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Why I've Retired From Coaching Baseball....

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  • Why I've Retired From Coaching Baseball....

    First, let me set the stage:

    My son's team, consisting of 11 & 12 year olds, has just annihilated the other teams in their league. We are playing our last game against a team that, while 6 and 5, didn't stand a chance against us. In fact, when all was said and done, we went 12-0, and outscored the other teams 148-19! The other teams, coaches, and parents loathe us, and have made a habit out of yelling at us when we send their kids packing each game.

    Anyway, I'm coaching 1B, as usual, and this kid, who had already been warned for throwing a bat after striking-out, is playing 1B. Our lead-off hitter hits a dribbler to the SS. The 1B kid puts his foot all the way across the bag, essentially daring my kid to take him out. Of course, my kid does his best to avoid the 1B's leg, so he slows down and tries to touch 1B, almost killing himself in the process, but he's called out. First, I tell the umpire that the runner MUST have access to the base, then I tell the 1B that what he did wasn't the proper way to make the play at first. The kid basically rolls his eyes and makes a "Go to Hell" noise. I understand this kid is frustrated because we are leading 8-0, but that's no reason for him to endanger my kids. Even the umpire warned him not to do it again and not to be disrespectful (though the umpire SHOULD have either called my kid safe or ejected the little turdball in question).

    Then, a batter later with a man on first, this kid does something that really set me off. The home umpire, who had been hit numerous times by either the other team's pitcher being unable to throw a strike or the catcher being unable to catch even the simplest short-hops, gets nailed in the groin from a bounce-up that got by the catcher once again. Our kids had already been hit 5 times in the game!

    This kid starts laughing out loud! Unbelievable! The umpire had all of his gear on, but anyone who has ever played catcher knows what kind of pain something like that can cause. I knew I should have just shut-up and shook my head, but the weeks of abuse from other team's coaches and parents had built-up. I committed the cardinal sin of trying to correct a child's behavior on the field.

    I said "Son, that's not funny...not funny at all. It's painful and it's disrespectful for you to laugh at his pain right now".

    Well, this kid starts freaking out, crying, saying that I'm calling him names and threatening him. Of course, that was all any of the parents needed to start threatening me. I'm standing there flabbergasted - utterly dismayed at what was going on. I wasn't afraid - I'm a big guy and most of the dads from our team are even bigger and definitely badder and always have my back.

    The umpires let things get out of control, to the point of letting the kids' mom come on the field! The woman confronts me, I told her exactly what happened, with her little butthead of a son jumping around saying I'm lying. It was pathetic. Rather than get into a prolonged argument, I walked off the field to our dugout without saying another word.

    We went on to win the game 17-1, and, as we shook hands, I made it a point to apologize to the boy and his coach for being wrong and even talking to the kid at all. Needless to say neither of them was very mature about it, but I'm not surprised. As I was walking out of the ballpark (I had a number of threats against me, but like I said, I wasn't too worried), I made it a point to stop the boy and his mother and apologize to both of them, accepting responsibility for my part in the fray. The mother thanked me and accepted my apology, albeit with the caveat that she thought I should never be allowed to coach in that league again. I assured her that it was my last game, and that coaching is for people who don't mind being abused, and walked off. One thing that was very telling, though, is that this kid's mom never once acknowledge that her little baby was out of line at any point. This told me a great deal about this kid's role models.

    So, I have decided that coaching is no longer for me. Not just because of this incident, but because of all of the incidents that have happened throughout the season...from profanity-laden tirades by coaches in fromt of our kids about how we should not be playing in "their" league, to petty and immature little comments by coaches when we send a kid home on a close play or a passed ball.

    Yep, I reached the cracking point, and rather than let it lead to an acute Myocardial Infarction, I'm hanging-up my coaching shoes. I will continue to work with my son exclusively, and sit in the stands with my mouth shut and my arm around my wife.

  • #2
    Sounds like it may be time for you to walk away, especially if it is no longer fun. But keep in mind that the off-season can heal a multitude of wounds and you may be ready to come back at the beginning of the next season. Not that you are asking, but my advice would be to sit on any formal statements concerning retirement and make decision known as the next season draws near.

    Best wishes to you Curt! We don't always agree or end up of the same side of the stream, but you have grown on me over the last couple of years and I do wish you the best in whatever course you take.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Biscuit View Post
      Sounds like it may be time for you to walk away, especially if it is no longer fun. But keep in mind that the off-season can heal a multitude of wounds and you may be ready to come back at the beginning of the next season. Not that you are asking, but my advice would be to sit on any formal statements concerning retirement and make decision known as the next season draws near.

      Best wishes to you Curt! We don't always agree or end up of the same side of the stream, but you have grown on me over the last couple of years and I do wish you the best in whatever course you take.
      Thanks, Heather, but I've been thinking about this for quite awhile. I am the coach and manager and webmaster, etc. I want to be able to work on the site more and concentrate on the administrative stuff like the money and what not. Coaching was being done this year as a favor to a friend.

      It's still fun - I love working with the kids and seeing so much improvement from them over the last two years.

      Comment


      • #4
        CP if your a good coach and enjoyed it, taught the kids good sportmanship and how to play by the rules then maybe follow Biscuits idea. Stay in coaching if for no other reason than to **** off the other teams.

        HP
        "Ask not what your country can do for you"

        Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

        you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

        Comment


        • #5
          CP, very sorry this happened to your personally. It is my experience that there is literally nothing more viscious than little league parents. I recall one year my brother and I went to watch a local game. We sat there on our bikes speaking to no one, making our comments (none of them negative) to each other and no one else. Out of the middle of nowhere, some woman (followed by half the bleachers) is yelling about "leave my kid alone, you bleep, bleep, bleeps". My brother and I are looking around for this culpirt, only to figure out she was yelling every profanity she could think of at us (16 and 17 years old respectively). We could not have been within her earshot, as she could not possibly have picked out our conversation from 30 feet away (and, as previously stated, none of the comments was negative in the first place). The adults immediately took her side (we had no reply, we were completely baffled as to what was going on) and they hurdled additional curses. We rode off and I have never watched another amature game. For some reason, people go nuts over the most meaningless of events (hate to disappoint you lady, your son is going to be a very average high school ballplayer, never mind MLB). I can only hope that there are good coaches with the incredible toughness it takes to teach good values to youngsters while dealing with all the drunks. I saw enough long ago and would not dream of trying it.
          "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"

          Comment


          • #6
            Bad news Curt, but remember you were out there for your kids... and you have shown them the 'right' way to play. Every year I have some kind of
            problems during the summer season for my daughters team: stupid parents, unreliable girls (parents) playing on our team, other coaches, really BAD
            umpires, etc. You just can't let it get to you too bad. I'm like you in that
            I enjoy the organizing for our team, but I really like the practices too- that
            is where I get some real teaching/coaching done... I may turn to
            the backroom scene too, at least for games. Plus my daughter will be a
            senior next year... so she barely listens to anything I say anyway.
            SPORTS FREAK/ PANZERBLITZ COMMANDER/ CC2 COMMANDER

            Comment


            • #7
              I've never understood why parents get so het up about these games. The only reason I can think of is it's the stress of the internal conflict between the recognition that Bobby's no Joe De Magio and the supreme denial of the obvious in the hope that Bobby's gonna make daddy rich.

              Its the same the world over I'd imagine. Hell my girl's 11 weeks old and over two foot tall. If she doesn't grow up to be a supermodel I'm looking at nothing but my state pension in my old age. You better believe I'll be pissed if she doesn't get accepted by an agency.

              Comment


              • #8
                CPrangacs,

                While I'm not taking any side on this one, as I don't know the other side's story, I know it's always hard to stop doing something that you've put in so much of hard work and sweat. It's not easy to walk away from all of that hard work, and something that you really enjoyed the most.

                I've been on losing teams before, and I do know the feeling of powerlessness. It's not something I'd care to experience again. I recall a game where our team was knocked out early on, something like 20 to 4. We just plainly sucked big time. The only bright spot on our team was that one of our players was really good -- we could always totally depend on him hitting home runs 80 to 90% of time. And he was the best outfielder I've seen. The game just kept going on and on, I felt like we were dragged through mud literally naked and told to do it again and again. That wasn't a pleasant day for most of us. We wanted to win badly.

                So, be thankful that you've coached a winning team, that you can go out in blaze of glory and hanging up your coaching shoes for good.

                Dan
                Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

                "Aim small, miss small."

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                • #9
                  When my dad was stationed at Ft. Leavenworth, and I used to have athletic ability I played baseball for Ft. Leavenworth and we played the teams in Leavenworth, and they didn't much care for us since we were from the post. I always took great pleasure in beating those teams, because we knew they didn't like us, and we didn't like them. Are you coaching a Ft. Leavenworth team and playing against the teams from Leavenworth? If so, keep coaching and make those people upset. They all think they are so much better than the people from Ft. Leavenworth, never mind the fact that Ft. Leavenworth employs many civilians from Leavenworth.

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                  • #10
                    It's hard to give any advise to a full grown man.
                    Specially, to one, that does know how to use his brains.
                    I don't expect to been consider the source of good judgment and I don't like to just join winning groups either.
                    So, I'm sure the most important thing is for you to feel good with your decision whatever it might be.
                    Personally, I would make sure to find out what's my priority.
                    I noticed you're not walking out on the team, just dedicating yourself more to the "backstage" work, but if you did enjoy the coaching gig and still think you something more to give to the kids, stick with it.
                    At the end of the day it's about how you feel with the all thing.
                    All warfare is based on deception.
                    Sun Tzu - Art of war - Chapter One - Laying Plans


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sgt. Rock View Post
                      When my dad was stationed at Ft. Leavenworth, and I used to have athletic ability I played baseball for Ft. Leavenworth and we played the teams in Leavenworth, and they didn't much care for us since we were from the post. I always took great pleasure in beating those teams, because we knew they didn't like us, and we didn't like them. Are you coaching a Ft. Leavenworth team and playing against the teams from Leavenworth? If so, keep coaching and make those people upset. They all think they are so much better than the people from Ft. Leavenworth, never mind the fact that Ft. Leavenworth employs many civilians from Leavenworth.
                      No, our players are those from Leavenworth that wanted to compete at a higher level than "rec ball", and this includes one (my son) from basically "on post" (he's been attending since 1st grade - going into 7th this year), but maybe others if they make the team. I won't let Kyle play regular rec ball ever again, and he doesn't want to anyway. It's poorly-run and provides a "negative" learning environment due to the lack of knowledgeable coaches.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cap. Teancum View Post
                        It's hard to give any advise to a full grown man.
                        Specially, to one, that does know how to use his brains.
                        I don't expect to been consider the source of good judgment and I don't like to just join winning groups either.
                        So, I'm sure the most important thing is for you to feel good with your decision whatever it might be.
                        Personally, I would make sure to find out what's my priority.
                        I noticed you're not walking out on the team, just dedicating yourself more to the "backstage" work, but if you did enjoy the coaching gig and still think you something more to give to the kids, stick with it.
                        At the end of the day it's about how you feel with the all thing.
                        I can still coach at practices, but I'll never stand on the field again unless it is at a tournament or something - I've never had an issue with any kid or parent during a tournament - it seems a better class of kids and parents are involved when the teams are paying $500 a weekend to play baseball!

                        I'm leaning more and more to running the website and keeping stats using "Turbostats" and creating an online experience for those friends and families that can't attend all of the games.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          CP, I gave up coaching HS football for some of the very reasons you stated in your first post. Parents who don't give one second of time to their kids yet are in the stands all over the coaches because we were losing. It's demoralizing! For four years I spent my summers and falls coaching, driving 40 miles round trip to practice and home games and even doing Saturday reserve games and then to get treated like dirt from the "fans"? Not for me. It got so bad my last year that one of our younger coaches(23) went into the stands after someone who was berating his father! for the son's supposed lack of coaching skills. That was the last straw for me. And I was looking into coaching football at the Little League level but from what I hear and read, it's worse there than in HS.

                          PS-have you ever noticed that it's always the coaches fault for losing? No one ever says their kids suck at football!
                          Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

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                          • #14
                            No one ever says their kids suck at football
                            More to the point is that the parents SUCK at being parents. Bottom line.
                            "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                            Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                            you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Curt,

                              I used to coach the other side of the coin, Girls! The only way I would work with boys is with my grandsons' team. I did it for several years, but they moved to Texas and it is not possible anymore. I think you are taking the better route. Work with the kids in practice and let other adults handle the bases during the game. You may be a bit burnt out to react like that.

                              My daughter broke her ankle again playing adult slow pitch when the 1b on the other team did not know how to play the bag and my daughter tried not to hurt her. I told my daughter that if she ever played again (doubtful, that is the second time on that ankle!), I would fully expect her to kick that 1b's ankle on the bag right about where it sticks out. Too many people put others at risk by immoral play.

                              I have always preferred to work with girls. They aren't living a parents fantasy about a future major league career and I told the parents I was laid back and training their girls for a future Church League career! I would recommend that if you work with older girls not to get "touchy feely"!

                              My best job of coaching was not on my championship teams. It was my 5 and 5 team that took third in the 4th of July tournament after knocking out the league champs (we were knocked out by an all star team from Lake Charles next game).

                              Pruitt
                              Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                              Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                              by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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