Looking For An Unbiased Coaching Opinion
Posted 30 September 2004 - 03:00 PM
My son has been playing in a California youth football league called Junior All American Football for the past 4 years....when he first started out way back then football was a lot of fun....he loved going to practice....his coaches loved him and in particular the HC who really took him under his wing and tought him the fundamentals....he was hard/strict with him and I liked that because that is also the way I parent.....it became very clear early that he good feel for the game of football and he learned all the positions quickly....started out as a receiver and corner and then in his second year moved to center and defensive end.....he ended up winning Defensive player of the year honors that year.......about this time both me and my son were excited talking about the future playing the next 3 years of JAAF and then moving on to high school......
In the 3rd year.....the situation changes (coaching change) and my son still earns a two way position playing guard and defensive end....but then we get our first taste of politics and daddy coaching.....even though my son was having a strong year he had one game (where the whole team did badly) and the following weeks practice he was removed from his DE position and his own son inserted (who had missed all of training camp and most of the preseason) who then proceeded to stink it up because he was just not physical enough to hold his ground. My son asked for a chance to win the position back...and while the coaches said yes they never actually gave it to him. He had a strong year on the OL right up till 3 games left in the season where he fractured his ankle. The team was good and they asked if he could make it back for the playoffs.....he casts down for 3 weeks....taking it off a week early....rehabs ahead of schedule....and then gets back with the team....TO ONLY PLAY 3 MINUTES IN THE FINAL GAME OF THE SEASON..........
He enters into his 4th year (this year) and the daddy coaching and politics are even worse with this team......in THIS season he was only getting 3-4 plays a game (at fullback) even though he is making good plays on the scout teams offense and defense.....anybody who watches the practices knows that you dont have the best players around you when you are on those scout team....so when you are continually making good plays while the starters are messing it up....something is wrong in my opinon
The other issue that I have (and a lot of other parents for that matter) is that you are given a "who to contact sheet" with names and phone numbers at the start....and you can almost compare that sheet to the starting lineup of our team name for name. Now....some of those kids are good players and really deserve their spot..they earned it....but not all of them.
The final issue is that my son got hurt (Again) this time fracturing his thumb....and is out at least 3 weeks. Since that time I have had plenty of the parents calling to find out how he is doing but not a peep out of the coaching staff.....it is like they are relieved he is gone.
Now...my kid is NOT a selfish player....he doensn't badmouth the coaches or other kids....if someone takes a cheap shot he is the first one there to defend and help up a teamate.....the reason why he had been getting hurt to begin with is because he sacrifices his body on every play
Well......we are kind of at a crossroads in all of this....my sons attitude toward the whole thing has gone from one of excitement to "why should I go back they dont want me there anyway"....what should we do.....
Also....I was thinking about holding him out of football for a year before he goes on to high school and having him work with a speed coach (his only real weakness) and am looking for ideas to solve the injury bug. Am I going to face this same "politics and daddy coaching" in high school as I am right now?
Both of us are really burned out....him because all this above and my because of time I put into this and watching his frustration.
Posted 22 November 2004 - 01:34 AM
Posted 04 December 2004 - 10:04 AM
Posted 18 April 2005 - 04:25 PM
Posted 18 April 2005 - 04:34 PM
The way I would deal with your situation is talk to the other parents, are there any others having the same problem you are? Go to the board as a group and see what you can have done. You caould always try to get on the board as another poster suggested. The only issue with that is the amount of time it takes once you are in that position.
Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.
Posted 20 April 2005 - 11:29 AM
While others have given you the opinion you want to here, I am gonna give you the tough love side. It certainly shows how proud you are of your son and his accomplishments. My hats off for you on that. But, I think you need to take a step back and take a look at the big picture again.
Here's some questions for you to reflect on, and some observations.
1) Why is your son being bounced around in positions so much? Weight gain? Speed loss? Conditioning? Lack of talent?
2) Is the coaches son "bad"? If he is, then you have a legitaimate bitch, but if he is just another "joe" then does he not deserve to play as well? Here's one you may not have thought of... what's mom gonna say if I don't play little johny. No sugar tonight!
3) Do you REALLY.... and I mean this with all the emphasis I can give.... want your kid to possibley sustain another injury because he rehabbed too quick JUST so he can play in the last game of a season.... BEFORE HE EVEN REACHES HIGH SCHOOL! Honestly, I think the 3 minutes he was in the game as you described was PERFECT, and I would do the exact same.... perhaps maybe a minute or 2 less. He was not conditioned... he probably was not aware of any changes made, he did not watch film (if they do), he did not practice against this defense, etc. The only reason he played sounds to me like the coach honored his hard work by letting him get in the game.
4)Good scout team players often get clobbered against the big boys... not a question... just a fact. There are exceptions of course, but is your son that a)fast b)big c)smart where he deserves to be on the starting roster. Thats the real question you seem to have. From a Dad how could you not expect an answer of " GODDAMN RIGHT!". Maybe get another opinion from another coach or ask the HC what is keeping him from starting.
5) I can understand your frustration with politics, and it does suck, but you have to accept that if the coach sees these guys every week, he is going to be more inclined to want to help those who are helping him. Its not fair....but it is human. Play their game or accept it. I don't mean you have to suck up or be an assistant coach.... but you can call him and ask if you could talk to him for a little bit over lunch or something. In my job I deal with politics all the time, maybe I am just used it, but you have to be in their face if you don't wanna get the door slammed on ya.
6)Your sons thumb would probably not get a call from me either. Maybe as he nears the time to when he should be recovered, but honestly I would expect you to call and say that he is cleared to play.
Thats about it from me. Not sayin your wrong in any of your questions. Truly I respect that you want the best for your son. When you truly say he is the "Best goddamn player for that job" without being a dad, then you have a legiimate bitch to league officials, but until then, talk to the coach as to his deficiencies, practice them and get him better, and shw the coach the improvement on the things he said were keepig him out of the Starting lineup. If he still acts favorabley (remember you are scout dad, not dad dad) and puts inferior players in.... go the league.
Posted 02 June 2005 - 02:44 PM
I think every one of us who has fairly talented kids, feels your frustration.. My daughter was clobbered in basketball this past season, by her select team soccer coach. My daughter quit the soccer team because the hard feelings filtered down. This team lost more games than they ever did and came up short in the big tournament. Coincendece? Don't think so! They were missing a key player, "so there"!
Last year my son played his last year of Little League for a coach who would let him pitch a grand total of 4 pitches, decided he wasn't up to it and pulled him. EVERY time he was up in the rotation. This is the kid who had pitching lessons and was asked to move up to a Babe Ruth team to fill in. He also practiced with a HS varsity team and struck out 3 players. Legitimately! He was selected for All Stars.....guess who coached? His former coach's brother-in-law! He sat him for most of the games. During practices he had his younger son's team to practice with them. We later learned that this particular coach's team was in tournaments and was using the All Stars to "ramp-Up" their game. To the detriment of the older boys.
This year in Babe Ruth, he pitched a no-hitter, a shut-out and hit a triple last night with a WOODEN bat! His team is being coached by a veteran coach (williamsport team) and they are 10-0 for the season.............Coincedence? Don't think so!
Hang in there, good things will eventually happen. Don't let it poisen your feeling for the love of the game!
Posted 14 July 2005 - 04:03 AM
As to your situation. I sat on the board of my local youth football league for 3 seasons, and it was eye opening. Here are some generalities that I've noticed occur rather frequrntly- both from my Board experience, and from coaching basketball for going on 6 seasons now. Some, or none of these may apply to you.
1. Parents often have an unrealistic, or maybe an overly optimistic view of their child's talent and ability compared to coaches.
2. While it's true that bad coaching decisions are often unfair, all coaches want to win, so you start your best players. Or at least who you think are the best & you may be wrong.
3. Parents sometimes want a reason to feel angry at a coach, so they find a way to somehow make the situation personal.
4. It's not personal. It's bad coaching, or poor communication and leadership skills. Or some combination of those.
5. A coach is supposed to be a leader. If the coach isn't that kind of person to begin with, it's not likely to happen on the field/court.
6. It's not unusual with youth sports for the parents of the best players to also be somehow involved with the team (contact persons, team mom, etc.).
7, Aside from raw athletic ability, repetition & opportunity makes a young player good, & the most supportive parents who provide the most opportunity for repetition are also around the team the most. It's natural for them to become involved.
8. For a coach, politics is what you do before and after a game, during a game it's just competition.
9. I don't care how great a player is, it he's dissruptive, or hard to coach- I don't want him on my team.
10. Everyone's entitled to their opinion on how I should run my team, but I'm going to run it my way as long as it's my team.
I am one of those who believes sports are a metaphor for life- that there are greater life lessons beyond just the sport- that can be gained from competetition and being on a team. After all- that's what we should focus on don't you think? Learning life lessons that sports can provide has real value. Unfortunately just as in life, some of those "lessons" can be unfair, or just difficult. But- in real life, just as in sports, if you work real hard and have ability you can still be successful.
Taking a year off to work on speed development is a mistake in my opinion, but I'm a basketball coach. In my sport, if a kid is super talented, it's actually not real unusual for coaches to reccommend holding back a kid one grade (do 8th, or 9th grade over again). But there are some specific reasons, like the kid is young for his grade, or physically under developed. The off season is plenty long enough to get a lot of speed work in. I think taking a season off would just slow the progress of your son's development as a footbal player.
Be sure to take the time to reinforce the fact he's acting with class & dignity through this situation. Tell him that other high quality people around him will notice and remember what kind of young man he is. Tell him that while other's may temporarily be able to determine how much he gets to play, nobody can take away his choice of how to deal with it. He can still hold his chin up in the knowledge that he gave his full effort for his own self because he loves the game.
The love for the game, isn't that what it's all about? But sometimes I think some people confuse their love for the game with the athletes love of the game. The player loves to play, and that's a whole different thing from loving to watch the game. Personally, I loved to play years ago, now I love to coach and I love to watch the game so much that I referee games just so I can watch from even closer.
Posted 06 October 2005 - 08:24 AM
Posted 12 February 2008 - 08:57 AM
Just to let you know - it is illegal for the coach to call and ask about your son's health/injury. You can call him and tell him anything you want, but the Medical Privacy Act prevents him from asking directly.
I never new that piece of info before. Laws are so strict..............
Posted 06 March 2008 - 08:02 AM
Posted 19 December 2008 - 01:47 PM
What is your goal for your son playing football? If that goal is not being met, then you may need to make some changes. Here are my thoughts-
1) I think many parents have an inflated perspective of their children's skill level (myself included). Sometimes, a coach truly cannot see talent differences when it comes to their kids.
2) As a Little League coach, I don't always start the best players at every position there are many factors for determining player's playing time. I take into account practices made, attitude, parent's helping out, etc.
3) If my son was put on a team that had the potential to get him hurt through negligible safety practices, I would remove him instantly.
4) If he was put on a team where he wasn't having fun or I felt he was being discriminated against, I would have him finish the season and use the season as an opportunity to teach him that Life isn't always fair and you need to do your best with a good attitude no matter what and follow through on your commitments.
5) I would sit down with the coach and have a heart to heart about your concerns. Take the coach out to lunch. Do not be accusing but rather make an effort to "Seek to understand and then be understood". If I felt the coach was being underhanded, sneaky or dishonest, I would go through the proper procedures that the league has to let the board know.
6) If I didn't agree with the coach, I would either coach a team next season and take my son, or move him to another team with a different coach. If this is not possible, I would move him to a different league or a different sport.
Someone said the best way to show a coach that he made a mistake is to play your heart out against him. I agree. Don't ruin your son's love for the game.
The Youth Baseball Coach