College coach problems

Hi everyone, I used to browse this forum when my son was looking at colleges.  I never posted, but found a wealth of good information here which I was always grateful for.  But now I need some advice. My son wound up at a competitive D3 school.  He’s a RHP in his sophomore year, but still has 4 years of eligibility.  Last year he missed the whole season due to a torn UCL.  His arm is now healthy and he was able to play this summer in a tough college league and had a good season.  He is in the second week of school and fall ball practice.  It’s not going well.  He’s pitching well, his arm is strong, but last night he told us the coach is sucking the fun out of the game for him (and many of the other players). He said he is rude to him, won’t  watch his bullpens (walks away), won’t say hi to him when he passes him on campus.  And then last Saturday, my son was catching for another pitcher - he threw a wild one, my son missed it, and coach said you’re done for the day, get out of here.” And not in a pleasant way.  It’s apparently causing him a lot of anxiety (he even choked up talking to us... I haven’t seen him cry since he was 10).  I’m torn between empathizing with him and telling him to suck it up.  I should add... when we were going on campus tours, I walked away from meeting this guy thinking “he’s a jerk.”  He has zero personality and was actually rude.  Other parents have told me they feel the same way about him.  My son loved the school though, so despite our reservations, he selected it.  And I naively had visions of this coach changing... taking him under his wing and being a mentor to him both on and off the field.  That’s definitely not happening.  What advice do I give him?  My greatest fear is that he’ll have regrets if he quits.  He has lived for baseball since he was 5.  I told him to give it a year and then decide.  I’m not sure he’ll last that long though. Attachment.png

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I'd look into transferring to a JUCO, playing there a year or two and then move on to another 4 year

My sympathies to your son's situation.  Please don't beat yourself up re this.  Ultimately it was your son's decision to go there.

The coach isn't going to change.  Either your kid sticks it out or transfers, but generally when people show you their true colors, they don't change their personalities.

Going to get into some psych here, but is your son in a roundabout way asking you if its ok to walk away from the program?  If so you need to let him know that its his decision and you support him either way.  Kids don't always ask but by letting you know he is having a hard time he maybe feeling you out to make sure you are going to be on his side if he leaves the team.

The above said, I ran track in college at a competitive school.  The coach was a little old fashion and at times would be abrupt, distance and seem like he was ignoring you.  My sr year I went to him with a problem with a class scheduling problem (he asked us to do this) that may cause me to drop below the required 12 credits needed in season.  His answer to me, "figure it out its your problem" and he walked away.  This really pi$$ed me off.  I called one of the ACs that I was close with and let him know I was going to quit the next day.  He talked me off the ledge and reminded me that the HC could be a little bit of an A.. and that I need to take 48 hours before making my decision.  In the end it was good advice.  I guess what I am getting at is this...Is there an AC that your son can talk to?  It maybe that he is reading too much into things and that he is ok.  The AC could maybe able give him some perspective.

Sorry to hear. As parent that ticks me off beyond words. However, I agree with Joe, it is your son to decide leaving school he clearly likes for baseball. What he decides I am sure you will give him the necessary support. I think the baseball universe requires at least 20 of these SOB coaches for every great one to keep it in balance.

Your son seems to be at his breaking point.  If he went to the school for BASEBALL first  and everything else second, I would let him\encourage him to transfer to a JUCO at the semester break.   No reason to stay and play for that coach.  None.  

Sorry to hear. This is a tough one. Does your son like the school and is he making progress towards his degree? Remember, that's the goal here. Transferring to another school can be difficult. Loss of credits, not on the coaches proffered list and another year older with less experience.

Does he have other coaches interested? Is there a good JUCO he can get in to?

I would suggest you continue to reach out here on this site and continue to give more information. Also, I would encourage you tell your son to continue to work hard, don't take the coaches comments personal. Stay focused on baseball.  He might be able to get past this, but if not, he will be in good baseball shape for the next opportunity.

 

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful replies.  I passed your advice on to my son.  His dad and I are still reeling from hearing this but we’re trying really hard not to let our feelings cloud the advice we give him (I want to say “please stay and play!”).  He is on track towards his degree and loves the school otherwise.  He just told me he doesn’t want to transfer because he feels so settled there.  So if he decides to quit the team, it sounds like his baseball career will be over.  I Hate to even think about that, but it’s his choice.  I’m hoping he at least sticks it out for the year and then decides. 

joes87 posted:

Going to get into some psych here, but is your son in a roundabout way asking you if its ok to walk away from the program?  If so you need to let him know that its his decision and you support him either way.  Kids don't always ask but by letting you know he is having a hard time he maybe feeling you out to make sure you are going to be on his side if he leaves the team.

The above said, I ran track in college at a competitive school.  The coach was a little old fashion and at times would be abrupt, distance and seem like he was ignoring you.  My sr year I went to him with a problem with a class scheduling problem (he asked us to do this) that may cause me to drop below the required 12 credits needed in season.  His answer to me, "figure it out its your problem" and he walked away.  This really pi$$ed me off.  I called one of the ACs that I was close with and let him know I was going to quit the next day.  He talked me off the ledge and reminded me that the HC could be a little bit of an A.. and that I need to take 48 hours before making my decision.  In the end it was good advice.  I guess what I am getting at is this...Is there an AC that your son can talk to?  It maybe that he is reading too much into things and that he is ok.  The AC could maybe able give him some perspective.

Your story is awful!! I can’t believe how cold these coaches can be.  I’m all for being tough on them and teaching them responsibility, but to be that rude is uncalled for.  I’m glad you found someone to talk to - hopefully my son will as well.  

First, is playing baseball at this college or their academics more important in this situation? It’s how he decides if he transfers or not. If it’s a high academic you stay. If it’s Timbuktu U transferring is an option. 

Everything in his life isn’t going to be rosy. I got my dream job out of college. Consider it like a high academic college. But I detested my boss. He wasn’t a manager. He was an authoritative boss living three decades in the past. When I started an MBA at night he told me not to get smart and quit on him. 

I kept the job long enough to use my established experience and the reputation of having worked there to eventually find a better job. But I stuck it out until it was the right time to leave. 

When a person quits and runs it gets easier to do the next time. This may be the first mentally tough test of his young adult life. The situation may not change. But your son may change into maturing to deal with it. 

What happens if your son transfers and the next coach doesn’t turn out to be a nice guy? 

As a final note, after my son’s redshirt soph year the coach left. The new coach didn’t respect what my son was trying to accomplish academically. He made it tough on my son. He mocked him. After being a starter he didn’t start the first two games the following season. My son never spoke of quitting. But he did call me ticked off a few times to let off steam. He did stay mentally prepared, delivered in Sunday’s game and started the rest of the season.

I think your son will figure it out all by himself. A little background - My son went to Notre Dame as an architect major and played his first year of Fall ball. Not sure if you know Aaron Heilman but he was the big pitcher for them at the time. Aaron loved my son and told coach to keep him on the team as his bullpen guy. Coach told my son he would never get game time but he would be on the team as long as he switched his major (because architects spend a year in Italy). My son thanked him but stayed in the architect program and is very successful today. It broke my heart but it was the right decision. 

I am a college coach and I think a pretty compassionate one. Sometimes that gets in the way of making a correct decision, but that's OK with me. I know your guy is in Fall ball but is he going to be rostered in the spring? If yes since he loves the school then just stick it out and keep his head down, love his teammates and things will work out. As in life you will come across every possible personality trait among coaches.  So if he's a hard ass it's a non issue and your guy will deal with it.  

Since he was injured last year, he hasn't even gone through a full season as an active player.  For that reason alone, I would stick it out for the year.  Was he rough on your son last year?  If not, maybe this is his way of trying to motivate your son.  Why would a head coach watch a bullpen session? Typically, as I understand it and have been told, a pitcher will interact much more with the PC than the HC.  Does he love his teammates and how important is that over his relationship with the HC?

At the end of the year, if he's still miserable and the negatives outweigh the positives, then maybe you reconsider.  In hindsight, perhaps your relationship/read of the HC should have been more of a factor in choosing this school?

Good luck

SUMOM3 posted:

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful replies.  I passed your advice on to my son.  His dad and I are still reeling from hearing this but we’re trying really hard not to let our feelings cloud the advice we give him (I want to say “please stay and play!”).  He is on track towards his degree and loves the school otherwise.  He just told me he doesn’t want to transfer because he feels so settled there.  So if he decides to quit the team, it sounds like his baseball career will be over.  I Hate to even think about that, but it’s his choice.  I’m hoping he at least sticks it out for the year and then decides. 

Though not exactly the same, I can relate to your heartbreak a little bit. My nephew is only a sophomore in HS, but he recently decided he didn't want to pursue college ball (though he had a real chance at a competetive D1 program). His mom and I are still wrapping our heads around his decision (and secretly hoping he changes his mind). My boss is also part of the "heartbroken baseball parent" club right now. Her son gave up his starting CF spot on a competetive D2 program to transfer for a different major. She is taking it much better now that classes have started at his new school and she sees how happy he is there. 

At his age, your son probably knows in his heart what is right for him. Only he knows whether its worth his time and energy to stick it out with this coach. He just needs to know you guys will support him whatever decision he makes. Sounds like that is exactly what you are doing, so kudos to you. Your story is the perfect example of the advice I have often seen here:  "choose a school you would love even if you didn't play baseball." Whatever he decides, I wish your son the best!

CTbballDad posted:

Since he was injured last year, he hasn't even gone through a full season as an active player.  For that reason alone, I would stick it out for the year.  Was he rough on your son last year?  If not, maybe this is his way of trying to motivate your son.  Why would a head coach watch a bullpen session? Typically, as I understand it and have been told, a pitcher will interact much more with the PC than the HC.  Does he love his teammates and how important is that over his relationship with the HC?

At the end of the year, if he's still miserable and the negatives outweigh the positives, then maybe you reconsider.  In hindsight, perhaps your relationship/read of the HC should have been more of a factor in choosing this school?

Good luck

Correct, he only played last fall for this coach, and in D3 that’s not much. This will be his first full season if he sticks with it.    The coach was definitely cold last year, but his rudeness is bothering my son more this year.  Being asked to leave practice because he missed a wild pitch was the breaking point.   He does love his teammates... he’s made some great friends.  And several of them are unhappy with the coach. Although they don’t say it in such polite terms.   And I agree... we should have talked more about this HC when my son made his decision.   I’m so mad at myself for not speaking up when my gut told me that I didn’t like this guy. 

SUMOM3 posted:
CTbballDad posted:

Since he was injured last year, he hasn't even gone through a full season as an active player.  For that reason alone, I would stick it out for the year.  Was he rough on your son last year?  If not, maybe this is his way of trying to motivate your son.  Why would a head coach watch a bullpen session? Typically, as I understand it and have been told, a pitcher will interact much more with the PC than the HC.  Does he love his teammates and how important is that over his relationship with the HC?

At the end of the year, if he's still miserable and the negatives outweigh the positives, then maybe you reconsider.  In hindsight, perhaps your relationship/read of the HC should have been more of a factor in choosing this school?

Good luck

Correct, he only played last fall for this coach, and in D3 that’s not much. This will be his first full season if he sticks with it.    The coach was definitely cold last year, but his rudeness is bothering my son more this year.  Being asked to leave practice because he missed a wild pitch was the breaking point.   He does love his teammates... he’s made some great friends.  And several of them are unhappy with the coach. Although they don’t say it in such polite terms.   And I agree... we should have talked more about this HC when my son made his decision.   I’m so mad at myself for not speaking up when my gut told me that I didn’t like this guy. 

SUMOM3

I sent you a PM

IMO just move on polite as possible. It is a small community of coaches and is seems they all associate together, work together, coach clinics together, recruit similar locations, tell each other they are smarter then the next guy and that everyone who doesn't coach is a dumbass, they convince themselves coaching D3 is a high pressure job...and the cycle continues.

You won't win and you can't stop it. Just do your best to get what your sons needs or wants at new school. There is no point in have a fight or argument. This isn't personal...you could certainly argue it isn't professional and you may or may not be correct.

Just move on.

Tough situation & decisions for a young man.  I agree with Joe87 that your son is checking in with you to see how much latitude he has.  As an FYI, very few college players like their HC for one reason or another just as most people don't like their bosses.  It sounds like this guy is going out of his way to make some point with your son....I don't know what that point is and I'm guessing your son is going to be apprehensive about approaching this coach to discuss it.  But, I think that is what he has to do before making any big decisions such as leaving a school he loves, or dropping the sport he loves.   Requesting a one on one meeting with the HC at the end of the season would be a good starting point to get all the information he needs to make an informed decision (if any).   

As always, JMO.

 

old_school posted:

IMO just move on polite as possible. It is a small community of coaches and is seems they all associate together, work together, coach clinics together, recruit similar locations, tell each other they are smarter then the next guy and that everyone who doesn't coach is a dumbass, they convince themselves coaching D3 is a high pressure job...and the cycle continues.

You won't win and you can't stop it. Just do your best to get what your sons needs or wants at new school. There is no point in have a fight or argument. This isn't personal...you could certainly argue it isn't professional and you may or may not be correct.

Just move on.

If the community of coaches is small, which I'm aware it is, how is it beneficial for a kid to try to move on mid-year?  You would think he needs to reach out to other coaches before transferring.  If so, would the potential new coach reach out to the current coach to ask what's up?

I'll be the tough love guy: I don't think anyone should quit anything in life, without truly vetting the situation.  Do not quit unless the boy speaks with the coach.  Maybe the coach sees potential in the player, but think he needs to 'sharpen the blade' if you would.

At some point, our kids need to face the situation head on, without calling mom or dad.  Perhaps this is the first of many instances, time to nut up.

OZone, very good post! Great perspective & sound wisdom! 

SUMom, this is part of his growing up...He can learn alot from this guy, if not what "to do", then what "not to do"...It may be an "obstacle", but NOT a dead end...Does your son have what it takes to overcome? Persevere? demonstrate Courage?

jmo

I'm going to go another way with this.  We hear it all the time on here yet have not heard it in this conversation.  Have him make an appointment with the HC and sit down.  Maybe there is something he needs to hear from the HC about the situation.  Every now and then in life, we do something that we do not realize or have unfair expectations.  Maybe he has done something without realizing it or maybe the HC is just trying to motivate him to be more assertive and want it.  I know my middle son at times became complacent when he did not have the success he did in high school and it showed in his pitching and practices.  The AC called me at least twice and wanted to know if something was going on they did not know about.  I told them he was the kid who needed the kick in the butt and a strong talking to to be motivated.  He called the next night and told me the coaches had jumped his butt about his lack of competitiveness and I said good.  I told him later they had called me.  Again, some coaches style of motivation is not the same as others.  Some motivate through love and others through discipline.  I think there has to be a mix of both.  At least have him ask before he quits.  May change everything.

SUMOM3 posted:
joes87 posted:

Going to get into some psych here, but is your son in a roundabout way asking you if its ok to walk away from the program?  If so you need to let him know that its his decision and you support him either way.  Kids don't always ask but by letting you know he is having a hard time he maybe feeling you out to make sure you are going to be on his side if he leaves the team.

The above said, I ran track in college at a competitive school.  The coach was a little old fashion and at times would be abrupt, distance and seem like he was ignoring you.  My sr year I went to him with a problem with a class scheduling problem (he asked us to do this) that may cause me to drop below the required 12 credits needed in season.  His answer to me, "figure it out its your problem" and he walked away.  This really pi$$ed me off.  I called one of the ACs that I was close with and let him know I was going to quit the next day.  He talked me off the ledge and reminded me that the HC could be a little bit of an A.. and that I need to take 48 hours before making my decision.  In the end it was good advice.  I guess what I am getting at is this...Is there an AC that your son can talk to?  It maybe that he is reading too much into things and that he is ok.  The AC could maybe able give him some perspective.

Your story is awful!! I can’t believe how cold these coaches can be.  I’m all for being tough on them and teaching them responsibility, but to be that rude is uncalled for.  I’m glad you found someone to talk to - hopefully my son will as well.  

I don't see it that way.  When I was in college "old school" coaches were more the norm then the exception.  You learned to deal with it.  Heck in a way it gave my teammates and me something to rally around.

I just realized that I did not follow up to what ultimately happened.  I stayed on the team.  The AC raised a good point in that it was my Sr season and I only had 1 Sr season and I worked too hard to give it up at that point.  I stayed on the team.  As I said above the coach was old fashion "at times".  He was also a decent guy if he needed to be.  He was very helpful and accommodating during a personal tragedy my sophomore year.

Also, I have very fond memories of my last day on the track.  As many folks have alluded to playing sports in college is more like a job then it is in HS.  Track meets normally last 10 hours or more and sometimes are spread over 2 days.  When you have a home meet you show up, do your job and then leave.  Most times folks will shower and stay around for a while, but they rarely stick around all day.  My very last meet was a home meet.  I vividly remember finishing up, and seeing a group of other SRs sitting around on the track.  I walked over and sat with them for the remainder of the meet.  After it was done we were walking around talking to folks from other teams, some teammates and officials.  In reality no one wanted to leave the track.  The HC came over to each one of us and pulled us aside.  He had a personal conversation with each one of us.  To this day I still treasure that discussion and keep some of it private as it means a lot to me.

In the end I choose to see the fix it yourself incident as a growing moment.  He was teaching me that you need to deal with your problems and that other folks will not fix things for you.  He basically taught me to man up.  The ACs advice to wait a while before making decision was solid as well.  To this day both of those lessons have severed me well.

There are some good points on both sides of this conversation. At the end of the day your son will have decide what he wants. He has 4 years maybe 5 of college, he has already spent one. He needs to decide what type of remaining time he wants to have and what that is worth.

Keep in mind he is paying for the privilege to be treated poorly...somewhere as a human being that does matter. If it is irrelevant then he might be at the perfect place.  

I'm going to add a perspective I have had to tell players over the years when I gave them the same advice I gave young guys going into boot camp. There are coaches like this out there. There used to be more.

My son's freshman and sophomore years we had one of these old school coaches. He was vulgar. Screamed obscenities at the kids. One of his favorites was to grab a bat out of the batters hands during BP and throw it as far as he could into the outfield and make the kid sprint after it. From the outside, it looked awful. I, however, had gotten to know this guy on a personal basis. You would never have known how much he cared about these kids from his demeanor on the field. I once watched him completely humiliate and berate a player at practice and then, less than two hours later, was with him while he sold a college coach on the kid in glowing terms. I'm not sure this kid ever knew what the coach thought of him. This was his style of coaching. It was his style. I didn't agree with it, but I never saw him put kids in physical danger. Of course, it was somewhat psychologically a problem and wouldn't fly in almost any other area, but this is nothing new in sports. 

One place it does fly is the military. I have counseled kids with coaches like this to understand what such actions do and don't mean. I tell the same to kids I know going into the military. It's just a pre-planned strategy they use. It's nothing personal and there is almost nothing you can do to avoid it. This is how I got through boot camp. I simply understood. Once you understand that it's not personal and not a reflection of actual hatred toward you, the hard part becomes actually trying not to laugh at what then just seems like a comically absurd, over-theatrical style of motivation. 

Now, maybe your kid's coach actually does hate him, but it's unlikely. More likely, this is just what he thinks works. Now, coaches who put kids in harm way are a different story. It's an old saying with coaches like this that you shouldn't worry when they are screaming at you and berating you - it's when they stop and ignore you that you better worry.

MOM3:

Are you on the East Coast? There is a short Fall season for "turning the coach". What is the background of the Coach, full time, a teacher. How long at this school. Gather information, before you make a decision. The Coach's "bullying" performance is his way of removing players from the team.

He cannot face the player, but uses "insults" to the player. He wants a reaction.

Bob

This is from a motivational speech by Randy Pausch ...

The coach really gave you a hard time this week. It’s because he cares. If he didn’t care he would be ignoring you. The walls weren’t put there to keep you out. They’re there to see how badly you want it.

it’s possible the coach's act is to run him off. But it could be to motivate him. It’s why it’s important to talk to the coach if he believes he is being run off. He could be very wrong.

I have to tell you, roothog...we think alike. I recall one time, my husband "lectured" our son on some seemingly "difficult" situation. My husband earned a Silver Star, among other medals during Vietnam, 1967-69. He told Pres..."It ain't like your in the middle of a f***ing jungle, facing an invisible enemy with AK47's! Or seeing your radio man step on a landmine"...

It's all perspective...You learn to overcome fear, angst, personalities, etc.

I was told by a father of a player on my sons team that he needed to be prepared to get his a$$ chewed out. I told my son the story and like Roothogg66 I told him it wasn't personal it is business,  not to take anything said personal and if he would just sit back and think about what they are saying he would probably laugh about it. When fall practice started it was nonstop, there was nothing he did that was correct. One time the pitching coach took him and a teammate in to the weight room to show them how he wanted them to do a lift. The coach was showing the other player how to do his lift and my son sat in the seat of the machine that he was going to use, the coach turned to him and said, "Did I tell you to sit down!". My son jumped up, stood at attention and said no sir. The coach was still working with the other player and turned around a few minutes later and said to my son, "Are you ever gonna start your lift!". When he told me that I couldn't stop laughing. He said it wasn't funny and I told him it wasn't funny to him because he took it personally. Told him that the coach was trying to make him uncomfortable and wants to see how you handle all the "abuse".  He wants to see how you handle pressure now not when he calls you to the mound with bases loaded no outs. He wants you to be comfortable being uncomfortable.

Son never told me anything else, but I have heard stories from other parents that would make you cringe. When I would tell my son and ask him if he heard anything he just says, I doubt it was said like that, and even if he did coach was just trying to get a reaction, player took it too personal. Amazing how attitudes change after 3 years.

Hope he can work through it, tell to not take it personally and keep working hard. If he can get through it he will probably have a different perspective in a few years.

 

 

RJM posted:

This is from a motivational speech by Randy Pausch ...

The coach really gave you a hard time this week. It’s because he cares. If he didn’t care he would be ignoring you. The walls weren’t out there to keep us out. They’re there to see how badly we want it.

it’s possible the coach's act is to run him off. But it could be to motivate him. It’s why it’s important to talk to the coach if he believes he is being run off. He could be very wrong.

One of the things I like to consider is would I work for this man a manager in the real world? In my mind that is fair question. If the answer is no why would I want to pay to play for him? There is some an overwhelming ability in the sports world to just defer to the coach...as he is some kind of special being.

I honestly don't get it. Lets motivate the player by seeing how shitty he can be treated before he wants leave? Keep in mind I don't care if the coach is nice guy or not, I care about being clear in your message, holding people accountable to the program and being honest with your people.

You can be a tough, hard nosed, no nonsense coach and not be an asshole.

greatgame posted:

I was told by a father of a player on my sons team that he needed to be prepared to get his a$$ chewed out. I told my son the story and like Roothogg66 I told him it wasn't personal it is business,  not to take anything said personal and if he would just sit back and think about what they are saying he would probably laugh about it. When fall practice started it was nonstop, there was nothing he did that was correct. One time the pitching coach took him and a teammate in to the weight room to show them how he wanted them to do a lift. The coach was showing the other player how to do his lift and my son sat in the seat of the machine that he was going to use, the coach turned to him and said, "Did I tell you to sit down!". My son jumped up, stood at attention and said no sir. The coach was still working with the other player and turned around a few minutes later and said to my son, "Are you ever gonna start your lift!". When he told me that I couldn't stop laughing. He said it wasn't funny and I told him it wasn't funny to him because he took it personally. Told him that the coach was trying to make him uncomfortable and wants to see how you handle all the "abuse".  He wants to see how you handle pressure now not when he calls you to the mound with bases loaded no outs. He wants you to be comfortable being uncomfortable.

Son never told me anything else, but I have heard stories from other parents that would make you cringe. When I would tell my son and ask him if he heard anything he just says, I doubt it was said like that, and even if he did coach was just trying to get a reaction, player took it too personal. Amazing how attitudes change after 3 years.

Hope he can work through it, tell to not take it personally and keep working hard. If he can get through it he will probably have a different perspective in a few years.

 

 

I relate this, again, to boot camp. Upon arrival, there is nothing you can possibly do right. Even if you do everything perfectly, it won't be "right." The story I tell is on the first day of boot camp, we were required to clean the barracks. We did so. They were spotless. Then they inspect and find hundreds of "hits" - things that are inadequate. Fast forward a month and the same cleaning job is inspected and found acceptable. Bottom line is, with this type of coaching, everything you do is going to be found by the coach to be "wrong" - for the time being. It's an old-school "break 'em down and build 'em up mentality."

old_school posted:
RJM posted:

This is from a motivational speech by Randy Pausch ...

The coach really gave you a hard time this week. It’s because he cares. If he didn’t care he would be ignoring you. The walls weren’t out there to keep us out. They’re there to see how badly we want it.

it’s possible the coach's act is to run him off. But it could be to motivate him. It’s why it’s important to talk to the coach if he believes he is being run off. He could be very wrong.

One of the things I like to consider is would I work for this man a manager in the real world? In my mind that is fair question. If the answer is no why would I want to pay to play for him? There is some an overwhelming ability in the sports world to just defer to the coach...as he is some kind of special being.

I honestly don't get it. Lets motivate the player by seeing how shitty he can be treated before he wants leave? Keep in mind I don't care if the coach is nice guy or not, I care about being clear in your message, holding people accountable to the program and being honest with your people.

You can be a tough, hard nosed, no nonsense coach and not be an asshole.

A lot of kids playing college sports are finding the sport a challenge for the first time in their life. They may be told they’re doing it wrong or failing for the first time in their life. Some kids don’t handle this well. They only think the coach is a jerk. 

At the end of the day, it's about school and an education....not baseball.  My son's HC has been much like your son's for the 3 years he's been there.....not just to my son, but basically to every kid in the program.  It's gotten tougher and tougher to attend games....EVERY single parent has the same story about the crap their kids put up with.  Couple that with both on-field and off the field incidents between the coach and players and it's become painful to watch.    I actually told my son at the end of last season if he wanted to "walk away and enjoy his Senior year" that I'd be all for it.   He decided to stay....practice starts today so we'll see how it goes.   It's no different than any other job.....if your boss is a jerk, you either 1) put up with it as long as you can or 2) if it gets too bad, you leave.   It happens all the time....coaches "love" every kid when they're recruiting them....but once you get into the program, the coach is there for one reason.....to win games.  Some coaches don't click with certain players.....some coaches are just POS to everyone lol.   It's a tough decision, but not worth wasting 3 years of his life being miserable.   Consider all options and make a decision based on that

old_school posted:
RJM posted:

This is from a motivational speech by Randy Pausch ...

The coach really gave you a hard time this week. It’s because he cares. If he didn’t care he would be ignoring you. The walls weren’t out there to keep us out. They’re there to see how badly we want it.

it’s possible the coach's act is to run him off. But it could be to motivate him. It’s why it’s important to talk to the coach if he believes he is being run off. He could be very wrong.

One of the things I like to consider is would I work for this man a manager in the real world? In my mind that is fair question. If the answer is no why would I want to pay to play for him? There is some an overwhelming ability in the sports world to just defer to the coach...as he is some kind of special being.

I honestly don't get it. Lets motivate the player by seeing how shitty he can be treated before he wants leave? Keep in mind I don't care if the coach is nice guy or not, I care about being clear in your message, holding people accountable to the program and being honest with your people.

You can be a tough, hard nosed, no nonsense coach and not be an asshole.

I'm with you, man. I am not young, and have done some  pretty tough work with some pretty hard men at times, but I don't get the whole "acting like an a-hole" thing. I believe in the power of positivity. Doesn't mean that there can't be discipline, but..

 

  Best coach I ever had, in any sport, almost never raised his voice. The worst one wouldn't stop screaming. It's almost like he tried to compensate with volume for his lack of knowledge and ability to teach.

Great thread.  I feel for OP's son - that sucks.  Baseball is supposed to be fun right?

I do have to bring out the old famous Casey Stengel quote though:  "The key to being a good manager is to keep the players who hate me away from those who are still undecided."  One of my faves.

Tell the young man to keep the faith -- if it were easy, everyone would do it.  

roothog66 posted:
greatgame posted:
 

I relate this, again, to boot camp. Upon arrival, there is nothing you can possibly do right. Even if you do everything perfectly, it won't be "right." The story I tell is on the first day of boot camp, we were required to clean the barracks. We did so. They were spotless. Then they inspect and find hundreds of "hits" - things that are inadequate. Fast forward a month and the same cleaning job is inspected and found acceptable. Bottom line is, with this type of coaching, everything you do is going to be found by the coach to be "wrong" - for the time being. It's an old-school "break 'em down and build 'em up mentality."

Yes.  But while that approach is expected (and maybe necessary) in military settings, do you think it ought to be used in college baseball?  (Asking seriously--would like to know what you think.)  

I have worked for some incredibly demanding bosses who I respect, admire and learned a great deal from.  But even so, I think every one of them would have been more effective if s/he had been a little "softer." 

OK. Don't confuse two issues. One issue is whether it's right or whether you would want your kid playing under such a coach. The issue I'm trying to address is what to do about it when you are already in that situation. For the record, it's not a style I like or would recommend my own kid to play under. However, once your there, you either figure out how to deal with it or you leave. Leaving has plenty of consequences to be considered. If a coach is otherwise fair with playing time, isn't doing anything physically abusive, develops talent, etc AND you can learn how to deal with this style of coaching, staying is often the better option. YMMV.

roothog66 posted:

OK. Don't confuse two issues. One issue is whether it's right or whether you would want your kid playing under such a coach. The issue I'm trying to address is what to do about it when you are already in that situation. For the record, it's not a style I like or would recommend my own kid to play under. However, once your there, you either figure out how to deal with it or you leave. Leaving has plenty of consequences to be considered. If a coach is otherwise fair with playing time, isn't doing anything physically abusive, develops talent, etc AND you can learn how to deal with this style of coaching, staying is often the better option. YMMV.

That makes a lot of sense to me. 

(Although I do find as I get older, I have less and less tolerance for bosses who are screamers.  I think that is true for most folks.  Somehow it's the youngsters who are expected to take having their characters molded.)

I'm obviously in the minority but I have no problem with my son being coached by a screaming coach.  But I think you need to separate the coach who is screaming for a reason and the coach whos it just screaming. My son's program expects to make it to the NCAA tournament every year, with the goal of making it to Omaha. They are trying to put you in uncomfortable situations so that you are able to deal with the pressure. However I understand that each player deals with these types of coaches differently. We had a pitcher who came in with my son, the HC said that he had the potential to be one of the best to wear their uniform. Currently there are 19 alums in the majors. He was the friday started his freshman year. That lasted 4 weeks. He was the Friday started his sophomore year that lasted 3 weeks. When everything was going good he was great, when things weren't he feel apart. I had several conversations with his father. He told me some of the comments that the pitching coach said to him. They would make a NY taxi driver blush. I told him that was the type of coach that I responded to, because I would show him how wrong he was. He said he was the same, but that wasn't his son. He was drafted in the first round last year and had a great 1st year in the minors. The word on the street is that he had to get away from the college coaches, I live in the same town so I know several people who knows the family. So now my questions are, did the college coaches put too much pressure on him so he could not perform or did the pressure prepare him for the next level?

Sounds like the big time college coach was 1 trick pony, maybe he cost himself a stud by not being able to adjust....I have learned managing many people many years to use lots of methods, be clear and be open minded to new ideas. 

I had a huge ego as young manager, I became a much smarter more successful business owner when I lost (had it kicked off my shoulder) the ego. 

Life has a way of softening the edges 

Thank you all for your thoughtful replies, and thank you Qhead for the great quote... I needed that laugh.  It’s been a tough day, I heard from my son a few hours ago.  He met with his coach and decided to walk away.  He’s done with baseball.  I’m really sad, but also proud of him.  Transferring isn’t an option for him because he is in a great school for his major.  I’ll explain what happened in a second, but wanted to say one thing first... there’s been a lot of talk here about the pros and cons of tough coaches... so I do want to be clear that my son has had tough coaches... the kind who scream and yell and somehow in their madness are making you a better, stronger player.  I’m ok with that... I actually like that tough love approach.  I remember one game in HS - my son was throwing a no hitter shut out, but had a few bad moments in the 6th inning and walked the 7th and 8th batters.  It didn’t matter how well he was pitching or that we were up by a lot... his high school coach started screaming, threw his clipboard and shattered it because “you never walk the bottom of the lineup!!!”  They laugh about it today, and that lesson always stuck with him.  Despite his tough demeanor, at the end of the day, that high school coach cared for his players, and he paid attention to all of them... even the ones who never played.  In fact my son spent 45 minutes on the phone with him the other day getting advice on his current situation.  He was there for him.  In contrast, my son’s college coach isn’t like that... he’s demeaning and belittling and acts like you aren’t worth his time.  He has a few select players that get all his attention, but the rest are pretty much ignored.  After my son’s injury, I think this guy looked at him as damaged goods.  He wasn’t worth his time anymore.  So imo, tough coaches are good.... mean coaches are not.  Ok, back to what happened today... my son met with his HC and told him how he was feeling - that he wasn’t happy with how he and others were being treated, that it wasn’t fun for him anymore and he was questioning being there.  The coach said, “this may not be the right fit for you, you’d probably be better off somewhere else.”  My son put his uniform on the desk and walked out.  There were no words of encouragement, nothing.  About an hour later, my son received a text from him.  I’ll let you read what it said in my son’s own words:

“After an hour went by he sent me a text saying how a lot of people feel the same way I do but they aren’t as mature as me and aren’t strong and brave enough to confront him about it. He said he respected that. He also said that there’s a lot of people on the team right now that he believes should do what I did but are afraid of doing it. After I went in there and after he texted me, it felt as if a 100lb backpack was just taken off my shoulders and I can finally breathe.  I’m sorry if this makes you guys upset, but in the end I feel a lot better than I have in awhile.  It took me until all this came up to realize that I haven’t been happy.  I’ve finally got some closure about this and it feels great. I’m gonna miss it but that’s why i’m going into this field, so I can stay around it. I love you and I’m sorry if you’re upset, but this is something I had to do, especially after hearing what he had to say.”

The tears are flowing down my cheeks re-reading his text.  He didn’t make the decision I wanted him to make, but he did what he felt was best.  And I’m proud of him for that. I don’t know what to think of a coach who has kids on his team that he doesn’t want.  Why recruit them if you don’t want them?  And why belittle them instead of just being honest and cutting them?  

This forum is wonderful.  Thank you everyone for your advice. I sure am going to miss watching my son play.  But I know he will be fine. 

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