Monday, June 10, 2013

To Leave or Not to Leave...That is the Players Question

     During our 2013 baseball season, there was a coach who abandoned his team after a couple of
disagreements with the parents.  Granted, no one will ever know the exact reason why this fall out happened, but what is clear, is that the head coach walked out on his team  before the season ended.

     Taking up a coaching position is a very strong commitment that should be thought out thoroughly before taking it.  The older the players, the more competitive, the more problems.  While the thought of bringing a team to the City Championship games can bring excitement and glory, the coaches must know that this comes with a lot of hard work, dedication, and many times, very stressful situations.  Feelings WILL get hurt, and even friendships ruined or lost if the wrong approach is taken.  The coaches not only coach their players, but must constantly be training the parents as to what to expect out of the coaches and the team.  But to abandon a team before the season is over only means one thing: the coach was blindsided by his own pride.

"What About When a Player Leaves a Team?"
     Should we hold the players to the same standards?  Unfortunately, or fortunately, the players may have a little more leeway.  The player, in most cases, does not have the final say...the parents do.  If the parent is pulling the player away because things do not go their way, or because they are not playing the position they want or they are riding the bench too much, then there are other questions to be asked.  What kind of things are not going their way?  Why is the player not playing the position they want? Is someone else better at that position? Is the player more valuable somewhere else?  Why is the player riding the bench?  Do they need more work?  If these questions have to do with the player having room for improvement should the parent pull the player from the team?  Or should they see their commitment
through, and then consider extra training or practices, a different team, or even a different sport for the following season?  And, what if any of the reasons above were personal, for example, if the coach plays everyone on the team because they are relatives and does not play the "non-relative," then is this an excusable reason to pull the player out?  Many people argue that pulling a player out, regardless of the reason, only teaches the player to give up when the tough gets going.  But in real life, as adults, we quit things that do not work for us all the time.  We quit a job that we are miserable in, we quit relationships that hurt us, we quit hobbies when they become boring.  It is perfectly acceptable to quit things that are making us unhappy or do not meet our expectations.  The parent should also have the right to pull his son or daughter from a team when they feel it is in the child's best interest.  The parents are the best judge of that, regardless of the reason, situation, or circumstance.  The player, unlike the coach who walks out on a team, is a child who is developing and learning social skills.  As a parent, we must make sure that the environments our children are in are beneficial to our children that will teach and not tear down.  Something that only the parent knows where the child is at, maturity wise, and should act accordingly.  Tough call?  You betcha!
"To Coach, or Not to Coach?"
     Going back to the coaches.  Does anyone have an idea as to how much coaches earn these days?  I do.  They earn about $0 a year.  And in return, they invest their time, knowledge, sweat, money, and heart into the community, by holding practices, fundraisers, and competing in league games and tournaments.  They deal with parents who are aggressive, submissive, those who are never there for their own children, or those who are all up in the coaches business all the time.  They handle situations with parents who are addicted to work or addicted to alcohol.  They deal with parents who are educated and those who lack a little tact.  They have to know how to cool people down, and when to speak up for their team.  The coaching staff not only holds the position of coaching, but also managing, complaints department, customer service, training, bookkeeping, message service, and information centers.  They are the heroes in wins, and the zeros in losses.  Coaches from all levels deserve more praise and acknowledgement because they are the ones that step up to the plate and spend their time with yours and my children when we are sitting comfortably on our lawn chairs, in the shade, criticizing every move they make.  But let's face it,  we would not do it even if we got paid.  How do I know that?  Because we would be coaching already.  To coach is an act of giving of one act of love.

     To all of my children's coaches out there, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.  This includes my husband who not only coaches, but then deals with me afterwards.