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Los Angeles, CA, United States


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Put Me in Coach, I'm ready to play......

Here's my beef of the day-Coaching bites!!!  Actually, it really doesn't.  I love coaching kids.  Even though I don't have my own kids, I've been given the opportunity to coach boys and girls in a couple of sports.  It's always been fun and rewarding for me personally-win or lose.  It's an opportunity for camaraderie with my fellow coaches and it's a chance to teach kids about the game and about sportsmanship.

So back to why coaching bites.  In a vacuum, coaching kids during practice and calling plays and letting them know what a great job they've done is all good, but when parents are brought into the equation, HOLY CRAP!!!

I wish someone would videotape the parents' behaviors on the sidelines rather than my 5th graders out on the field.  Some parents need to learn sportsmanship and respect the coaches and the referees.  This is my 3rd season coaching flag football.  Our coaching staff has been together all 3 seasons.  We won a championship last year and placed third the previous year so it's not like we don't know what we're doing.  But there always seems to be that buffoon who's at every practice making suggestions.  Dude, if you wanted to coach, why didn't you volunteer?  And at games, he's the loudest parent yelling at the refs and at us coaches with suggestions.  I'm not the head coach and I've tried to ignore the guy but I'm ready to pop off.  We coaches discussed what to do and our first tactic is to talk to him one on one and let him know that we appreciate the enthusiasm and support but we don't condone his behavior and if it continues, we will ask him to sit on the opponent's sideline and if that doesn't work, banish him from the games.  Yeah, it's that bad.

Our current team just isn't that good.  It's not their fault, all but one of the players is from 5th grade.  We play a 5th-6th grade division.  We have 3 athletically inclined boys and the others just don't have the coordination or the speed of 6th graders.  In addition, only one of the kids has ever played organized football.  Our deficiencies were obvious the first day of practice as kids are running patterns looking like fish out of the water.  Unfortunately for us, most of the teams we've played have a good blend of 5th and 6th graders. And as much as we'd like to win the championship, I think it would suffice if the kids steadily improved as the season progressed and that we remained competitive.  That's happening.

But then there are the parents.  Most of the parents are usually pretty cool.  They want their kid to learn the sport and get a decent amount of playing time.  Even the parents with the uncoordinated kids usually recognize the deficiencies and are usually pretty grateful their kids get as much PT as we give him.  Had this been 35 yrs ago, forget it..that kid would be lucky to be standing on the sideline with a uniform.  But there's always that parent who thinks he knows how to play and coach and lets everyone else know.  Just writing about it gets me riled up.  This dude is disrespecting the coaches, the refs, and setting a horrible example for the rest of the folks on the sideline.  Even his kid told him to shut up during a game.  Now it's our turn.

What happened to the days when parents go to games, clap for good plays, moan on bad plays, applaud after a kid regardless of the team makes a good play, and win or lose, always have a positive word for the players.  Yeah, I know it happens but I also know there are those parents who scream at their kid for not being aggressive enough or at the refs for a non call.  Maybe it's just the attitude of professional sports crossing over to youth athletics where everyone can be an armchair quarterback.  Even as coaches, any issues we have with the refs have to be funneled through 1 coach.  Refs won't stand for 2 or 3 of us screaming about the illegal block or the holding and they'll admonish us.  One warning is enough for us.

I know how easy it is to get caught up in the game and want your kid's team to win.  It's called being a fan.  But sometimes, enough is, well, enough.  Zip it, buffoon parent with good intentions.  Let the game play out.  Let the coaches and refs do their job.  Because in the end, what you say or do doesn't affect the outcome.

1 comment:

  1. I don't remember any problem parents when we were kids, playing little league baseball or basketball at City Terrace park, or at OLG. Parents would come to the game to watch, cheer us on, and that would be it. What is it about this current generation of parents?

    I'm really glad I'm not a 10 yr old kid these days, and dealing with rudeness or pressure from parents while trying to enjoy sports. Sports are supposed to be an enjoyable part of childhood, and some parents are really ruining it for their kids. I'm glad I was able to enjoy organized sports as a kid with no pressure or hassle from overbearing parents.