Kicking butt and taking names - is my kid's coach a jerk?
November 30, 2009 6:50 PM Subscribe
Help this mom understand the difference, in coaching youth sports, between being competitive and being an asshole.
posted by Sweetie Darling to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (23 answers total)
The littlest Darling is turning nine on Wednesday and playing basketball in a U10 rec league at the Y. This is his fourth year at the Y and his second year in U10, but it's our first experience with a pair of coaches whose style really rubs me the wrong way.
Being neither a dude nor particularly competitive, I'd appreciate some perspective from those of you who have been through this before - so I can figure out if I should suck it up or request a new team placement, stat.
Both coaches yell, a lot - pretty much constantly through the whole practice. Practices are for 90 minutes, rather than the 60 suggested by the Y. The pace seems frenzied to me, and they blow their whistles constantly, and there's a lot of "No, no, no - didn't you hear what I just said?" The boys don't look like they're having much fun. I'm certainly not having fun watching.
I had a brief conversation with another mom last week, who said that the main coach also coaches two other teams. She said, "Coaching basketball is his thing, and he's kind of obsessed with winning." The guy isn't abusive towards the boys, but he's very tough - "like the Army, I guess," in the words of my son.
The last two coaches he had ran (what I thought were) disciplined and active practices, but they focused on teaching the boys skills and encouraging sportsmanship. They took a much more positive (dare I say nurturing?) approach.
The way I see it, my son's got the rest of his life to be yelled at by some jerk. For now, he's nine and it's the Y, for goodness' sake, and I'm paying (not a huge amount, but still), so do I go with my gut and ask that he be reassigned? Or am I overreacting/projecting? I'm still feeling my way through this boy parenting and team sports thing.
What characteristics do good coaches have? And what defines a bad coach? How much focus on competition and winning is appropriate for third graders?
Thanks in advance for the advice, and apologies for the tome.