Did my son's coach cross a line?

Hi - I'm new to forum.  As a parent, I know I am biased, so I would love any advice on how to handle a situation with my son and his HS coach.  I feel that this coach crossed the line, but again, I would love any input.

 

Just a bit of background - my son is 15 and will be a sophomore this year.  He has played comp ball since he was 9 and has caught most of those years.  He is a good catcher, but still has a way to go in his development be a really good catcher.

 

Last year he tried and made the HS team as a freshman.  Midway through the season they brought him up to catch JV.  He finished the season as the JV catcher.

 

Summer ball he was asked to be the varsity catcher as the actual varsity catcher was playing for a showcase team.  My son is nowhere near as talented as the varsity catcher - just to be clear.  The assistant head coach (who is also the catching coach) was the head coach for summer ball.  The coach touted summer ball as developmental and the practices would be the games.  Sounds great so far.  The first few games, my son is the only one not in the lineup.  OK - not going to complain - maybe there is a good explanation. 

 

About 5 games in the coach tells my son in front of the team that he won't hit unless he plays better.  This comes out of nowhere.  Hasn't taken my son aside to tell him where he needs to improve and my son hadn't been playing poorly (at least in my eyes).   The next game, he plays great, but doesn’t get into the lineup. 

 

A couple games later, my son finds out everyone but him is going to a local college team camp.  They invited the JV prep catcher instead.  He is devastated and plays poorly in the next game.  Coach brings the team together and tells them the team lost due to the catcher and he has a weak arm.  He pulls him for the next game and then when they get 10 runned with another catcher playing, he still calls out my son and says we have a hole at catching and you better watch your back because someone else wants his job.

 

The last part of the season, when the team would be in the dugout, the pitcher would ask who was catching.  Again, in front of the team, he would say, "so and so is but he better catch the ball or I'm pulling him".  He would tell another fill-in catcher to be ready because my son couldn't catch (again - in front of the team).  This happened multiple times.

 

He would walk by the plate and tell my son that if he didn't catch well, he would get pulled.  There was this constant threat of getting pulled - but no other player had this threat against them every game.   No other player had to earn a spot in the lineup through their play.  No other player was criticized after a loss, or in the dugout.   It felt like he just wanted to be cruel to my son. 

 

We want to go to the head coach and discuss this.  Am I being an overprotective parent?  Again, any advice would be appreciated.

Original Post

Your son was the only one not in the lineup. Do they only have ten players?

How does he play great in the next game without getting in the lineup?

Has anyone other than your son told you the coach told him he needed to hit better to play in front of the team? 

He doesn't get invited to a camp then he gets in the lineup and plays poorly?

Your son's skills gets blamed for the team losing by ten runs in a game he didn't play?

Does your son have trouble receiving pitches? 

I was a starting pitcher from LL through high school. I never asked who is my starting catcher. I only asked who will warm me up.

No one else had to earn their starting spot?

These are my questions. I have to admit your post is a little beyond comprehension. It's also a little beyond believable. I had some real in your face coaches back in the day when it was acceptable. I never saw anything like this. This kind of behavior would get a coach fired today. Are you sure your son isn't underperforming and making up stories?

If these things are actually occurring document them. Then go past to the coach to the AD and principal. Accuse the coach of emotional abuse and humiliation.

I believe somehow truth and reality aren't meeting at the same intersection.

Thank you for the replies.  For some reason, if I click on reply, it Likes the post, so I'll give additional details here:

1.  It does sound unbelievable, which is why I am reaching out here to make sure I make the right call on how to move forward.  There is always more to the story - especially the coaches side, but I can only go off what I know from my son and other players on the team.

2.  I have not personally heard the coach interact with my son.  Other players have corroborated his story, so I don't believe my son is lying. 

3.  I have been to every game he has caught and keep track of passed balls/wild pitches/catching errors to make sure he is accountable for his own play.  He needs improvement like all players his age.  I would agree that the coach believes he is under-performing, but the verbal abuse/humiliation is my issue.  

I think there is some confusing verbage in the opening post but I think I get it...  for example... "plays great but doesn't get in the lineup".  I believe OP is saying they put him in defensively but not in the hitting lineup (sometimes, summer ball is run loosely to where this is not uncommon).

BJE, first, welcome to the site.  I think I can relate to much of what you and son (and coach) are going through.  I do have some of the same questions as others, particularly regarding how much of this you are relying on your son telling you and how much you have actually heard/observed first hand.

I am a HS coach and we just finished our summer program.  It is much as you described (games, no practices, developmental).  Also, many of our key players are off playing more competitive travel ball somewhere.  And, being summer, having a steady roster is non-existent.  Sometimes, we have to pull up guys who are not ready to play against V competition yet.  Sometimes the opponent is full of V players and sometimes not.  We had a very similar situation with our catching position, where there is a significant drop in talent level between the usual V catcher(s) and who we often had with us for summer.  They had a very difficult time keeping runners from taking bases at will and sometimes had difficulty handling better pitchers than they were used to.  It can be a glaring weak spot and really effect the quality of the games.  That said, it is no fault of the young player being put in that position.   Still, frustrating for all involved.  Sounds like this coach may not have handled it well at all but take into consideration that some of this may be interpretation/ what your son is hearing vs not hearing.  Without being there, I have no idea what the coach' motivation is for handling it this way but he may just be very frustrated.   This, too, is common... just finished regular season with varsity players and now coaching games against some of the same teams with several players who are definitely not varsity players.

I don't know that he is crossing the line or doing anything that would be worthy of talking to the HC.  I suppose it depends somewhat on what, if anything, was promised with regards to the summer program.  Most of the freshmen (even a few incoming freshmen) consider it an honor and great opportunity, even if they get minimal PT.  We make a strong effort to get every kid some defensive innings and some AB's in each game.  Some programs still bring 15 - 20 kids and many don't see the field.  I suspect that your son is very aware of where his shortcomings are.  I would just turn all focus toward getting better and coming back and proving himself to all the coaches that he can be a player that will help them going forward.

 It is not uncommon for players to get called out by their coaches.  On the surface, it sure seems like poor tactics or poor character by this particular coach in this particular scenario but a player must be able to handle being called out directly and turn it into fuel instead of letting it stand in the way of his goals.

Does the HS head coach have any interaction with the summer team at all?  Does your son communicate with him?   Your summer ball sounds exactly like ours did, which is why my son never played.  Coach unqualified to coach, or at least unqualified to deal with kids on his own, lack of instruction, etc, etc, etc.   I can name 3 teams where my son would have at least considered playing summer ball if he attended that school....only 3.  The others are just glorified rec ball in most cases.  My suggestion, maybe have your son communicate with the HS coach and then look for a different team for next summer as tryouts for 2018 are happening now. 

My take on reading through the original post was similar to CabbageDad's. I think "not getting in the lineup" means catching, but not hitting. Please correct us if we are wrong. 

Has your son tried to talk to the summer ball coach about these issues? Not in a confrontational manner, but approaching it as a way to learn where his specific weaknesses are and where he needs to improve. If it were my son, I would encourage him (not me) to have that initial conversation with the summer ball coach. 

My son has a high school coach that doesn't like him as a player much. He grew up around this coach and our families have always been friendly, so there is some history there. Sometimes, as a parent, it can seem that his treatment is a little unfair. However, it's a great lesson that life isn't always fair and you have to keep working hard and doing the things you can to improve. It can be a great motivator when looked at correctly. It's our job as parents to help our kids learn how to overcome these types of situations and continue to work toward what they want. He will earn way more respect from that coach by having the difficult conversation and making the improvement suggested than going above the coach's head. 

Welcome to the site and good luck to you and your son!

I'm sure many will find offense to this but one approach is to ask the coach if he does lessons on the side.  It's a good way to begin a conversation with him and develop a relationship.  I never asked my son's coaches a single question other than what time should I be there to cook at the concession stand.  It's a totally different relationship though when it comes to the coaches we hire for lessons.

Whether or not he offers private lessons, it will demonstrate your son's desire to improve and changes the dynamic between he and his coach.  

Jim T. posted:

I'm sure many will find offense to this but one approach is to ask the coach if he does lessons on the side.  It's a good way to begin a conversation with him and develop a relationship.  I never asked my son's coaches a single question other than what time should I be there to cook at the concession stand.  It's a totally different relationship though when it comes to the coaches we hire for lessons.

Whether or not he offers private lessons, it will demonstrate your son's desire to improve and changes the dynamic between he and his coach.  

Huh.  I really don't like the ki$$ a$$ element but that's actually not a bad idea.  That coach is a catching coach and the best resource for skill improvement may be staring him in the face (yelling at him ).

If he (the coach) takes any true pride in his ability to coach, he should accept the player's request with pleasure.  If the player is willing to commit and put in the work, he could benefit a ton, and probably for little or no $$.

Shoveit4Ks posted:

If the story is what it is.....I'd like to believe he sees a lot of potential in your son and somehow thinks all of this berating will drive him to improve. Not a strategy that impresses me btw. Otherwise, it sounds like this guy is a d*$# with ears. 

Shove may be onto something here. My son's HS baseball coach was a football guy, and he brought a football mentality to the diamond. I didn't know about most of what went on until after son graduated, but this guy rode him hard. I think that the coach started out with the idea that my son had talent, but that he was soft, and he was really going to push the kid to find out for sure. My son accepted the challenge and never lost his cool or complained about the "unfair" treatment. But, he definitely played with a chip on his shoulder, and in many ways that brought out his best. It probably took 2 years to earn the coach's respect. During senior year, son finally felt he had earned the right to stand up for himself (without being disrespectful).

Many coaches are toughest on the kids who they think have the most potential. I'm not a big fan of this particular strategy either, but I will say that son's opinion of the HS coach has really improved now that some time has passed.

MidAtlanticDad posted:
Shoveit4Ks posted:

If the story is what it is.....I'd like to believe he sees a lot of potential in your son and somehow thinks all of this berating will drive him to improve. Not a strategy that impresses me btw. Otherwise, it sounds like this guy is a d*$# with ears. 

Shove may be onto something here. My son's HS baseball coach was a football guy, and he brought a football mentality to the diamond. I didn't know about most of what went on until after son graduated, but this guy road him hard. I think that the coach started out with the idea that my son had talent, but that he was soft, and he was really going to push the kid to find out for sure. My son accepted the challenge and never lost his cool or complained about the "unfair" treatment. But, he definitely played with a chip on his shoulder, and in many ways that brought out his best. It probably took 2 years to earn the coach's respect. During senior year, son finally felt he had earned the right to stand up for himself (without being disrespectful).

Many coaches are toughest on the kids who they think have the most potential. I'm not a big fan of this particular strategy either, but I will say that son's opinion of the HS coach has really improved now that some time has passed.

Yeah, we had a guy step in as JV coach a few years ago... long time old-school FB coach but also used to be a baseball guy.  Totally brought the FB coaching environment, yelled at the kids individually and as a group pretty much the entire practice every day.  From the V field, we could here it clear as day.  There was no hiding anything from the parents (or the neighbors three blocks down, for that matter).  The guy knew his stuff.  Lot's of parents weren't used to this approach and didn't like it.  The players were split.  Half absolutely loved him and half absolutely did not.   He reached some kids that hadn't responded to other approaches prior.

Our HS coaches do this regularly - they think that is going to motivate  a HS player.  Clip board in hand, making the players run, while screaming at them about how horrible they are.  The last scream fest was when we had four failed bunts in a game.  Each lap the player was called out by name about how they sucked at bunting and how that cost the team a run. Each lap is a new insult.  Instead of motivating and working on bunting they ran while being humiliated and demoralized.

Jim T. posted:

I'm sure many will find offense to this but one approach is to ask the coach if he does lessons on the side.  It's a good way to begin a conversation with him and develop a relationship.  I never asked my son's coaches a single question other than what time should I be there to cook at the concession stand.  It's a totally different relationship though when it comes to the coaches we hire for lessons.

Whether or not he offers private lessons, it will demonstrate your son's desire to improve and changes the dynamic between he and his coach.  

Yeah, nothing helps getting game time like the $100 handshake

BJE ... Would you prefer my son's high school coach?  Other than when players were placed on teams after tryouts they were never told where they stood in the process. The coach did glare at players a lot. The only way a player knew where he stood was to be in the varsity lineup. Players need to learn how to read coaches and roll with the BS.

SanDiegoRealist posted:
Jim T. posted:

I'm sure many will find offense to this but one approach is to ask the coach if he does lessons on the side.  It's a good way to begin a conversation with him and develop a relationship.  I never asked my son's coaches a single question other than what time should I be there to cook at the concession stand.  It's a totally different relationship though when it comes to the coaches we hire for lessons.

Whether or not he offers private lessons, it will demonstrate your son's desire to improve and changes the dynamic between he and his coach.  

Yeah, nothing helps getting game time like the $100 handshake

For $100 it better be a table with a view!

"I'm sure many will find offense to this but one approach is to ask the coach if he does lessons on the side.  It's a good way to begin a conversation with him and develop a relationship.  I never asked my son's coaches a single question other than what time should I be there to cook at the concession stand.  It's a totally different relationship though when it comes to the coaches we hire for lessons.

Whether or not he offers private lessons, it will demonstrate your son's desire to improve and changes the dynamic between he and his coach.  "

 

Yeah, I would not agree with that action plan for several reasons.  1. Nothing worse then other parents thinking you are buying your son playing time. 2.  Lets the coach think he's getting through to your son in a not so acceptable manner.  3. Its likely the coach doesn't know squat about catching and will damage your son's development.  Note, there are few college coaches, let alone HS JV coaches that really know how to coach "up" catchers. 4. He shouldn't waste his time with a guy who apparently isn't coaching him to begin with, he should find someone that knows what they are doing and has an interest in helping your son....whether paid or not. 

To OP you will need to bite the bullet and find a way for your son to get better in spite of the coach.  The truly great players don't get down over stuff like this, instead they use it to get better.  

You should approach the coach to try to get more to this story.  I had a player who was struggling all season.  He made some mistakes in the field and hit very poorly, striking out almost every at bat.  But he had a strong arm, speed, and was one of the hardest hitters on the team.  One game I told him to bunt his next AB and he didn't do it.  Didn't even try.  Of course he ended up striking out again and I didn't even want to look at him the rest of the season.  

CollegeParentNoMore posted:

"I'm sure many will find offense to this but one approach is to ask the coach if he does lessons on the side.  It's a good way to begin a conversation with him and develop a relationship.  I never asked my son's coaches a single question other than what time should I be there to cook at the concession stand.  It's a totally different relationship though when it comes to the coaches we hire for lessons.

Whether or not he offers private lessons, it will demonstrate your son's desire to improve and changes the dynamic between he and his coach.  "

 

Yeah, I would not agree with that action plan for several reasons.  1. Nothing worse then other parents thinking you are buying your son playing time. 2.  Lets the coach think he's getting through to your son in a not so acceptable manner.  3. Its likely the coach doesn't know squat about catching and will damage your son's development.  Note, there are few college coaches, let alone HS JV coaches that really know how to coach "up" catchers. 4. He shouldn't waste his time with a guy who apparently isn't coaching him to begin with, he should find someone that knows what they are doing and has an interest in helping your son....whether paid or not. 

To OP you will need to bite the bullet and find a way for your son to get better in spite of the coach.  The truly great players don't get down over stuff like this, instead they use it to get better.  

I can agree with number 3.  Even a coach who knows catching may not be an effective coach.  Last year, my son played on a team that had a catcher as the head coach.  Was excited since my son was a catcher and thought he'd learn a lot.  He turned out to be a hot head and not a very effective coach or teacher.  He was especially hard on my son when he made mistakes.  My son became hesitant and tightened up in games, afraid to make mistakes.  Of course, that led to mistakes, so I totally understand where BJE is coming from when he mentioned his son's play was effected by the coach's decisions.  Our problem was solved when this coach got himself into trouble and someone else had to step in.  Was a much improved player the remainder of the year.  This gave my son the confidence to believe more in himself.

Hi BJE - welcome to the site. Like most forums you get an interesting mix of context in replies. I hope you are able to find some helpful informaiton.

Here are some thoughts:

In all the review of this situation take out your assessment of your sons ability, game performance and playing time.  As a parent our assessment in these areas is just not relevant.  

This leaves the coaches management of the players and specifically your son.  The demeaning of your son in front of the team is not ok but could be part of this coaches style.  Generally there is a team parent that is a bit of the lead and if you can have a confidential conversation to get some perspective I would recommend starting there.

Most of our players will be told before they are 38 that they are done playing competitive ball.  This is the opportunity to assist your son in learning how to advocate for himself, learn and deal with difficult authority.  One perspective is to have your son have a conversation with the coach about his personal game.  Something like, I hear you say these things and I want to improve my game can you help me focus on the most important things I can do between now and ....  

Lastly, coaches need to be accountable and while I do believe that parents should not speak to coaches about their players game there is a point to assist but until your player goes to the coach with a thoughtful and focused appeal as a parent a great focus is on your player and supporting him.

Good luck! It's a beautiful and tough game.  My son is only a couple years ahead but I am so thankful he loves the game as it has provided amazing opportunities to parent and teach him about becoming a great human.

 

 

Who really knows? I do know this. The players coaches see potential in they will push. The players coaches feel are not working hard enough, motivated enough, tough enough, focused enough, who they see true potential in will spend energy on those players. We can argue on how that energy should be spent.

But regardless what does a player do when they "feel" they are the subject of negative energy? What does a player do when they "feel" they are being singled out in a negative way? Do they fall into the trap of becoming negative themselves? Do they simply dry up and wilt under the "pressure?" Or do they take it as a challenge and work even harder? Do they go out to prove the coach is wrong about them? Or maybe they will end up proving that the coach is right about them?

There are numerous scenarios that play out in these type of situations. The player feels he is being singled out. Other players who are unhappy with their situation feed into this and convince the player he is being screwed. The player tells Mom and Dad and they feed into this. The player becomes negative the parents become negative. The player is convinced he is being targeted and so do the parents. The player ends up with a miserable experience and of course so do the parents. Or the player takes this as a challenge to prove himself. He works even harder. He decides he is not going to fail. He takes each negative comment as a personal challenge. He is determined to overcome and succeed. The parents feed into this mentality and encourage the player to keep on pushing.

There were times I called out players in front of the team. I never called out a scrub in front of the team. I never called out a scrub period. What's the point of doing that? Why would you bring any negative energy to the table and waste any energy on a player you saw no potential in? Wouldn't it make more sense to spend your energy on the players you felt needed it in order to reach their potential you actually believed they had?

Again we can argue about how to motivate. How you shouldn't motivate. We can argue about tactics and ways you should and shouldn't push players. But who pushes players buttons that are not in your mind worth pushing? OP I would focus on what my son was doing to get better. I would focus on him blocking everything. Throwing better. Receiving better. Hitting better. Working harder than anyone else. I would be so good the coach would look like a clown for ever saying anything negative about me. It's not good enough to say he does things as good as the other kids. Maybe the coach expects more out of your son and when he doesn't get it he isn't shy about saying it?

I don' t know. What is your son going to do about it? Come home and lay his head on your shoulder and tell you how the coach is picking on him? Or is he going to go to work and shove it in the coaches face? And then he can one day thank this coach for motivating him to become the player he has become. He can still think the coach is a total piece of garbage. That's fine. He might be. But what has that got to do with your son's desire to be the best he can be? Choices OP. Your son has choices. And so do you.

Here is the deal imo. You can't control the coach. Who the coach is. How he decides to coach. What do you control? Well then control it. Look the coach in the eye with sweat pouring off your face and a dirty uniform and when he lays into the team stare him right in the eye. Know you put in the work. Know you just put all you had into it. Know that you are working as hard as you possibly can and let him know that no matter what he says, no matter what he does, you will not break me. I will not go away. I will not wilt. I will not fade. I will not be denied. I AINT GOIN NOWHERE. 

I don't know about this coach. He might be a total clown who enjoys picking on players. And? That has what do with your son's desire to be the absolute best player he can possibly be? Unless he becomes the excuse your looking for. Instead of seeing this as a reason to fail use it as one of the reason you will refuse to fail. Good Luck

My son is the same age, and I understood your story perfectly.  At this age the coaches will bat the best 9 and if that means your kid is DH'd, oh well, it happens.  The kid doesn't like it, and doesn't think it is fair, but it's the coaches call.

Calling your kid out in front of team, that is what some coaches do to motivate or to just be a jerk, but nothing your kid can do about it.

I would NEVER ask if he teaches lessons that's a punk little league move and total BS. It comes down to can your kid earn his spot...maybe he can and maybe he can't. 

I'm not saying a rising 10th grader should be as good as a senior but if he's having this much trouble on the HS team what is Travel Ball saying? Does he play for a high level team?  Is he a high level catcher?  Is the HS coach trying to tell him something about his skill at THAT position?

What do you expect the outcome to be of you talking with the coach?  Do you think its going to change his mind?  Do you think he will change his coaching style?  Most likely no to both of these situations.  Will it make you feel better?  Probably, but I think it could have a very negative effect.  Hopefully he is not the type of coach to take the transgressions of the parents out on the kids, but you never know.  Talking to him could do more harm then good. 

If it were my son, I would suggest he approach the coach, outside of the baseball setting.  Tougher to do in the summer, but if it was the school year I would suggest he set an appointment with him during the school day and go talk with him.  Don't be confrontational, but rather inquisitive.  Ask him what he needs to work on to improve his game.  Don't ask what he needs to do to get in the lineup, but rather what he needs to work on.  If they coach provides decent feedback, then make sure your son works 200x harder on those things then the other players around him.  Hopefully the coach will come around, if he does not you still have the satisfaction of knowing you worked harder then anyone else. 

If the coach is not receptive to the discussion, then your pretty much SOL and need to accept the situation, or look at moving on.

CaCO3Girl posted:

My son is the same age, and I understood your story perfectly.  At this age the coaches will bat the best 9 and if that means your kid is DH'd, oh well, it happens.  The kid doesn't like it, and doesn't think it is fair, but it's the coaches call.

Calling your kid out in front of team, that is what some coaches do to motivate or to just be a jerk, but nothing your kid can do about it.

I would NEVER ask if he teaches lessons that's a punk little league move and total BS. It comes down to can your kid earn his spot...maybe he can and maybe he can't. 

I'm not saying a rising 10th grader should be as good as a senior but if he's having this much trouble on the HS team what is Travel Ball saying? Does he play for a high level team?  Is he a high level catcher?  Is the HS coach trying to tell him something about his skill at THAT position?

 

Regarding the bolded...

The OP states that the coach is a varsity HS catching coach.  There is likely a reason the guy is the catching coach.  If it turns out he is, in fact, qualified, why the heck would you not want to include him as a possible resource if you are an aspiring catcher?   I strongly encourage the players in our program to find the best resources to become the best player they can be.  I tell them that this may be private instructors, training facilities, qualified dads or coaches from our own V and JV staff, depending on their specialty.  Myself and some of my other coaches have spent countless hours with players individually outside of our HS practices.  It has paid off for many.  At the end of the day, they know perfectly well that this will not put them in any sort of favor in regards to earning a spot in the lineup.  But the work will sure give them a better chance.  

I really don't understand why this is a punk little league move or total BS.  

Additionally ... it has become very clear over the years, the players that put in the extra work, whether with us or elsewhere, are always the players that ultimately rise to the top.  Often times, that extra work is readily available "close to home".

There is a HUGE difference in a kid who wants to put in extra work and a kid who is paying his current coach to get that work in.  It's slippery slope, and a conflict of interest in my opinion,  and no one in the world could be impartial.  It's not the amount of money, it is that Kid X is paying the coach to see him more.  The coach tweaks things the way HE wants to see them, which isn't always what the paid professionals are teaching, it's unique to this coach.  Kid X then has an advantage over Kid Y who didn't pay the coach.  Kid X gets the nod to go in, or Kid X gets an extra chance because the coach has seen more of what Kid X is capable of rather than Kid Y.  Then again, maybe Kid Y doesn't have the money for extra lessons with the coach, guess he misses his chance to improve, and Lord help us if the HS coach doesn't actually know squat.  This is what I am saying, slippery slope.

Throwing hundreds and or thousands of dollars at the coach over the course of the season in "private" lessons is what is done in 9u-12u. This is what I meant by it being a Little League BS punk move. I've seen in a LOT of times, and I always thought it was wrong and never paid. It isn't the stud that gets time taken away, it's the other fringe kid who didn't pay. 

Holding a kid back after practice to work on some tips is great, especially if you are asking him to do something in a specific way.  Asking a kid to pay for these extra tid bits of info is ethically wrong in my book.  Should kids be seeking out catching instructors, pitching instructors, hitting instructors....etc and working outside of practice YES!  But those are supposedly paid professionals, the high school teacher coach spends WAY more time on the field that he gets paid for but he is paid by the school, he should not get kick backs from individual kids.

CaCO3Girl posted:

There is a HUGE difference in a kid who wants to put in extra work and a kid who is paying his current coach to get that work in.  It's slippery slope, and a conflict of interest in my opinion,  and no one in the world could be impartial.  It's not the amount of money, it is that Kid X is paying the coach to see him more.  The coach tweaks things the way HE wants to see them, which isn't always what the paid professionals are teaching, it's unique to this coach.  Kid X then has an advantage over Kid Y who didn't pay the coach.  Kid X gets the nod to go in, or Kid X gets an extra chance because the coach has seen more of what Kid X is capable of rather than Kid Y.  Then again, maybe Kid Y doesn't have the money for extra lessons with the coach, guess he misses his chance to improve, and Lord help us if the HS coach doesn't actually know squat.  This is what I am saying, slippery slope.

Throwing hundreds and or thousands of dollars at the coach over the course of the season in "private" lessons is what is done in 9u-12u. This is what I meant by it being a Little League BS punk move. I've seen in a LOT of times, and I always thought it was wrong and never paid. It isn't the stud that gets time taken away, it's the other fringe kid who didn't pay. 

Holding a kid back after practice to work on some tips is great, especially if you are asking him to do something in a specific way.  Asking a kid to pay for these extra tid bits of info is ethically wrong in my book.  Should kids be seeking out catching instructors, pitching instructors, hitting instructors....etc and working outside of practice YES!  But those are supposedly paid professionals, the high school teacher coach spends WAY more time on the field that he gets paid for but he is paid by the school, he should not get kick backs from individual kids.

We're talking HS, not 9-12u.  I have never charged a player in our program for extra lessons/work outside of team practice time and I have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours doing so.  I believe most of my colleagues at other schools do the same.    

I take very seriously the responsibility of making sure our program instruction is in line with the latest mainstream teachings of the game.  I follow closely what the "paid professionals" are teaching.  They, too, want to tweak things the way they want.  We put our players in the best position to succeed, not only within our HS program but at the next level if that is what they choose to work toward.  Not having money is a complete non-issue with getting extra help from myself or our other coaches.  This is not the case with those paid professionals you refer to.  What IS an issue is if a player is behind other players and chooses not to work hard to catch up or surpass.  Those are often the ones who also cry about unfair treatment.  We make it very clear that extra help is available... all they have to do is ask and then put in the work.

Also, I realize that some HS coaches will align themselves with travel programs or training facilities and get paid outside of HS season.  While i am aware that this can create a potential conflict of interest or perception of,  even then, I can sympathize with guys who dedicate pretty much every spare minute they have outside of their real jobs for 8-9 months of the year for little or no pay.  If they then have to charge a buck or two to try to recover some of their lost earnings from what amounts to a full time volunteer effort, I am not going to be overly critical.  And, in some instances, I am more than happy to fork over a few bucks to have that kind of guy or gal help my son or daughter get better.

What was proposed above was HIRING the HS coach.  Not asking for pointers after practice.

i understand that even if a HS coach was paid 20k a year they still wouldn't get minimum wage for the hours they put in.

My glitch is not a HS coach aligning with a travel ball team for lessons.  My glitch is his own team, or future team, paying for these lessons.

CaCO3Girl posted:

What was proposed above was HIRING the HS coach.  Not asking for pointers after practice.

i understand that even if a HS coach was paid 20k a year they still wouldn't get minimum wage for the hours they put in.

My glitch is not a HS coach aligning with a travel ball team for lessons.  My glitch is his own team, or future team, paying for these lessons.

Let's be honest, every coach has preferences. Work with anyone who is willing to spend time with you — some will make you better, some will teach you what NOT to do in the future. And there's a different approach — rather than dad offering to pay for lessons, how about kid asking coach if they could ever get together so he could better understand his position and how to do better?

Worked successfully for my kid. We've never paid $$ for lessons but if a cooler full of high quality steak appears on your patio after working with a kid for a few weeks, who will say no?

Add Reply

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×