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Why is it hard to get volunteer coaches for kids’ sports?

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2011 09:46 am
I know this answer – simple parents. The kids are great. The parents are idiots – well not most, but all you need is one.

My husband has volunteered to coach for basketball, softball and T-ball. And he always says this is going to be the last time. What causes this – the parents. He was coaching a travel softball team. During the game, a parent walks over and asks to speak to him. He says sure. Then she proceeds to yell at him in front of both teams – complaining how her child has been sitting out for two innings. He then quietly tells her, lets discuss this after the game.

I arrive shortly after this incident. One parent sees me and kinda waves me over and filled me in. I guess she was protecting me from sitting near this woman. After the game, she kindly waited until only the coaches and their kids were left. Then they “talked” – well she yelled. My husband tried to explain to her his strategy and the rules of the game while her daughter sobbed. I tried to console the daughter without saying anything about her mom being an a$$. The girl told her mom it was all right – she knew coach was putting in her in the 3rd inning – she was ok with that.

What causes these parents to be such idiots? In front of the kids? Humiliating her child? Is this an entitlement thing? This is a competitive team that you try out for – not everyone makes this team? Those that aren’t as good or younger tend to play in outfield and less innings. And this isn’t the only parent that complains their “star” player doesn’t get to play the position she wants all the time.
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Type: Question • Score: 5 • Views: 2,493 • Replies: 29

 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2011 10:23 am
@Linkat,
I think your husband handled that remarkable well.

I've seen parents do the reverse of this too -- getting mad at a coach for putting in weaker players during difficult games. It's hard to be a coach!

I hope that your husband decides to stick with it. He sounds great.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2011 10:43 am
@boomerang,
My husband has spoken to the woman since and she did apoligse. He also sent out an email to the parents to explain his philosphy and how he plays the kids. Although he did talk about this at the first practice - for example, it is travel so your kids may not get equal playing time depending on the competition, he may not be able to accomodate positions that kids want to play in.

The thing is I have 2 girls playing in this league. Last year my older daughter was the youngest kid to make this A team. She played mostly the outfield and sat out more - she did bat up usually 2nd as she is fast and usually gets on base.

My younger is the youngest on the 10 and under team - she bats lasts and sits out alot. I understand that. I explain that to my daughter. - oh and by the way this little one played 3rd a couple of innings last night (the team they played is really bad so we were ahead by so much they moved girls around) any way she made a sweet play - from the third base line she fielded a grounder and threw it cleanly all the way to first to make the out. Man that was awesome.

Any way - I think it is good to learn this for kids. You don't always make the team and if you do - you might not be the best and may have to work hard to move up in the line up and to get more playing time. Kinda like real life.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2011 11:36 am
@Linkat,
I don 't think its worth it.

Y not devote the time to teaching them
something productive, that thay can USE,
instead of running around in circles in the grass???

How about teaching them to BAKE fine desserts
like German Gourmand Flourless Chocolate Cake??





David
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2011 11:59 am
@OmSigDAVID,
It teaches more than just sports and physical activity.

It teaches teamwork/sportsmanship (learning to win and learning to lose)/there is an incredible amount of social skills involved/also you learn how to accomplish something - for instance the first time a child hits a ball or makes a catch - you see their face light up with making a good play. Like when you learn to bake a cake and you see your end product - the proud accomplishment of it.

It shows them they can accomplish a goal. It isn't all about the competition and winning - it working together for a common goal.

Unless you ever played on a team or worked on a team you do not realize the other positive benefits you get from this.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2011 12:06 pm
Good for your hubby.

Blessed be the good coaches. My kid had a super-fantastic one this year, it makes such a difference.

I think he has less to deal with though, I never saw any parents say squat. There was one mom -- of a truly fantastic pitcher, who goes to a private school rather than the public school the rest of the girls attend, so we don't know them well -- who went medieval on an ump's ass when he failed to make what she thought was the correct call. She charged over and was yelling at the poor guy. I asked friends whether I'd missed something, they said nope. The mom just didn't like the call. Everyone was kind of stunned and I think she felt our collective WTF-ness because she never did anything like that again (that was in an early game, not a peep from her for the rest of the season).

Edit: oh and Linkat, congrats to your daughter! That's an awesome play, especially at her age.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2011 12:08 pm
@Linkat,
while i enjoyed the running around aspect of sport (i quite liked running around in the outfield) i particularly hated the win/lose, team work aspect of the thing (it always seemed like the really cool butterfly or patch of wildflowers was in the opposite direction of the ball it was apparently important for me to catch)

now as an adult there are at least three things that would keep me from wanting to coach kid's sports, the competitive nature of sports, the adults involved, the kids involved
OmSigDAVID
 
  -2  
Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2011 12:17 pm
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:
It teaches more than just sports and physical activity.

It teaches teamwork/sportsmanship (learning to win and learning to lose)/there is an incredible amount of social skills involved/also you learn how to accomplish something - for instance the first time a child hits a ball or makes a catch - you see their face light up with making a good play. Like when you learn to bake a cake and you see your end product - the proud accomplishment of it.
YES! My point was that this proud accomplishment
shoud be related to something tangibly productive,
possibley INVOLVING team work, maybe,
but thay can show and EAT the cake, then judge its quality
and plan for the next one. Additionally, when thay bake, or work
productively, there is less chance of full DEFEAT, as there is in sports.

SOME sports r productively useful, e.g. swimming, fishing, hunting, gunnery practice,
maybe skills in horseback riding, instead of running around in circles in the grass.
When I was a student, I deemed that an ineffably hopeless waste of time.










Linkat wrote:
It shows them they can accomplish a goal.
Yes, but it can be a goal whose pursuit teaches them something USEFUL,
e.g. carpentry or how best to use computers. Sports r hopelessly FUTILE.



Linkat wrote:
It isn't all about the competition and winning - it working together for a common goal.

Unless you ever played on a team or worked on a team you do not realize the other positive benefits you get from this.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2011 12:25 pm
I've seen the obverse of Mr. Linkat's problem when I coached "rec" league.
Our youth rec league philosophy was that all players got as equal time as
possible. I've had parents complain because my putting in the lesser lights
was costing the team a win.

I've had problems with kids, parents and other coaches, but it was well
worth it.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2011 12:30 pm
@sozobe,
Well I was glad I wasn't there - you know that protective stuff seems to crop out. I did see her seething over there after I arrived and another mom was too. She feels her daughter should be playing first base where she wants to. Well the girl has dropped alot of balls, hasn't come to practices, etc. So he starts a more dedicated player. He does let her play there, but not starting. He talked to the girl about it - she seems fine with it, but her mom was over there seething you could see it.

Thanks about the little one - she was so proud of her accomplishment. It really helps boost their confidence when they see all their practice and hard work pays off (another little bonus to playing on team).
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2011 12:34 pm
@djjd62,
To be honest most kids and parents and coaches are great.

It is just the few that ruin it.

Last night's game, our team could have killed the other team (well we did, but held back). Since we were ahead, my husband put in a girl that had wanted to pitch but never had. As result the other team got several walks and ended up getting a couple of runs. They also moved the better players to the outfield and let the lesser one play in. My husband also told the girls not to steal.

The other coach thanked my husband as it gave the other team an opportunity to hit, get on base and make a couple of runs. He said had it been team A or B, they would have kept running up the score and playing their best players. So yeah there is bad and good.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2011 12:37 pm
@George,
I agree that is the point of the "rec" team or in our town it is the in-house league. Where all kids make a team and learn the sport. There are winners and losers and a champion, but everyone gets equal playing time.

The travel is for those that want to play more competively.
George
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2011 12:40 pm
There are other reasons why it's hard to get volunteer coaches:

* the time commitment -- you've got to set aside time for games and for
practice and also for preparation. Nothing goes to hades faster than a
poorly-prepared practice.

* confidence issues -- many people think they don't know enough in order
to be an effective coach. In rec leagues and with the little 'uns, it's really
more about learning the ropes and patiently showing them the basics.

* false accusations -- you've got to very careful all the time.


0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2011 12:40 pm
@George,
George wrote:
I've seen the obverse of Mr. Linkat's problem when I coached "rec" league.
Our youth rec league philosophy was that all players got as equal time as
possible. I've had parents complain because my putting in the lesser lights
was costing the team a win.

I've had problems with kids, parents and other coaches, but it was well worth it.
What specific value did u discern ???
George
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2011 12:43 pm
@Linkat,
I never coached travel, though I helped out when Nigel played travel soccer.
It could get intense.
George
 
  3  
Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2011 12:44 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
OmSigDAVID wrote:
. . . What specific value did u discern ???

Fun
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2011 12:46 pm
@boomerang,
He probably will. It seems he says this every year whenever he gets frustrated with some of the bad aspects of it.

He loves it too much.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2011 12:48 pm
@George,
Yes - when we play the really strong teams it can be. I think it helps my husband's lack his of patience. I am amazed at his composure - because it isn't in his nature to have patience.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2011 02:51 pm
Just wanted to make an added comment.

I do think I know where the mom is coming from - just her method wasn't the best (I'll add this to the other as well).

All she really wanted was the best for her little girl - she was trying to protect her and make sure she got her fair share. I get that. Believe me when my little one is playing and she is sitting on bench, I get a little ticked, but I understand why she is and realize she will get her turn.

The yelling and making a scene in front of everyone is the big issue. That poor girl already gets teased among some of the teammates. My husband has been trying to put a stop to that. This is just something else that will cause more teasing.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Jul, 2011 02:57 pm
@Linkat,
OK, that reminds me of one mom from within our community, she's a prosecutor (lawyer) and super-competitive, and she was always yelling "advice" at her poor girl and completely discombobulating her. Our coach had a talk with her at some point I think, at any rate the yelling did stop and the girl's performance improved markedly.
 

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