When is enough, enough?


#1

How far are you willing to let your youngster endure stupidty, selfishness and abosluet mindless abuse by adults on the althletic field? How far?

Does it take surgery? Does it take personal degrading and insults to your youngster’s personal identity. Does it take a life long quality of life issue? What?

Are the reasons for allowing your youngster to undergo abuse because of what others will think of you if you step in and say “not with my son/daughter.” Do you care more about your image in the adult world than the health of your youngster? Again I ask, what?

You know who I’m talking to - don’t you. You know inside, it’s something that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up when you see it. You can tell from the expressions on your youngster’s face, the body language and so forth. Then why?

Be honest with yourself. Be honest with your youngster. For what? That’s a question that you have to answer, and only you.

There are other things in life other than amateur athletics. There’s amateur radio/ CB, astonomy and night gazing, fishing, scouting, 4H and FFA, collecting of all kinds of stuff, volunteering, heck - the kid can even set up a lemonaid stand somewhere.

Any and all responses contary to the contents of this post are welcome and encouraged.


#2

It really comes down to what the kid wants, doesn’t it?
My younger boy enjoys fishing, camping and recently bought a good (film) camera to get into photography. All of these other activities are things to do when there was not a game or practice going on. Football, Baseball, Basketball ect. After recently getting cut from his college baseball team after a back injury he found a mens league team just to get some playing time in. The age range on the team is 17 to 56 years old. The level of play is not high and he is just doing it to be on a baseball field until he (hopefully) finds another college this summer. The older boy abandoned traditional team sports for BMX biking partly (in my opinion) because it was a largely solo activity away from adults. He was much more an individual minded guy, he could work on and build his bikes on his own, never took well to traditional structure of team sports. Ok, thats cool.
I have come to accept politics and “daddy ball” happening in youth sports and beyond…it is a part of life. My sons college coach lectured them all about respecting the game (blah, blah) and fairness and how to behave on and off the field…of course, the one guy who was a favorite of the coach got in trouble several times (fighting, drinking and driving etc) and was not suspended, another kid he did not favor (a walk on non recruit) was cut because he was running in shorts not baseball pants. Coaches are like many people, unfair, hypocritical and often dishonest. In some ways one of the best “life preps” in youth sports is dealing with jerks…coaches or teammates, a great prep for the working world.
The one thing that drives me batty is adults that insult, curse out and belittle minors. I don’t care is a kid is 10 or 16 there is no need to talk to them that way. An adult would more than likely never speak to a co worker or another adult that way. What in the world makes them think it is ok to insult and belittle children?
If a person is in a position of power over others and holds that position in a way to intimidate the people under them they are a coward and probably a crappy person…mulitply that by 10 if they are an adult overseeing children.


#3

Great posts guys


#4

When a parent or other family member sits down with a youngster and explains why - what is what in this case, it’s a great learning experience. The experience(s) of an adult that can make comparisons between reasonable and the unreasonable is so badly needed in the growth process of a youngster. “You don’t have to put up with that…” is the uniform of the day, when needed, along with… " I and the rest of the family support you 100% regardless…"

Let the outside world think what they may. Let these fools that march to their own agendas, do so with one less kid who pays the price for that march.


#5

Coach B,
You are right of course.
I forgot to mention parents in the list of folks who ruin sports for kids…they may be the worst offenders.
I say that from a position of humility not self righteousness. When my kids were young I probably pushed too hard, expected too much, complained too often ect.
The older boy said, "football isent fun anymore. This isent the Superbowl. Everyone is pissed off and acting like morons. No thanks."
He was a great natural athlete and moved in to a sport where I could offer no coaching or insight. BMX. Shut up and support was the message. Lesson learned.
Kids can be great teachers if you let them.


#6

Great comments in this thread. Time for all of us to go look in the mirror.


#7

A fine example of how not to coach. One day Ed Lopat told me this story from his off-the-field life. It seems that his son came home from school angry, bitter and ready to kill, and when asked what the matter was young Johnny (his name) said that they had played an intramural game that morning and he had never gotten to bat! The teacher had made up the lineups for both sides, and the first kid in each lineup had batted first every inning—and Johnny, batting seventh, had never gotten to bat. Lopat was absolutely infuriated, and he pulled the kid out of that activity and put him in an advanced Little League where he did very well.


#8

This cracked me up last year - I’m surprised I didn’t mention it here.

There’s a real nice park not far from my home that was built by the WPA back in the day. I was coming home from somewhere and I saw a game underway, high school age I think.

These game are only seven innings, so my visit was towards the last inning. As the two teams lined up and shook hands, then returned to their side of the field, the coach on my side started to really bite into the youngsters something awful. His language got not so nice as he lost his temper repeatedly.

I didn’t see one adult get up and step in to his experience. What I did notice out of the corner of my eye was this elderly lady making her way down the fence, all the way at the end of the first baseline, open the gate down there, then slowly shuffle herself right up next to this coach who stood 6’6" easily. She had her hands on her hips with this huge pocketbook dangling off her shoulder - just staring at the man.

Finally the guy caught a glimpse of her and seamed startled. She was his … are you ready for this … his mother! With an arm outstretched and a finger a wagging, she ran up one side of him then the other for being so crude and rude to those young men. What got me was… she sternly told him " I never raised you to talk like that… how dare you."

You could have heard a pin dropped. The three assistants that were next to the coach, separated quickly to make way for the elderly lady as she headed back along to fence, then to the parking lot.

The coach looked at his players then in a muffled voice said… " pick up your stuff and get on the bus…"


#9

Haha, I love it.
Way to go mom!!