I know parents make mistakes, but I am kicking myself
Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive October 2007:
I know parents make mistakes, but I am kicking myself
for this one.... My oldest ds(age9) has been playing baseball since he was 4. My dh played college ball, and has always worked with him, and encouraged him. He has become a great player. He has always played in leagues, and done well. We have been lucky, I now see, with great coaches. Dh has always been involved and helped coach both our boys. When we moved here to Oklahoma last year, we discovered that they have a really messed up baseball program. There is only one league in our town, and it is not run well. You basically have to find your own team, there is no draft. So, it is hard to find a team when you are new. Everyone wants to play for the good coaches, so their teams are stacked with good players, and it is hard to get on. Dh was smart, and had ds go to a few baseball camps the winter we moved here. Ds did well, and got picked up to play on a pretty good team. Well, the coach has proved to be a jerk(and this is not the word I want to use). He yells, and in my opinion, humiliates some of the kids when they don't play well. Dh has been helping coach, and has tried to guide this man in the right direction. He really wanted to help make it a better situation. In the beginning, I felt this guy really had his heart in the right place, but was struggling with how to communicate effectively with the kids. Unfortunately, over the season there were a few situations that he just didn't handle appropriatly, in my opinion. They were not directed at ds, but dh and I both felt they were examples of poor coaching. Well, this weekend, ds did not have a good tournament. His coach, not once, but twice, stopped play and pulled him out in the middle of an inning after he missed a ball. The last time, it was when the other team scored the tying run. My ds sat on the bench, humiliated, and bawling his eyes out. I was furious, and dh was so upset with himself. Dh just sat on the bench trying to console him. The game ended up going into extra innings, with us loosing. Ds sat the bench the rest of the game. What gets me is that ds was not the only one who made mistakes. They are 9 years old, and learning, they all make mistakes. After the game ds just wanted to go home. He was so upset. Dh did talk to the coach in private after the game, and he apoligized, and said it was the wrong thing to do. He just has higher expectation for our ds. Dh and I both think he said it only because he knew we were upset. Well, dh and I decided we don't care if dh has to coach him, he is not going to play for this man anymore. Dh is already coaching my youngest, but what is one more team?? Dh and I just feel so bad that we didn't pull him off earlier. I just don't see how a grown man can feel it is okay to humiliate a bunch of 9 year olds like that.
This is a total vent, and probably way too long... I just feel so bad that I put my ds in a situation where he was totally humiliated by an adult! And, to top it off, he now thinks he is the worst player ever, so dh and I will have to work all winter to build his confidence back up.
I TOTALLY understand where you are coming from Debbie. Baseball in Baton Rouge was just like this. It was either play for the YMCA that is so worried about not hurting feelings and not being competitive that the kids don't learn anything and it is a joke. Then you have American Legion and city ball that is so hard core with 2 games/week, multiple practices, and hard aggressive coaches that just trample a young boy's self-esteem into the ground. I think your DH coaching sounds like the best alternative.
My DH was an umpire for city baseball in high school and college and he said it got ugly so much of the time. What a shame!!
(((Debbie and DS)))
It's a shame that little kid ball has to be so ugly.
(((HUGS))) I *think* my 11yo nephew (who is a great pitcher in Oklahoma) decided a couple of weeks ago to quit baseball and devote his time to riding his horses, roping, etc... He had a similar experience w/ another GREAT coach. lol argh It's just awful that it ends up like that.
My niece who is very tall and a great volleyball player...I *think* has decided to quit. Why? The coach is a nut job... Niece actually missed a day of practice for my grandfathers funeral (in TEXAS) and she was humiliated and made to feel guilty for missing??? There has since been some other examples of whacked-ness from the coach.
I am glad you handled it the way you did. Now you know for sure what a creep the guy is and can move on with your own team.
Debbie, I can ditto Pam on recreational leagues in Louisiana! Where I live, there is a *draft* on the parish rec league, but the good coaches are all in cahoots with each other and put their core teams together back when the kids all played T-ball, and they try to keep it that way. Which leaves the *average* or below-average players out in the cold, and they usually end up becoming the team of players that no one else wanted, and EVERYone knows it. It's infuriating! Parish rec leagues are huge in this part of the state/country, but there's a lot of *good old boy* and political networking that goes along with it, and the coaches/parents completely lose sight of what it's all supposed to be about in the first place.
One year Jeff was *fortunate* enough to get on a team that was one of the *better* teams in his age group. The 2 coaches had been coaching their core team since T-ball, both of their sons played on this team, and they obviously had their favorite players. Granted, most of the kids on that team were good players - unfortunately for my son, he was never a natural at sports and he honestly was just managing to hold his own.
One of the coaches did exactly the type of thing you are talking about - every single game. He most often did it to his own son, who was humiliated every week by this man.
And I learned the hard way early on, if you criticize the coaching or go against the grain, your kid is the one who suffers for it.
It's so unfortunate that team sports has sunk to the level it has. Yes, the older they get, the more important winning that game becomes. Yes, I understand that eventually only the *best* players will be playing, because winning the season is the bottom line. But aren't the coaches supposed to TEACH the kids how to play, and teach them good sportsmanship? Aren't they supposed encourage these kids, help build their confidence and self esteem? There's certainly a way to offer constructive criticism, and yes, even fuss at a player, without humiliating the kid in front of the entire ball park.
As for your feeling like a bad mommy, DON'T! You did not intentionally put your child in that position. What happened to him is unfortunate and unacceptable (IMO), but it happened, and it's NOT your fault. You go forward from here. You work on building your son's confidence and self esteem, you work with him by coaching him one-on-one, and if your DH can coach another team and coach the kids the way it's supposed to be done, then you've done the best that you can.
All this said, I'm so sorry this happened, and I DO know how you feel!!
That is just awful!! The coach sounds like a jerk, and definitely not someone I would want coaching (or having any contact!) with my children. Don't beat yourself up over this, you did the right thing!!
"But aren't the coaches supposed to TEACH the kids how to play, and teach them good sportsmanship? Aren't they supposed encourage these kids, help build their confidence and self esteem? There's certainly a way to offer constructive criticism, and yes, even fuss at a player, without humiliating the kid in front of the entire ball park." AMEN!!
Parenting carries with it a double edged sword and you did the right thing... You are stopping it. That is what your DS will remember. Not that it happened but that you stood up and took control. They aren't looking for perfection from us, they are looking for us to show them how to stand on our principles and convictions. Lead by example and your child will excel. You did the right thing by allowing him to play, you did the right thing by giving this "coach" a chance and you are doing the right thing by cutting your losses and turning the other cheek. This is a very good life lesson for your child.. One you couldn't have taught with out his personal experience of living through it.
Mistakes are there for a reason. If life went by swimmingly then we would never learn a thing... Life is about the lessons learned and lessons recieved...
Big ((HUGS)) hon, this too shall pass.
Thankfully, this was our last tournament of the season. Dh and I sat down with ds last night, and told him that his coach was wrong. He should not have done what he did, and we were on his side! I do think that made a big difference with ds. Now, we have until Spring to figure out what we will do next as far as a team. We just know he won't be playing for him.