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Loftdawg
(@loftdawg)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 82
September 9, 2012 4:05 pm  

Coach,

You gave her husband the opportunity to help the situation and he turned it down. She has no room to complain.

Do not apologize and do not change what you are doing. Just than make sure you treat them with respect the rest of the season. Basically, kill them with kindness.

Parents like this have no idea how hard it is to substitute effectively and the amount of planning it takes to get everyone solid minutes in situations where they can have success without compromising the team's ability to win. They'll also be the first parents to pull their kid from a practice to go on a last minute vacation or a school party. They don't understand and don't care to understand. They just want Jimmy to have "a good experience" never realizing that the largest barrier to Jimmy having a good experience can be their attitude.

Stay positive and keep coaching those boys. They are the ones that really matter.


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CoachDoc
(@collin)
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Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 340
September 10, 2012 5:44 am  

I see this as two issues.

1) How you handle the MPPs.  This you can probably improve, and I think what really helps is to have a policy in writing of how you will handle it (and prefer to have it at the beginning of the year).  Better yet if they sign it.  If people complain, just point to the policy then.  The only problems we have had with this was once during our Jamboree, when we are still trying to get everything together and miss a kid.  That was our fault, and we talked and resolved it afterwards.  A clear policy, though, makes things much easier to take care of. 

2) Parent yelling negative things during game.  We have all parents sign something stating that they will not do this or be warned, followed by ejection.  We have never had to eject, but warning happens every once in a while.  The key is being as professional as possible while being firm.


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Winger
(@winger)
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September 10, 2012 12:42 pm  

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and comments.

Gives me things to consider and ways to try to improve.

BP


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Pearls of Wisdom
(@pearls-of-wisdom)
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Posts: 4446
April 15, 2013 5:38 am  

I have 28 kids.  Most 5th grade, a few 4th.  Of the 28, 10 are very legit.  I have size, speed, good football players.  Things drop quickly after the first 10.

My initial intent was to make a strong defense (with 3-3 stack and play MP kids in the stacks once we gained momentum in the game), a stud offense with my best players, and a beast offense with the rest of the players.  The beast offense was horrible, by good offense scored at will.  In our first game, by second quarter, once our defense stopped two drives and we scored twice, parents of the MP kids were freaking out.  This is the equal playing time parents.

I had a long talk (3.5 hours) with the cornerstone dad of the complainers.  We did not agree on the value of having a winning program.  He wanted an equal playing time program, winning was irrelevant.  I told him we could do both, let the better players establish the game, and the rest could fill in with a lot more freedom for the rest of the game, once we had some momentum.  We never did come to an agreement.  When I offered to have him help me with coaching (coordinate substitutions), he was not sure, did not want to take the brunt of the parents complaints.  To be fair to him, my offer was more like, "I want to work up a substitution schedule to make sure we don't put a mess on the field, will you help me" sort of offer.  He wanted to count minutes and put the next group in, regardless of down and distance, score, field position, etc.  He and I both felt the hesitation of the other, so I left it alone.

I suggested that he and his wife were the problem, not the kids, and I asked him to let the few other parents know that their actions were disruptive to the kids experience and they needed to be supportive, not destructive.  He said, "I am not going to discipline the choice or actions of others."  I told him that when I am a parent and I hear parents complain of coaches, I do feel it is appropriate for me to remind other parents how cancerous we can become, and that we can help by showing support, even for a difficult coach.  He did not know how to take that. 

We move on to game play.

Our beast group was disastrous for game one, I decided to mix the better players with the MP types on two separate beast teams for game two.  It made a big difference.  Todays game (game two), I ran the good players on defense, subbed in a few interior stack players, got two quick scores with my starting offense, and again, 2nd quarter (probably 20 of the 28 had minutes by now), with a two touchdown lead, I hear spouse of cornerstone complainer "come on coach . . . " very loud.  Little did she know the first and second beat units were to alternate possessions for as long as they kept the lead for the rest of the game.  Everyone was to have good minutes.

I turned, walked right up to her, and said "stop being a problem parent."  She said, "get the kids in the game."  I said, "you need to let us coach, we are getting the kids in the game."

I guess the fact that I walked right up to her and confronted her ASAP was upsetting to her, and surprised a few sitting next to her.  It has been suggested by one person that I apologize to try to water things down, or else it will add fuel to the fire of the complainers and things will continue.

I felt not only justified, but it upset me, that she was stirring parents up when the kids were having fun, we were having a great game, and we had a game plan for good playing time for the players.  The only issue was some of the minutes would come in the last 2/3s of the game, not the first 1/3.

A brief history.  This mother has been in our community for years, and is the first to start undermining and going after coaches at all levels, including HS coaches of various sports.  I am not sure anyone has ever confronted her before.  She is a very strong personality.

I disagree with the open ridicule and criticism by parents of coaches.  It can be a cancer, very quickly.  I disagree with parents discussing the coach in public or in front of the kids.

My sensitivity might be somewhat personal.  But I can handle that on my own.  My frustration is that as coaches, we spend years getting ourselves and our kids ready to put a team together that can have fun and compete, and I get very upset to have a short-sighted parent fire off a controversy about playing time with the slightest whiff of a concern and destroy the experience for all.

Should I apologize to her?  (I did not cuss or yell.  I am sure I was not smiling)

Like John Wayne always said - "NEVER APOLOGIZE - IT'S A SIGN OF WEAKNESS"!

My Contact Info: Coach Bill Mountjoy phone: 804-716-7038 EST /  Email: butzadams@hotmail.com


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Mosley the Cat
(@mosleythecat)
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Posts: 876
Maryland
April 15, 2013 7:18 am  

The only issue was some of the minutes would come in the last 2/3s of the game, not the first 1/3.

This is a little off-topic, but what if you don't get out to that early lead, and the game is tight at half? Are you now going to feel better about getting those MPs into the game. I remember many games last year for my son's C team where my nephew and two others did not see the field until the 4th quarter and we were up three TDs. Those kids know what is going on.

On my other son's team, the kids were rotating like crazy from the 2nd play on, but if the other team got inside our 30, our black defense went in, and the kids knew that was all our best defensive players, and they had no problem with that.

So is one better than the other? In this particular situation, the latter was, but I don't know if that would always be true.

Don't cross my path.


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Michael
(@michael)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 12890
April 15, 2013 7:34 am  

Like John Wayne always said - "NEVER APOLOGIZE - IT'S A SIGN OF WEAKNESS"!

Great.  Now I'm thinking of Repo Man.

I'd link it, but it might not be PC enough.

Michael can not receive PM's, emails or respond to Posts. He passed away in September 2018. To honor his contributions we are leaving his account active. R.I.P - Dumcoach Staff.


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Anonymous
 Anonymous
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April 15, 2013 8:07 am  

Also quoted by Jethro Gibbs in Rule #6  😉


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DL
 DL
(@daniel-lyons)
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April 15, 2013 8:53 am  

If you have a scrub offense and a stud offense with different schemes - you can see how parents might not love that.  They think or suspect that you are mailing it in when it comes to their kids.      Look at it from their point of view.

I think that in little league private organizations there is generally some expectation that the kids will see the field even if the game is tight or you are losing.   

Some coaches don't agree or feel that way.  I think those issues need to be communicated with parents at beginning of season.  If you are going to play only the best kids until the game is in hand, then parents need to know that is the policy because not everyone does it that way before high school.  Don't assume.   

So you have 10 athletes and 18 other kids.    How many 2 way players do you have?  If those 10 are going 2 ways there is not a lot of minutes for the other kids.

If I were you I would find a way to split my studs between offense and defense and start more of the 2nd tier kids and get some of the 3rd tier kids on a rotation with the 2nd tier kids or different 2nd tier kids. 

I also would have likely went 2 platoon with that many.    Just my 2 cents.


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Patriot
(@patriot)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 569
April 18, 2013 10:31 am  

 

I also would have likely went 2 platoon with that many.    Just my 2 cents.

If I wanted to, I could probably have close to 35 kids this season. As it stands I have 25. I would love to go to 35 and 2 platoon, but I wonder if parents would go crazy not seeing Jr. on offense and/or defense.

I think 2 platooning is awesome because you could really get good at both sides of the ball and you would not succumb to fatigue. Not to mention that you could tailor some pretty cool practices and situations. Just imagine doing a PUP or Inside session with dedicated O/D players. How sharp that would be. Or doing skelly or situational (3rd and long, 4th and short, goaline, etc). We could work on tendacies of the other teams and they could see quality, dedicated kids.  I just wonder if it works with kids/families.


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Michael
(@michael)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 12890
April 18, 2013 10:38 am  

Not to mention that you could tailor some pretty cool practices and situations. Just imagine doing a PUP or Inside session with dedicated O/D players. How sharp that would be. Or doing skelly or situational (3rd and long, 4th and short, goaline, etc).

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1008760/index.htm

The Banter begins early each Thursday, as soon as the Dallas Cowboys walk into their practice facility in Irving, Texas. It usually spills over into the dining room at lunch, then continues in the hallways as players move along to their 1 p.m. meetings. Gonna kill you today, gonna blow right past you, baby, wide receiver Kevin Williams will say to Cowboys defensive backs. No way, won't happen, we're gonna shut you down, is what cornerback Kevin Smith might reply as the players are getting taped for their 2 p.m. practice, which features the week's main event: the Cowboys' two-minute drill.

Each Thursday afternoon this drill pits Dallas's No. 1 offense against Dallas's No. 1 defense. It's the only time the units go head-to-head. To win, the offense must score or the defense must hold on downs or force a turnover.

Once all non-Cowboys personnel are escorted from the field, a coach sets his watch, and the ball is placed at the 30, 70 yards from pay dirt. There is, for a moment, silence. Then the hitting begins. It's too bad all those folks who believe that injuries, arrests and free-agent losses have taken the fire out of the defending Super Bowl champions can't watch this weekly brawl.

"Those guys on offense want to beat us to death, and, well, we want to do the same to them," says safety Darren Woodson. "This is a team made up of super-competitive players. You see that on Thursdays, and it is why we are, and will be, successful. We have too much pride to just fall down because some things happened to us this summer."

Early in last week's scrimmage, Troy Aikman hooked up with Williams on a long touchdown pass that gave trash-talking rights to the offense for seven glorious days.

Michael can not receive PM's, emails or respond to Posts. He passed away in September 2018. To honor his contributions we are leaving his account active. R.I.P - Dumcoach Staff.


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davecisar
(@davecisar)
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April 18, 2013 11:40 am  

Like John Wayne always said - "NEVER APOLOGIZE - IT'S A SIGN OF WEAKNESS"!

When you are a coach and wrong, it's always right to apologize

I'm not saying this coach is wrong by any stretch. We would have handled this proactively with our parent contract and mandatory parent meeting at first practice.
It sounds like he had the right intentions.
But when we are wrong and we apologize it shows others we are honest and truthful
We expect them to own up to their mistakes and not gloss over them, they should expect the same from us
We lead by example

Ive made mistakes on the field or even with kids
I let them know I made a mistake, will do my best to make sure it doesnt happen again, and let them know Im sorry. Sometimes its in public, sometimes its to the side witht he player 1-1.
It goes to trust, honesty, integrity and modeling what you want to see from them JMO and how I do it
Moving on with legit repentance and forgiveness is important in competitive team sports- each play and day has its own history.

Im not sure in this day and age kids want to play hard for someone that even when faced with a glaring mistake, cant admit he has ever errored and wont apologize for anything ever- Those kind of people I can never work with and cover it in my coaching interview.
Guys that never admit when they are wrong are simply impossible to deal with Ive found.

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


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Patriot
(@patriot)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 569
April 18, 2013 12:02 pm  

When you are a coach and wrong, it's always right to apologize

I'm not saying this coach is wrong by any stretch. We would have handled this proactively with our parent contract and mandatory parent meeting at first practice.
It sounds like he had the right intentions.
But when we are wrong and we apologize it shows others we are honest and truthful
We expect them to own up to their mistakes and not gloss over them, they should expect the same from us
We lead by example

Ive made mistakes on the field or even with kids
I let them know I made a mistake, will do my best to make sure it doesnt happen again, and let them know Im sorry. Sometimes its in public, sometimes its to the side witht he player 1-1.
It goes to trust, honesty, integrity and modeling what you want to see from them JMO and how I do it
Moving on with legit repentance and forgiveness is important in competitive team sports- each play and day has its own history.

Im not sure in this day and age kids want to play hard for someone that even when faced with a glaring mistake, cant admit he has ever errored and wont apologize for anything ever- Those kind of people I can never work with and cover it in my coaching interview.
Guys that never admit when they are wrong are simply impossible to deal with Ive found.

I have apologized to parents and players on numerous occasions when I feel I am wrong.

Instances:

I called a play that we worked on and it resulted in an INT. QB threw where we coached him too, but the defensive player reacted differently than I thought and made a nice play. MY fault, I thought it would be open he tried to make it work. That's on me.

I didn't get a kid in for enough plays in one game. Game got tight and I didn't rotate him early vs a tough opponent. That's on me. I need to find time throughout the game to get kid in so it doesn't become a force late. I appologized like I should. There is no minimum play rule, but I promised you get in the game if you make it to practice and I feel I didn't get him enough. He started the next game.


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davecisar
(@davecisar)
Diamond
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 7679
April 18, 2013 12:06 pm  

I have apologized to parents and players on numerous occasions when I feel I am wrong.

Instances:

I called a play that we worked on and it resulted in an INT. QB threw where we coached him too, but the defensive player reacted differently than I thought and made a nice play. MY fault, I thought it would be open he tried to make it work. That's on me.

I didn't get a kid in for enough plays in one game. Game got tight and I didn't rotate him early vs a tough opponent. That's on me. I need to find time throughout the game to get kid in so it doesn't become a force late. I appologized like I should. There is no minimum play rule, but I promised you get in the game if you make it to practice and I feel I didn't get him enough. He started the next game.

Joe,

Amen to both, have made the VERY SAME mistake and did the very same thing as you
When I made the same mistake as you did- I first apologized to the QB and then let the team know at halftime that the INt was my fault while smiling at the QB and giving him a knuckle bump and asking him if he was ok with that? Said the Int would be added to MY stats, not his  😉 Flushed- moved on and now with a QB who will kill himself for the team and you.
Same deal on the playing time- 1 kid got his plays but it was really tight and I didnt sub him the way we should have as was written in the plan- same as you, apologized to him AND his parents- he started the following week.

No living man is perfect- we all make mistakes
The kids need to see how mistakes are owned, repented for, asked for forgiveness and turned away from

It shows we are real and honest with ourselves and them. we expect the same from them dont we? Or do we live by a different standard?

When we dont play well I always apologize to the team as well- on me.

When I was in business I rarely had to fire anyone
When I did it was almost always because they wouldnt admit they made a mistake- owned it etc, nearly impossible to work effectively with people like that. Impossible to have an honest good faith conversation with them.
Not admitting error and not apologizing doesnt show strength- it shows deceit and dishonesty. What a nightmare to have to be married to someone like that, could you imagine  😮

I love John Wayne, but not sure Marion (his real name) got this one right.
They shouldnt have shot the 'Green Berets" in North Carolina either- I dont think there are pine trees in Vietnam  😀

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


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DL
 DL
(@daniel-lyons)
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Joined: 9 years ago
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April 18, 2013 1:04 pm  

If I wanted to, I could probably have close to 35 kids this season. As it stands I have 25. I would love to go to 35 and 2 platoon, but I wonder if parents would go crazy not seeing Jr. on offense and/or defense.

I think 2 platooning is awesome because you could really get good at both sides of the ball and you would not succumb to fatigue. Not to mention that you could tailor some pretty cool practices and situations. Just imagine doing a PUP or Inside session with dedicated O/D players. How sharp that would be. Or doing skelly or situational (3rd and long, 4th and short, goaline, etc). We could work on tendacies of the other teams and they could see quality, dedicated kids.  I just wonder if it works with kids/families.

Patriot,

Go 25 and 2 platoon.    I did it one year - my first year coaching and I was 21.    I did defense.

I would do a lot of things different now then I did then and know much more.  But even with my limited experience, having those kids just play defense was a tremendous advantage.  I didn't have close to the best 11 either, I had maybe 3 of best 11 on defense. 

What we lost on athletic ability by going 2 ways was made up for in fundamentals, reps and being in right place and right time.  Plus, our guys never got tired.  This was unlimited ball at a public middle school with rules same as high school.     

Some games we didn't give up a first down.  Only 1 team scored on us all year and that was only 6 pts.  I played a 5-2 (because that was my h.s. D and it was all I knew). 

My safeties got so many reps and had me standing behind them all practice (we scrimmaged a lot that year O vs. D) that from a 10 yard depth they could consistently make their reads so quickly that they could make plays near the LOS and be awesome in pass coverage in a zone.  It was like playing a 5-4 and nobody could pass against us or break a long run.     

This despite a less then stellar offense.  I should also add that caveat that we practiced 5x a week M - F (as did everybody). 

I say at 7th grade and above - I would like to 2 platoon again.  It wouldn't even be a question for me at high school level.

Take 25 - play everybody - and get the kids in on the other side of the ball when/if the game is in hand.   

It'll probably happen more then you think if you have a good staff.  Just don't overload one side of the ball.       

For 3 kids it probably sucked, because 1 kid on defense would have been awesome on offense.  And 4 of the offensive players would have been absolute studs on defense, 1 in particular would have been scary.   

Kid wasn't best athlete in league, but he had to have been the hardest hitter and a game changer.  We taught everybody tackling and that kid just flat laid people out in drills.  He was a killer, never coached a harder hitter then him.    He played TE for us and had great hands.    Our passing game wasn't very good unfortunately and he caught few balls. 

Neither they nor the parents ever complained though.  They were good with the system. 

I would like to 2 platoon again.  Depends on the staff though and a little bit on depth of talent, but not as much as you would think.  Staff would have to be on same page across board. 

 


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lost episodes
(@ltlacy)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 839
April 28, 2013 10:24 am  

Don't appologize. If your ORG does not back you, find and ORG that knows WTF its doing.

TRUE


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