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coachstu123
(@coachstu123)
Copper
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 15
February 15, 2020 2:24 am  

Hello...It's been a long time since I posted here.  I used to be quite active here and learned so much from all the great coaches on the board.  Honestly, I learned too much.  I coached for 11 years in the Midwest and had many seasons of great success.  I coached from age 8 and up and finally settled at the Middle School level.  I went from knowing nothing to being a very competent and versatile coach.  Not being arrogant, but there was literally no aspect of the game that I could not improve the team I was coaching.  And I had the great fortune to coach with many determined selfless coaches.  During that time I saw many of my kids go on to get football scholarships and just this past year saw a kid from the first class I coached enter the NFL.  My last group of kids graduates next year and I suspect there are at least 4 D-1 players in that group. 

I left the Midwest two years ago and returned to a small southern town in which I grew up.  I sat out a year but then got the urge to coach again.  I knew no one.  Just showed up and asked if I could help.  I was willing to do anything, no matter how small.  I just wanted to be around the game.  Very quickly I became frustrated.  This once proud and very storied program and been reduced to a complete mess.  it is on its last legs.  And it comes down to one problem.  Daddy ball!!!  Or in this case...daddy AND Mommy ball!!!  I could not believe how incompetent the staff I was on was.  Simply put, they did NOTHING right.  Everything was done the wrong way.  Meaningless drills at practice, no coordination whatsoever, an unbelievable level of coddling of the players (these are 12 year olds), etc.  I really cannot begin to tell you how bad things were.  You would not believe it.  But, consider that before I was "fired", with 2 games remaining, after 3 months of practices and games the team had spent a combined time of 30 minutes on defense.  I'm not talking about per practice.  I'm talking about in total.  And that consisted of telling the kids how to line up, 5 minutes before kick off.  As of the time I was let go, we had not scored a single point during the first 5 games. 

The most frustrating part of the experience was that our team failure was all due to poor coaching.  I remember my first day of practice and thinking to myself, this is the most talent on one team I have ever been around.  We had size and speed.  I thought for sure we'd run this league.  Then reality set in.  I bit my tongue for two months.  I would make suggestions on the right way to do things, provide effective offensive and defensive schemes, and even scouted our opponents and provided that information to the other coaches.  I was ignored every time.  

Things came to head at halftime of our 4th game when the head coach tells me "I'm done...we're forfeiting".  I told him "hell no we're not forfeiting and if you wanna quit you can quit, just do it after the game".  He calls me later that evening and again tells me he can't handle it and since I was so gung ho I can put in an offense.  I agreed, but foolishly honored his request that he continue to call all the plays.  The following Monday I immediately put in a modified Wing T offense, complete with pre-snap motion.  I only had 90 minutes of install time that week but during that short time we learned to down block and kick out, worked on the power play, crossbuck counters, fullback dive, reverse pitch, the wedge and play action waggle pass.  I took total control during my time and completely shut down any input from the other clueless coaches.  Not something I would normally do, but given the short time and the time already wasted, I saw no point wasting anyone's time discussing things that don't matter with coaches that don't care enough to learn.  Gentleman, the ground we covered as a team in the 90 minutes was amazing.  The kids looked awesome, they learned my play-calling cues and were loving the new plays. 

So we play our first game with the new offense the following Saturday.  No, we did not finally score.  We did, however, move the ball up and down the field getting inside the opponent's five on three occasions.  As I said though, I did not assume the play-calling duties and we fell victim to some very poor short yardage play calling.  Such as a timeout improvised option (we had never practiced) and a screen pass that was also made up by the HC during a time out.  Both plays resulted in turnovers.  Nonetheless, I was very satisfied with our progress and the players were as well.  They knew we were on to something.

Fast forward to the following Monday practice.  I was told I was no longer wanted on the staff.  According to the coaches, the kids were not "having fun since I took over".  I came to find out later that this was partially true.  The other three coaches kids were not having fun.  And that is because in order to make the offense work, I had to remove the HC's kid from the QB position, bench the Program President/Defensive Coordinator's son and replace him with a competent center, and move the offensive line coach's son to QB.  These changes apparently infuriated the other coaches, although they never had the guts to tell me this to my face.  I had to learn the real reason I was let go by one of the parents who very angry that I was "fired".  What I was told by the HC was that they thought I was great coach but that I did not relate well with the kids and they were upset.  Well yeah, some of them were.  Because it was the first time in their football lives they were ever held accountable for their responsibilities.  I won't deny that in the short week I had control of the offense, we worked with a no nonsense attitude and with a high sense of urgency.  I did indeed put the hammer down on a team that absolutely needed it.  But all i got from parents was praise.  As in "where the hell have you been all year and why did it take so long for them to listen to you?"  The kids were not a concern as any coach knows that the few boys that are discouraged come around if you are consistent, fair, and positive.  Which I always am.

So anyway, I was let go.  The following week they went back to the old offense.  I went to the park to watch the next game.  They racked up a total of -30 yards (yes negative) in the first quarter and the first 5 minutes of the second quarter.  The counting stops there because the HC forfeited the game with 5 minutes left in the 2nd quarter.  He just quit.  I have never seen that happen.  I've never been on either side of an in game forfeit.  Ever! 

Yes I'm venting.  And I wish I could tell you this experience did not upset me.  I'd be lying.  I love coaching and I do not know where to go to coach again.  I do not know how to approach it.  I do not want control of any aspect of the team.  I've kinda learned that if you know a lot about the game, you're not going to get along well with coaches who do not want to put effort into learning the game and are only there for their own kids.  Personally, I seek no credit and would be perfectly happy with just being a position coach.  But when you see something you know isn't right, and is actually harmful to a player's development, what do you do?  When you know that the coaching is not giving the kids a fair chance to compete do you just stay quiet?  Do you walk away?  In my case, I tried so many times and so many ways to steer the coaching staff in the right direction.  Being subtle, being blunt, nothing worked.  I do not want to be done coaching but I am at a loss as to what to do next.    

 

 

      

 

 

 

 


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 22951
February 15, 2020 4:39 am  

Wow....

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17323
North Carolina
High School
February 15, 2020 9:06 am  
Posted by: @coachstu123

  I do not want to be done coaching but I am at a loss as to what to do next.

Find a different org?

Honestly, your experience is the rule, not the exception.  Everything you wrote is usually how it is, at most youth orgs.  Heck, I thought you'd cut and pasted one of my posts.  If you still have the drive, then continue to look.  And if you're in North Carolina, then come see me.  I'll find you a gig.

--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)
Platinum
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 4081
February 15, 2020 12:24 pm  

That's a bummer. It sounds like we have a few things in common.  We both 1) have a passion for the game 2) understand how much work goes into a good product and 3) are willing to coach without having a kid on the team.  My advice to you is to 100% realize how much of an ASSET you are and a rare asset at that. YOU hold the cards and negotiate from a position of strength. 

I'm not trying to toot my own horn. It's just the economics of the situation. I am valuable to a youth sports organization, whether I'm a board member, coach or assistant to the bottle washer. Every single org I have ever been around talks about how much they depend on volunteers. We both know that there are "volunteers" and there are VOLUNTEERS. You and I belong to the latter group. Pres needs someone to help with a mini-camp with 3 hours notice? Where, when and what do I need to bring? 3 kids need a ride to practice? Text me your address. Practice ended early because of a thunderstorm? I'm sitting in my SUV with 7 kids listening to music and waiting for parents.

Armed with this knowledge, I am VERY picky about where I coach and with whom. Believe me. Not coaching at all is not nearly bad as coaching in the wrong situation. I flat out refuse to coach in our local Spring tackle league after 4 seasons unless they get new leadership. I initially refused to coach this Spring with Mahonz because there's a dude who will be involved that I happen to think is a walking piece of crap (as a coach). Mahonz assured me that he will manage and control the situation and there are few people I trust more than him. I made it clear that I will walk at the first breach of integrity.

On the other hand, I'm from Metro Denver. My options are only limited by how far I'm willing to drive. I don't know anything about small towns other than what people have told me. I really hope you find an opportunity to serve in the way that kids deserve. Keep us posted.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
Diamond
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9492
New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
February 15, 2020 12:56 pm  

Ooo, if I'd gone thru what Coachstu's gone thru, I'd be sooo motivated to form another team, poach their players, and beat their asses in a 13Us game.  Or so turned off I wouldn't look at football or coach anything for years.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17323
North Carolina
High School
February 15, 2020 1:36 pm  
Posted by: @gumby_in_co

I am valuable to a youth sports organization, whether I'm a board member, coach or assistant to the bottle washer.

--I'll play Devil's Advocate here, because hey it's what I do.  Anyhoos, I'd argue (question?) whether you are really all that valuable to your youth org.  At least, where THEY recognize it.  I KNOW you are valuable to Mahonz and I KNOW that he recognizes your value.  I just really, really wonder if anyone else does.  Do they recognize?  Do they care?  Do they appreciate?  Most orgs are blind to it, as CoachStu just experienced.  A good coach is generally perceived as a threat to everyone else in that organization.

Every single org I have ever been around talks about how much they depend on volunteers.

--It's rhetoric.  

Armed with this knowledge, I am VERY picky about where I coach and with whom. Believe me. Not coaching at all is not nearly bad as coaching in the wrong situation. I flat out refuse to coach in our local Spring tackle league after 4 seasons unless they get new leadership.

--See?  That's what I just said...

I initially refused to coach this Spring with Mahonz because there's a dude who will be involved that I happen to think is a walking piece of crap (as a coach). Mahonz assured me that he will manage and control the situation and there are few people I trust more than him. I made it clear that I will walk at the first breach of integrity.

--Cool.  That gives me something interesting in the Spring to watch for.

--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)
Platinum
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 4081
February 15, 2020 6:06 pm  
Posted by: @coachdp
Posted by: @gumby_in_co

 

--I'll play Devil's Advocate here, because hey it's what I do.  Anyhoos, I'd argue (question?) whether you are really all that valuable to your youth org.  At least, where THEY recognize it.  I KNOW you are valuable to Mahonz and I KNOW that he recognizes your value.  I just really, really wonder if anyone else does.  Do they recognize?  Do they care?  Do they appreciate?  Most orgs are blind to it, as CoachStu just experienced.  A good coach is generally perceived as a threat to everyone else in that organization.

 

 

I'm 99% sure that I'm just a pain in their asses. I covered for Mahonz at a board meeting last season. It was pretty clear that NONE of the coaches were appreciated, but the board members . . . Oh man. The earth would spin of its axis if not for the BoD.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
Platinum
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 4081
February 15, 2020 6:10 pm  
Posted by: @coachdp

--Cool.  That gives me something interesting in the Spring to watch for.

Very confident that won't happen. For one, Mahonz knows where I stand on stuff like this (bending/breaking rules) and he feels the same way.  For another, it already appears that this guy is relieved that someone else is stepping in and taking over.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Coach Kyle2
(@coach-kyle2)
Copper
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 15
February 16, 2020 8:12 pm  

I don't come out here to get MAD

Micro Managed

Attitude

Daddy Ball

 


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Coyote
(@coyote)
Bronze
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 159
3rd - 5th
Coordinator
February 17, 2020 3:58 pm  

Coachstu123

We've a couple teams like the one you dealt with on our schedule, one of whom we've had as many as 9 kids score against in a single game (Our OLinemen scored more than our backs) and that team accused us of running up the score...   

FWIW, the worst teams we play in our league have no actual Offensive system, just plays they either saw on TV, or drew up in the dirt.   We've been accused of not teaching our kids anything, and being one dimensional, b/c we don't use but a couple formations and don't motion.  They think the window dressing is good football, but their kids can't block or tackle, and frankly, I don't think they actually know what motion is for, they just do it because they see it on TV.  

My suggestion, see if you can coach one of the other teams in your league. 

This post was modified 7 months ago by Coyote

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


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Coach Kyle2
(@coach-kyle2)
Copper
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 15
February 18, 2020 2:04 pm  

So this may be totally unrelated and completely pointless, but if you think it is, then maybe ignore me to protect my fragile ego 😀 

I've been playing an online game for a while that is in the category of MOBA. It relies on 6 people to use different characters to achieve objectives. All of those people are real people, and you play against 6 people on the other team. I like it because it's a lot like football. If you don't mesh well with your teammates and they all start yelling at each other, or even if you just yell at them to do something and they take offense to that, they ALWAYS play worse when you yell at them or have any negative emotions, including passive aggression. It's a reason to just sigh because you know as soon as negative emotions are triggered by anyone on the team you know you have a very large chance of losing. You actually have to go into a game with the desire to win but the attitude like you don't care. It is exactly the type of attitude that I think you should have as an assistant coach. You're there to win, but you want to have fun, and you need to have a certain attitude that is very positive while still speaking your mind.

Furthermore, the way you present yourself is 100% the ticket to being listened to. You can watch videos of these guys who are in the top 1% and they're experts at expressing their opinions in a tactical way. They take on certain phrases like, "feels bad man" to console people who are complaining. At the lower levels where I play people will complain about complainers, and that just ruins the mood of people and people play worse. When the top 1% give tactical advice they're extremely succinct and it sounds like a suggestion, not a command. At the lower levels people are annoyed. 

It sounds like your team was full of shit heads. I completely get that you were never going to turn them into rock stars, and it was probably extremely frustrating to see squandered potential. Obviously in the future you should avoid that organization and teams like them. You should probably also try to assume leadership authority since you are a leader. If you get stuck into an assistant coaching position, you should probably do your best to come at it with a good attitude like I talked about. If that's not working... then massively adjust your expectations.

And I'm not saying you came at it with a bad attitude. I'm saying I would have because I know myself, and I know I need to improve that aspect of myself.

This post was modified 7 months ago 2 times by Coach Kyle2

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coachstu123
(@coachstu123)
Copper
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 15
February 20, 2020 12:38 am  

@coachdp  Uhhhh...Dave...what part of NC are you in?

 


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coachstu123
(@coachstu123)
Copper
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 15
February 20, 2020 12:43 am  

@bob-goodman  This is what my wife is suggesting to me every day.  She knows how much effort I put into this sport and how well kids respond to my methods.  I have NEVER been part of a losing organization until this past one.  Whether it be regular season, tournament, elite and even indoor leagues.  This organization actually lost a team because the team President's son was 11, and rather than have the 12 year olds merge with the 13 year olds, he just abandoned the older team and the players were poached.  he did that because we had no 11 year old team and his sone could not play up with 12-13.  We lost 9 kids because of this selfishness.

 


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coachstu123
(@coachstu123)
Copper
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 15
February 20, 2020 1:02 am  

@coach-kyle2 I totally get the part of how you present yourself and your ideas.  I have been down this road before.  I was patient, polite and honestly, more than willing to sacrifice my ego for the benefit of the team and the other coaches.  I have helped many other coaches become better coaches and was more than happy to take a backseat and move on once they got their feet under them.  Of course, those coaches were willing to listen and put in the time.  I honestly didn't realize how good I had it where I was at.  I came from an organization that, at the time I started, I was the only coach out of 4 teams that had a son on a team.  And I learned quick that I cannot cater my coaching to suit him.  

Now, where I am (was) at now, you guys would not believe some of the things I saw.  Mommy coaches yelling at other players for hitting their son too hard.  HC trying to forfeit.  Absolutely no defensive game plan or practice.  We spent most of our practices with our two QBs throwing passes to the rest of the team regardless of what position the kids were playing.  About a month in I was asked by the team President what I thought of how things were being done.  At that time, I told him honestly.  "Everything is wrong...and I mean everything".  He actually agreed and shared some thoughts that made me think they he had coached somewhere at some time.  He was not completely clueless.  So. him having a better relationship with the other coaches (me being new), I tried to plant some seeds in him hoping he would take a more aggressive role in correcting things.  That did not work.  I actually never saw him after that.  Though he remained organization president.      

I know I need to find a new org.  I'm just bummed.  This used to a top notch organization.  It's been around since the early 60s.  And has great financial and community support.  But it's in an area and in a league where you simply cannot compete if you do not teach football in a manner that is organized, proud and physical.  There is way too much talent in this area to be coddling kids and not teaching them effectively.  It's lambs to the slaughter!

 

 


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17323
North Carolina
High School
February 20, 2020 1:11 am  
Posted by: @coachstu123

@coachdp  Uhhhh...Dave...what part of NC are you in?

 

Cary, NC.  (The Raleigh area.)

--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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