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Sports topic, did I do the right thing?
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Author:  krby71 [ Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:18 PM ]
Post subject:  Sports topic, did I do the right thing?

This weekend capped the miserable experience for my son and this football season. This is his 4th year in LFA peewee football (it is a FANTASTIC organization, I can't stress how much I like what they do and nearly all the people involved in it)

However, we are leaving this team with five games left in the season. I feel that if I take my son to one more "practice" I would be charged with child abuse.

The record of the team really doesn't matter (the team was, by far, the worst in the league and the worst we have ever been on). It is the co-head coach that has absolutely ruined this season for us.

I can handle coaches yelling at players for not performing or making mistakes, but when the yelling becomes hateful and he is berating an 11 year-old for a mistake on something that the coach never taught that is a problem. His words have already caused at least two others to quit. One kid only wants to play football to please his dad yet this coach starts in on the kid as soon as he arrives to practice. That kid has to be dropped off at the school field sometimes an hour before practice starts due to his dad's work schedule. I am also sure that this kid's home life is very difficult due to his mom and dad using him as a pawn in their game of hate towards each other. Last week this "coach" was yet again berating the one boy, calling him everything but "boy", begging him to cry, and to quit because the boy is overweight and has a difficult time completing the warm up lap. After he came to the sideline I approached the kid and with about two min of positive coaching (I had been a coach in the league for the past two years) I got the boy to complete a lap. The "coach" didn't say a word in encouragement.

I had approached the head coach to talk about the situation, but I was blown off "we have been coaching together this way for 20 years..." and I asked if I could help them with an area that they seemed to not care about coaching, and my area of expertise, the line, and the Head Coach rebutted with "you can come out and hold blocking dummies but we don't need to go over anything new"

I wanted to say "NEW? You haven't taught them anything OLD yet"

Yet practices continue. They spent one day in early August going over tackling and haven't done any real hitting since. They think that because they are attempting to do Oklahoma drills that they are teaching how to tackle, yet all they care about is seeing who can drag another player down and never going over how to correctly tackle another player. It is amazing that no one has gotten hurt.

The team's "featured" running back is a kid that has never played football. He is a baseball player with a great arm and amazingly fast. He was hurt during our pre-season game because he was not taught to run not standing up and he stopped before getting hit. He was hurt again in the first game of the season for yet again running standing up and stopping to try to duck the hit. I don't know why the kid came back, but after missing two games he was back in "practice" this past week and was running the ball yet again this past Saturday. Twice, on different fourth downs, he ran sweeps to the outside and to duck the hit, he ran out of bounds a step away from making the first down. The second time you could hear the "coach" explode on him. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?! You have to get past the chains!" However, the coaches have never told him that (after talking with his dad for a while, I found out that the kid doesn't even watch football at home). Later in the game the kid was running the ball again and dropped it as he was getting hit. "HOW CAN YOU DROP THE BALL LIKE THAT?!" was the roar from the sideline.

We have some really good kids on the team. My son and the other tackle were on the league's All-Star team last year. The coach from the other team was a part of the All-Stars last year as well, and he got his offense geared up to double team my boy and the other kid that was an all-star so they couldn't make much of an impact on defense (fatherly brag: my boy still had three tackles for a loss). Our coaches were so blind in trying to figure out who to blame for the mistakes that they didn't realize that their two best defensive players are being taken out and no other players were even trying to help. So they kept the two boys on the same side of the line and kept running it that way. When there was a play that my boy almost made (he reached out to grab the ballcarrier between the double team but was unable to get a hold of the player) the "coach" yelled "Ben, you have to make that play, you haven't done anything all day!" I was done. It took every ounce of will power for me to not punch that "coach" in the face right there.

It has been an agonizing weekend here. My son has been withdrawn and depressed due to his team’s poor play, the fact that they haven't scored a single time in four games (and given up at least 28 in each), and that they are getting no encouragement has finally gotten to him. I have never pressed either of my kids to do anything, but when they commit to something they can't quit in the middle of it. I have been thinking about leaving this team for about a week but never mentioned it to my son. My boy LOVES football. He very smart about the game and wants to play football all the time. If he isn't playing football, he is watching it or drawing up offensive and defensive plays. When he found out that regardless how many games the team wins they will have at least one playoff game he said "we have four games left, I am trying to just get through these, why would I want to suffer another?" I knew that he was on the edge. After the game yesterday he was inconsolable and he asked why should he go to practice on Monday when he is just going to get yelled at even though he was one of the few that were actually trying.

There is a huge under current of dislike for this coach. Several parents have been wondering what we can do to change this situation. After three straight games where this team was clearly and completely over-matched and out coached, plus the boys not getting any coaching to help them get better for this year or as they continue on to middle-school (Jr. High around here) ball I am doing the one thing that I never wanted to do, I am pulling my son off that team. I have sent a few of the other parents that I am close with our decision as to what we are doing and I am going to face the coach tomorrow telling him that we are done. I wish I knew a better way, but that is the only answer that we (my wife, my son, and I) could come up with.

Sorry for the wall of text, I needed to vent a little.

Author:  Kenyana [ Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:51 AM ]
Post subject:  Re: Sports topic, did I do the right thing?

IMO, yes and no.

Yes, you removed your child from a situation that no athlete, much less a child, should have to be in; but you are also giving up.

From the sounds of it this is an organized thing, which means there are some people in charge other than the coaches that you have already talked to. My suggestion would be to get together with some of the other parents and go and talk to the governing body/person and see what you can get done.

In the meantime, just make sure your son understands that this "coach", and I use that term loosely, is not really a coach and to just put the insults and stuff to the side and play the game. Make sure you are on the sideline giving ALL of the kids words of encouragement and not just your son. And get rid of that person or at least get him to tone it down by using the proper channels.

Author:  krby71 [ Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:43 AM ]
Post subject:  Re: Sports topic, did I do the right thing?

Yes it is an organized thing, this coach is part of the leadership structure. I don't know what has changed for him this year. I from my talk with the head coach of this team, he will not be removed. His son is one of the players on the team.

Thinking about his son, I am reminded about the preseason game. About mid-way through the third quarter we hear this eruption "take your shoulder pads off and get off my field!" he is screaming at his own son. I asked my boy what happened and he told me that he didn't know.

I plan on talking to some of the other coaches in the league that are in leadership positions about the situation.

I have tried to work with all the kids, as much as I can. We parents were "told" after the first preseason game that the coaches only want the kids to hear the coaches during "team time" (practice, before during and right after games). When they said that they really lost many of the parents.

Author:  krby71 [ Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:21 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Sports topic, did I do the right thing?

It is done. I walked up to the group of coaches and turned in my son's helmet. I didn't want to get into a confrontation in front of the other boys there, but I told the head coach that we were not getting what we needed out of this team. He asked if it was coaching, and I replied yes and if he wants to talk after their practice that he should call me.

I have also sent messages to other coaches that I know informing them of what has been going on.

Author:  Xantheus Diabolus [ Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:23 PM ]
Post subject:  Re: Sports topic, did I do the right thing?

It's not right to quit on a decent situation. That doesn't apply here.

It's also not right to stay in a shitty situation.

You did right by your son as far as I am concerned. It's too bad he can't finish the season with another team.

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