, but you can tell the kids -- "It's my decision, not yours. No one can call you a quitter, because it was my decision to not permit you to play. I did it because . . . ." HomeBrew when safety is the issue, against an older team, it seems even more justified, to me.

But that's me commenting on a message board after reading a digesting this thread for a few days. This summer, I volunteered to coach 3B in a 9-10 yr old baseball game against a coach who is (IMO) a mild version of the jerks you all have outlined. Always loud (not bad by itself), constantly corrects players (though he spins it in a positive light but it's never a private conversation), and refuses to stay in the dugout, which is the rule. When I'd been a head coach in prior years, it took all I could to keep the focus on my players, and get them all to do the same. (It was really tough, and my assistant complimented me for being able to do so).

In the game, after a kid stole second and I had hm come to third, which is not permitted, the umpire sent him back. Blowhard asks me if I've been playing that way all year as he walks out of the dugout toward LF, (He may not have realized I had stopped being an official coach when mid-week games at 5:30 became mandatory) I said "I haven't been coaching all year, coach (and now while walking toward him) and since the umpire is in charge why don't you let him handle it. . ." Another dad pointed me back toward third base, and it was all diffused. Between innings, I committed to not do anything like that again, and had to calm my kids' head coach when that guy got under his skin. (Do what I say, not what I do.)

I was embarrassed to even have flirted with a public confrontation, yet even now I feel good that I didn't just take his BS. Is it just youth sports? Does this kind of stuff happen at PTA meetings? School boards? Town Hall? City Council? Theater auditions?

And Guapo, thanks for telling your story. I agree an adult can't/ought not confront and 8th grader, but I also know it can happen to just about anyone in the right circumstances. I pledge here, with SOSH as my witness, to do absolutely everything within my power to never confront a kid on a playing field. (Would a bear hug on the aggressor in a fight qualify?)

#20 Average Reds


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Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:37 AM

The kinds of stories I'm seeing in this thread are, sadly, somewhat common. My kids have been playing travel/premier soccer now for 12 years (Oldest started playing when she was 8 and is now playing soccer in college. Youngest is playing premier at age 13.)

The worst incident I have seen was in a game played at a Memorial Day Tournament about 10 years ago. The team we were playing had obviously been coached to draw fouls, as they were flopping all over the field. The coach of my daughter's team was restrained, but after about the 5th time this happened, he did have a word with the ref and the ref started paying more attention to whether an actual foul occurred before calling anything. As the game progressed and my daughter's team began to pull away from the other team, the parents and coaches became very agitated because phantom fouls were no longer being called. At one point, the game moved from our defensive end to the offensive end and one of their forwards simply went down like she was shot. I watched this happen and could see that no one was around - she just went down.

Their coach went berserk, storming the field and physically pushing the ref. Meanwhile, the girl's father came on the the field to "make sure she wasn't hurt." Of course, he didn't really pay much attention to his daughter. Mostly he wanted an excuse to get close to our coach so he could start yelling at him. Our coach refused to engage with him, and the next thing we all see is this guy sprinting towards the coach, getting in his face, screaming at him and pushing him.

I have to hand it to the coach, because he kept his cool the entire time. He ignored the parent and walked slowly on to the field, calling the for the ref and the opposing coach to remove the parent from the field immediately. When the opposing coach refused to intervene, the coach called the girls off the field until the tournament director came over. The parent who confronted our coach was frustrated by the lack of response and eventually walked away, screaming the entire time. And eventually, the tournament director ejected the opposing coach along with the father of the girl who had been "injured."

That was a situation that could have gotten ugly very quickly and only the absolute refusal of our coach to engage the parents from the other team stopped things from escalating. It was early on in my tenure as a sports parent, and I learned by example that the way to handle these things is to simply refuse to engage. Be dismissive, be condescending, be however you want, but under no circumstances give any other parent (or coach) the excuse to escalate the situation.

#21 HomeBrew1901


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:22 AM

While it can open a coach up to claims of bad sportsmanship, one can always pull a team off the field.court.

bigpupp, you may want to consider that for the next game against the clowns. It may not be the right solution in all situations, but you can tell the kids -- "It's my decision, not yours. No one can call you a quitter, because it was my decision to not permit you to play. I did it because . . . ." HomeBrew when safety is the issue, against an older team, it seems even more justified, to me.

Yeah they were older kids and took advantage of my smaller team to the point where they were bullying them because they could. Got an email that they are reworking the schedule because they are adding a team half way into the season so I just put in a request that we don't play that team again. I hate to try and pull this but I don't want to lose one of my players for the Spring because this team wants to be aggressive. I told the league director that I don't have a problem that we are getting crushed every game and that I don't have an issue with any of the other teams, also said I understood if they couldn't make this accomodation, but if we have to play them again I want a stronger ref that can keep control of the other team.

#22 TheWalthamKid

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:34 PM

From experience, the typical state of soccer refs in Massachusetts is pretty pitiful.

 

Maybe 2 years ago I was playing U16 soccer for Waltham. Outside of me and few other kids, my team was comprised of mostly Latino players. We played a game against Everett, which was also almost all Latinos. I'm not an expert on Central American diplomacy, but it's safe to say some of the kids on my team didn't like some of the other kids on their team and the feeling was mutual. The game quickly escalated with a lot of trash talking back and forth. The ref for the game was a middle aged man, maybe from Italy but I'm not sure, and he just seemed overwhelmed by the whole situation. A few times in the first half things got really chippy and some pushing happened but no cards were issued. At halftime my coach told us the typical jargon about how we need to play our game and ignore the other teams bullshit.

 

When the second half started all hell broke loose. During a free kick for the other team, one of my teammates said something in Spanish to the kid taking the kick. The kid ran straight for him and tackled him to the ground. Several other fights broke out and they eventually morphed into one big mob. I'd like to say I busted some heads but I really had no idea what we were fighting about so I just kind of stood there like a jackass.  My coach immediately got off of the bench and started yelling for his team to get back to the bench. Eventually my team listened and we got back on the bench. The other team's coach just stood there with a little smirk on his face, like he was excited to see the fight. 

 

The problem I had with all this was that the ref had tons of chances to get this game under control but he didn't. I know sometimes refs can be too quick with the whistle, but I'd much rather have that over a guy who doesn't have the gumption to control the game.    






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