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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
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Joined: 11 years ago
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Posted by: @prodigy

Perhaps this really is just a matter of what we've been conditioned to.  The vast majority of youth sports I've encountered have been non-profits, heck if I recall Pop Warner and AYF are both non-profit organizations.  I'm fairly certain that most baseball programs and such are similar. 

I worked for a non-profit for a number of years as an employee.  It was a multi-million dollar operation, best known for their role in rediscovering the titanic.  There weren't volunteers.  There was however; some rules that the organization had to follow to maintain their non-profit status.  This is stuff that likely goes on at the high levels of Pop Warner and AYF etc.

I guess most of us don't spend much time thinking that the presidents of Pop Warner and AYF are making a decent amount of money while we're volunteering for their organizations, getting kids involved, basically feeding them money pro bono.  Why do we do it?  For the love of the game and for the love of the kids.  

Meanwhile there are people who are making money providing less of a service than we are....or at least attempting to.  It leaves a foul taste in my mouth.  Actually, when I pause to think about the amount of work that I've put into youth football over the years and imagining this feeding up the chain to put dollars in other peoples pockets, it is indeed a little upsetting for some reason.

Maybe the real answer is a change in culture.  Maybe what youth football needs is a for-profit youth football organization of some sort...but I'm sure that raises problems of its' own.  I just don't think there are any good answers.  Also I will add, in my years of coaching, I wasn't very impressed by very many coaches.  There are a few out there but the ratio is probably 9 bad coaches to every 1 good one.  If there was a guy who was trying to profit running youth sports and he was solid, I'd have less apprehension about him selling services.  

I suspect the above is true of a lot of fields that are dominated by amateurs: people who do whatever it is because they love it.  The problem with this one is that the people with the money to spend -- the parents -- often aren't very knowledgeable and therefore discerning about what they're getting.

I'm thinking about the difference between WFMU and WBAI.  WBAI is one of the Pacifica radio stations, listener-supported, and they've actually paid their on-air personalities small salaries -- but every few years they are riven with acrimony and turmoil because they're supposed to operate democratically.  WFMU was a college's radio station in the same market, which, aside from a Mon.-Fri. morning program that operated almost as if it were on a different station (even signing off before the other programming started), was all volunteers in terms of the "talent".  When the college started having financial difficulties, one of WFMU's DJs stepped up when none of the others would, and offered to buy the station to keep it running, setting up a foundation to do so.  Since that time in the 1980s that same Ken Freedman has operated WFMU as a benevolent dictator, paying himself what is now a 6-figure salary to do so, keeping the talent (except for that morning slot) all volunteer, expanding operations enormously, and avoiding all the turmoil typical of the Pacifica stations.  And talented and experienced people jump for joy to be on WFMU unpaid.

So it does seem that the major determinant of satisfaction is those running the operation, and that paying them pays off.  Switching the volunteers to paid status doesn't seem to increase satisfaction.


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 23243
 
Posted by: @prodigy

Perhaps this really is just a matter of what we've been conditioned to.  The vast majority of youth sports I've encountered have been non-profits, heck if I recall Pop Warner and AYF are both non-profit organizations.  I'm fairly certain that most baseball programs and such are similar. 

I worked for a non-profit for a number of years as an employee.  It was a multi-million dollar operation, best known for their role in rediscovering the titanic.  There weren't volunteers.  There was however; some rules that the organization had to follow to maintain their non-profit status.  This is stuff that likely goes on at the high levels of Pop Warner and AYF etc.

I guess most of us don't spend much time thinking that the presidents of Pop Warner and AYF are making a decent amount of money while we're volunteering for their organizations, getting kids involved, basically feeding them money pro bono.  Why do we do it?  For the love of the game and for the love of the kids.  

Meanwhile there are people who are making money providing less of a service than we are....or at least attempting to.  It leaves a foul taste in my mouth.  Actually, when I pause to think about the amount of work that I've put into youth football over the years and imagining this feeding up the chain to put dollars in other peoples pockets, it is indeed a little upsetting for some reason.

Maybe the real answer is a change in culture.  Maybe what youth football needs is a for-profit youth football organization of some sort...but I'm sure that raises problems of its' own.  I just don't think there are any good answers.  Also I will add, in my years of coaching, I wasn't very impressed by very many coaches.  There are a few out there but the ratio is probably 9 bad coaches to every 1 good one.  If there was a guy who was trying to profit running youth sports and he was solid, I'd have less apprehension about him selling services.  

Crappy refs come to mind. The volunteers work hard all week and then are at the whims of the only ones getting paid.

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Joined: 12 years ago
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Posted by: @bob-goodman

So it does seem that the major determinant of satisfaction is those running the operation, and that paying them pays off.  Switching the volunteers to paid status doesn't seem to increase satisfaction.

In Colorado hockey, the norm is to pay a "Hockey Director" to run the "inside the glass" (on the ice) operations and a board of directors who are paid a stipend. I used to get $500 for a each calendar year of service. Our hockey director was paid $65k and this was considered the low end as far as hockey directors went. However, if he met certain goals, he would be entitled to bonuses and he was allowed to use some club assets to run his "hustle" (private lessons, camps, mini-tournaments, etc.). If worked hard and was very enterprising (he wasn't), he could make close to 6 figures.

As far as I know, Colorado youth football is 100% volunteer. 

From my standpoint, the quality of organization and coaching between the two sports are fairly similar. One anomaly that makes it a somewhat unfair comparison is that to be a hockey coach, you MUST possess fairly strong skating ability. That sort of limits the coaching pool for hockey. There are probably a good deal of coaches who have a lot of knowledge of the sport and coaching in general who never get the chance because they skate like a newborn giraffe.

Would a professionally run football league offer a better experience to players and families? No idea. Mahonz was toying with the idea of a "for profit" football league. If I remember right, there would be 4 game/practice facilities, one for each corner of the Denver metro area. 2 or 4 teams per facility. I think it would have been 6th, 7th and 8th grade.  At the time, I thought it would pull the elite players out of the traditional leagues along with the trophy chasers and parents with D1 dreams. I also thought it would benefit both the elite players/families and the traditional leagues. I do think the profit motive would trump politics, which would result in better coaching for kids in the "for profit" league. 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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Posted by: @mahonz

Crappy refs come to mind. The volunteers work hard all week and then are at the whims of the only ones getting paid.

Finally, an accurate documentary about referees!

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Posted by: @mahonz

Crappy refs come to mind. The volunteers work hard all week and then are at the whims of the only ones getting paid.

I believe the White Hat is Brad. I can't get away from that guy. He's in my nightmares. Currier and I just submitted our affidavits about his melt down.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co
Posted by: @mahonz

Crappy refs come to mind. The volunteers work hard all week and then are at the whims of the only ones getting paid.

I believe the White Hat is Brad. I can't get away from that guy. He's in my nightmares. Currier and I just submitted our affidavits about his melt down.

Holy Cow. It is Brad !....cant miss that stance and those friggin white legs 

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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Posted by: @coachdp
Posted by: @mahonz

Crappy refs come to mind. The volunteers work hard all week and then are at the whims of the only ones getting paid.

Finally, an accurate documentary about referees!

--Dave

That was a fun game. 8th grade season vrs our long time arch arch arch rival. We played them every Spring as well. lt would be the last time we played each other. We were up by 8 I do believe and they have enough time for one drive and holy smokes could this team pass the football. We held on to win. They had beaten us 2 years prior in the Championship by scoring with 2.8 seconds left in the game...yes it was a pass on 4th and goal from the 8. Their TE made one heck of a catch. 

This time we went on to win it all but they were upset and one and done in the playoffs. A rematch was in the making but never happened. 

This game....IDIOT back judge never moved except when the ball advanced. Worthless. After I notice that he was always in the way by never moving.... I started chirping at him. He never even turned his head to look at me. 

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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Prodigy
(@prodigy)
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Joined: 11 years ago
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You are correct...We are all volunteers and we end up relying on referees who are getting paid to officiate the games.  Truthfully, I never had many problems with referees.  There were a couple of occasions but really if your ballgame comes down to a few bad calls by referees, you're not playing / coaching dominant football.

If you show up for a fair fight, you are unprepared.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Posted by: @prodigy

You are correct...We are all volunteers and we end up relying on referees who are getting paid to officiate the games.  Truthfully, I never had many problems with referees.  There were a couple of occasions but really if your ballgame comes down to a few bad calls by referees, you're not playing / coaching dominant football.

Or we have a situation like today. The 1st/2nd grade rookie team I help with had their first game today. Refs were a no-show. 15 minutes after the game was supposed to start, I grabbed a whistle and officiated. Lost a very fun game (for both teams) 20-12. However, another team in our org is super stacked and out to win the grand rookie championship. They played after us, but their HC came up to me in the 2nd quarter to say that the field boundaries were wrong. We were supposed to be playing inside the numbers, rather than inside the hashes. Our HC, my buddy who is on the BoD was the one who showed up at 7am to set up the fields. Since we had already played a quarter and since I liked how the narrow field allowed every kid to play football rather than "fast kid to the sideline" and since I was the referee, I conferred with both staffs and we decided to keep it the way it was. The HC of the stacked team kept coming up to me trying to convince me to change the field side and I kept refusing. Finally, I snapped at him and told him to get off my field and stop bothering me. His AC yelled at me from 20 yards away, "You can't just come out here and start making up shit!". I replied "First of all, watch your mouth, Coach. That's not language for young ears. Second, since no refs showed up and I have the whistle, I can pretty much do what I want." He said, "Yeah, well you're going to have to play us on a wide field and it's gonna be f*cking ugly!" To which I replied, "Do what you need to do. If you want to run the score up on some 6 and 7 year olds because you're mad at me, then you seriously need help". At that point, his HC pushed him off the field. 

When it was their turn to play, they moved the sideline markers to the numbers and quite literally scored every time they snapped the ball. Hooray for them.

I wonder if I will get paid for reffing today.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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terrypjohnson
(@terrypjohnson)
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co

He said, "Yeah, well you're going to have to play us on a wide field and it's gonna be f*cking ugly!"

Every time I try to convince myself that I'm okay with not being a head coach this year, I see something like this and ask "why is this clown a head coach and I'm not?"

You showed a commendable amount of restraint. I can't say I would have been as patient as you were. It's a shame that those coaches tried to ruin the game for the kids when it had no bearing on their team whatsoever!

Fight 'em until Hell freezes over, then fight 'em on the ice -- Dutch Meyer


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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  • @terrypjohnson There are worse coaches like this in our league. No wonder the sport is dying.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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Posted by: @terrypjohnson

You showed a commendable amount of restraint. I can't say I would have been as patient as you were. 

Absolutely he did.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Posted by: @coachdp
Posted by: @terrypjohnson

You showed a commendable amount of restraint. I can't say I would have been as patient as you were. 

Absolutely he did.

--Dave

If I decided to get in a pissing contest with the guy, there was a very good chance that it would have gotten physical. HC was restraining AC. If I get in a fight at a football event, I am done as a coach. 20 seasons down the toilet. No idiot is worth that and the kids I coach deserve better than that. So “commendable restraint”?
Respectfully disagree. 

In fact, this team will start practicing at my park next week because a 13 year old girl assaulted a parent at their practice park. While pulling weeds today, I decided that if I see these coaches at our park, I will have a calm conversation with them to diffuse the situation, give them my side of the situation and respectfully listen to theirs.

This post was modified 11 months ago by gumby_in_co

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co

If I decided to get in a pissing contest with the guy, there was a very good chance that it would have gotten physical. HC was restraining AC. If I get in a fight at a football event, I am done as a coach. 20 seasons down the toilet. No idiot is worth that and the kids I coach deserve better than that.

Oh I get it.  But you still showed "commendable restraint."  You did a good thing and you did it right.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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Coyote
(@coyote)
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co

2) Specializing.

It only takes a few moments to find numerous professional articles outlining why kids should not specialize in just one sport.  

During my 10 yrs as a High School Wrestling HC and on the football staff (mid-‘80’s – mid ‘90’s) we had numerous coaches of other sports (Soccer, Swimming and Basketball were the worst) who insisted their kids only play their sport 11.5 months out of the yr.  Once they latched onto a kid, they didn’t want to ‘share’ them with other sports.  Year in and year out, the 3 main culprits all would get out to quick starts, their kids would peak around mid-season, and by the time they got to the Conf. / District championships, the kids had gone stale and they were losing to folk whom they’d beaten early in the season.

Umm.... why does that 6 ft tall 9 yr old have a goatee...?


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