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spidermac
(@spidermac)
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Joined: 10 years ago
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September 23, 2020 12:30 pm  

100% honest, I did not realistically believe that I would be coaching this season. Especially after delays and bigger programs shutting things down...I figured football season would become another Covid Casualty (no slight to anyone who knows someone who has died from it)....

But here I am...going into game week, with my game week routines...Studying the film from our scrimmage, game plan in place, two full practices and then we kick the grass on Friday, and...we even have a pep rally on Friday after the walk through...

But this season has been hard...kids cooped up in their houses, "going to school" via Zoom or Google Classroom or whatever. Many of them doing absolutely nothing since our last Spring Practice at the end of February.

And 3 new additions to our coaching staff...all gung-ho...all buying in to "I am there for the team, not just my son"....until they see all of the work and preparation that goes into making our schemes fit the boys we have.

3 practice of the season...my Center, who is more than capable of snapping the ball, but doesn't want to do it...shows up to Friday evenings practice and is giving no effort...IN THE WARM UP...I warn him once, I warn him twice...3 strikes and we have our first OSI of the season...AND HE IS GIVING ME NO EFFORT IN THE OSI!...so I involve his team mates...they are now doing his OSI while he stands and watches...get a modicum of effort from him...so a small amount of time...

And we go into team...and the snaps are everywhere, he is giving no effort, so I put our second center on the ball, and run the offense without a tackle, and we have our second OSI of the season...and I am punishing him...I ask him if he knows why he is being punished...and he says "yes, I am not giving effort"...I ask him if he will give effort, he indicates he will...send him back to team, and miraculously, his snaps are good...he starts to slip a little later, I ask him if he wants to argue with me some more, he starts snapping again.

After practice, I talk to him about his effort and his attitude, in front of his dad...no secrets...tell him that what I did I did out of love...told him we don't waste good, tell him he can come to practice in the morning with a clean slate. Done chatting with him, dad sends him to the car and wants to speak with me..."You went too far" I listened to his objections and told him, I am a human, maybe I was wrong, but I don't believe I am.

Saturday Mornings Practice, the boy has a pep in his step, and he has found his voice and he is giving effort and his snaps are perfect, I talk to him after practice and asked him, "what was different?" he said "I gave all of my effort", Dad is still unhappy with me and is over by his car when I am talking with the player...Tuesdays Practice, more of the same, this time, dad is waiting for me...he says something to the effect of "I think what you did with him on Friday made something click, I don't think you will have that problem again" and then he left without giving me the opportunity to reply, and he was not making eye contact with me...and he was mumbling...Wednesday's practice...boy is still on fire...working with him on steps and hands after the snap, he is paying attention and getting better...during one of the water breaks...Dad comes over to me and I tell him how great his boy is doing, never mentioning the Friday OSIs...he says to me "Good, and don't be afraid to climb up his @$$ if he needs it"...

Friday we start practice with Circle of Death...and one of the new coache' boys is not giving effort...I join him and encourage him loudly to give more...and he does, wander away, come back and he is loafing again, encourage him again, wander again, come back again and his feet are stock still so I tap him...we are about 2 minutes in...he watches the rest of the circle....no one else gets tapped...

Send the boys for water, and dad (can't call him coach right now, because he placed his dad hat squarely on his head) comes up to me and told me, you shouldn't have tapped him, he is a big boy (and he is) and he is never going to keep place with the smaller players. I explained to him, it is never about the outcome in the circle, its all about the effort, and he was not giving any...he expressed his displeasure some more, I again told him, not about the outcome, about the effort...he walked away. Saturday morning during the scrimmage, the boy was on fire...he is out NT and RT on offense...he is causing chaos and making tackles when on defense, driving players down the field when on offense...I celebrate his successes loudly...after the scrimmage, I let him break us out...

I am always the last one at the field, sometimes I do not get to talk to everyone I want to, so I called dad/coach...and I told him how well his son played, the effort he put in, and he said "my boy knew it too, and he knew you were pleased with him because you let him break it out"...so I said, "lets talk about last night when I tapped him...I will kick him in the teeth when he needs it, which i did when I tapped him, and I am going to hug him when he needs it or deserves it...which I did today, did me kicking him in the teeth give us the results we saw today? I dunno..." He said, "I get it"...

It is weird though...three years with this team, think the parents would know how I do things...I promise not to come over to the house and parent them...trust me to coach them how they need to be coached 😛 

None of them suck, they just haven't found what the kid is good at yet.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 4148
September 23, 2020 1:06 pm  

A long time ago, coaching hockey, I was having similar issues and really ranting about "some parents" to a man much smarter than me. He gave me some advice that has always stuck with me. Try to remember that a parent has one job and they are going to do it the way they see fit. With some exceptions, there is no right or wrong way to do that job. They are going to be 100% focused on their kid. Whether it's pushing them, protecting them, coddling them, or preparing them for a D1 scholarship, that is their job. 

By no means should you change the way you do things, but understanding a parent doing their job helps me keep the adversary in me at bay.

FWIW, I absolutely love the way you handled all of that.

This post was modified 4 weeks ago by gumby_in_co

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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spidermac
(@spidermac)
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Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 2440
September 23, 2020 1:20 pm  

@gumby_in_co

Oh, I get that, I really do, matter of fact in some conversations I have with the other coaches on my staff, I tell them that...they are looking out for their boy, which they should be...we are looking out for the team...which we should be 🙂

Guess it's frustrating sometimes...so I felt like whining 🙂

And thank you for the "vote of confidence"...at the time I felt like it was the right thing...and even while speaking with both of the dads I felt it was the right thing...

 

None of them suck, they just haven't found what the kid is good at yet.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 4148
September 23, 2020 1:34 pm  
Posted by: @spidermac

@gumby_in_co

Guess it's frustrating sometimes...so I felt like whining 🙂

 

America's Pastime. 🤣 

Mahonz is my whining board.

Had one of those last season, which is pretty rare for me as an AC.  Kid was playing a position that required discipline. Dad pointed out that this is counter to his son's make up. Went as far as to say his son doesn't want to play anymore. My initial reaction (internally) was to get really defensive and shitty, but I used Dad's comments to find a way to work with his son. I think we changed his position. Can't remember, which shows you how important it really was.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17398
North Carolina
High School
September 23, 2020 2:11 pm  

Great story, Chris.  "Parents." lol

"It is weird though...three years with this team, think the parents would know how I do things."

I agree.  Weird.  However, I think the key to (our own) success when stepping through this constant mine field of coaching and parental relationships is whether you let it bother you.  99% of the time, you're approach will "end up" being right, even when the parents can't see it at the time.  So relish in the knowledge that you already know what the outcome is likely to be, even when the parents don't.  I hope that gives you solace, so that you're not sweating the things that don't matter (like whether the parent is presently happy, because I know they'll likely be happy down the road).  It's like teaching your own kid a hard lesson now, so that he's better off in the future.  Sometimes, we have to take that approach with the parents, as well.

--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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