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Johnp2

Commitment

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I have two questions for you coaches, as I would like everyone's thoughts on the subject of commitment from your teams' parents.

1. Have you ever spoken with a parent about his/her lack of commitment to your team?

2. What do you consider subpar commmitment (to the point you would say something)?

This season I had a player who unexpectedly missed three games (including our last two). No explaination other than "Jeff will not be at the game tomorrow, I'm sorry for the late notice". I am the first to understand that "life happens". However, a few coaches I spoke with kept asking me "Doesn't that tick you off? I would not have that." etc.

The problem is that I REALLY like this kid (as do all my players). I know it is not his fault he had to miss. I also understand things do happen, but I've never had a player miss three games. If not for how highly I think of this player, I would probably not invite him back, but just can't bring myself to do that.

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I have not had this problem. Generally my kids show for games and practices w/o trouble. My parents also know to call me if they need help with rides.

If you have a good relationship with your parents I would ask if there is something you can do to help. Maybe even coordinate hekp to get him to games with other parents if thats even possible. It might also lead to a conversation about what is preventing him from p[laying. Life does happen and it sounds like some issues are there.

My story on not inviting back a kid. We had one last year, problem kid, would not listen, said he hated football at practice one day which drew ire of the entire team and parents who were not engaged with team. I questioned bringing him back. Like you I just can not do it. I do not do this for W though its fun to get them. Now he has the best attitude, he is a major contributor, and I have let him know he is very significant to what we do.

Good luck and I hope you guys get it worked out.

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It's tough on coaches when kids miss practices and games. I used to get frustrated when we'd cover an important concept in practice and a few kids would miss, but make it for the game.

Flag football isn't a big sport here in Colorado. It seems to serve as a side sport for most of the kids on our team and other teams as well. By side sport, I mean most of the kids play competitive soccer, baseball, and basketball, so flag is viewed as a fun thing to do once a week. I had one kid similar to your situation who missed several games/practices. He chose playing baseball over coming to flag, I always viewed it as more ball touches for everyone else.

However, if you have a waiting list for your team, it's probably not cool that a kid misses that much. Guess you could stress the importance of making practices and games for the reason stated above (which I know you already do in some form).

On a side note, looks like we'll have one heck of a team for fall. Picking up several kids from my son's competitive basketball team. Some have played tackle, but none of them have played flag, all of them are extremely athletic. They were pretty stoked when I explained the 5 vs 5 concept. We'll probably retain our girl QB for one last season.

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I'll be honest.I hate it.Its not like your asking them to commit that much.Its not 5 days a week or anyting like.I always stressed with the little amount of practice time kids need to be there otherwise they will be lost in the game.It definitely showed with some kids.I always talk to the parent.I want them to know that I care so if there is anything I can do I will.

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Like Rob, our flag in Florida is seen as fun option to the "real" sports, so in Spring I lose several kids to baseball tournaments, or swim meets. In fall, again, baseball takes it toll. I do talk with parents about playing multiple sports at once, and with baseball especially, try make them understand that their practice time is much more important to the team in football as it's a true team sport. We had to forfiet our Spring playoff first round game as we only had 4 out of 10 kids show up, as there was a baseball tournament going on. We were the 3 seed and had to forfiet to a winless team, which was just frustrating. Oh well.

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If a kid misses a game with no notice or with no explanation, I'll usually send a quick email of concern: "hey, sorry Joey missed today. Is he OK?". In most cases, the parent will respond quickly back with more detail about what was going on. In one case that I remember, the boy had had a bad day of manners and back-talking, and the parent pulled him from the game in the last hour. But in another case, the parent had over-committed the kid and he had conflicting games with la crosse. He was a discipline problem so it didn't bother me. On weeks that he would miss, he didn't get as much in practice. Another case was a divorced couple who couldn't get their act together on who had responsibility for getting Joey to/from practice.

There is always the possibility that a kid likes the practices because of the social aspect (fun 'n' games), but he just hates games.

I think that you always have to ask the parents what's going on, even after missing one game w/o explanation. But, after three games, it can be a little tougher love: "We spend a lot of time working on our game plan for the boys, ensuring that every kid has equal time. So I need to know in a timely manner if Joey is going to be there or not."

And at some point, you just need to cut your losses. If the kid misses over half a season, then email to the league director (maybe blind CC) and parents to terminate his involvement. It's just not fair to the other kids at that point.

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