So at last Thursday's practice is what started this downward spiral of feeling "lost". Let me explain...in this long-winded blog....sorry.
just an opinion - sounds like the volleyball team you played against that faught in the parking lot after your game.
Our players were on the field in their position's and we're having a live practice (real game speed - pitching and hitting). The hitters are banging the ball deep in the outfield and already between trying to avoid the flag football players and retrieving the ball, a whole bunch of volleyball players run through left field going into center. Let me add that the Salt Lake District park field is hella-huge but everyone is too lazy to practice a hundred yards downfield.
Whoa. I stop practice and ask (talk loudly because I'm at home plate),
Coach: "Can you puh-leeze go around the field? We're practicing!"
Stink follows from four of the maybe fifteen or so players and,
VB Players: "F&*@ YOU!!!"
Coach: "Wat? What did you just say? Nice. GO AROUND!"
An adult from on top of the hill yelling: "What did you just say to the girls?"
Coach: "I asked your players to go around. We are practicing in case you haven't noticed. Class act your players. Love the way you coach."
Adult: "And wat, your players can F*'in swear at the girls?"
Coach: "Who wen swear? All I heard was your players mouthing off!"
Adult: "Da player in the red shirt!!! And he F*'in wen stick middle fingah!
Coach: "Who? Him? I nevah hear him.....but you don't know him. He....special."
Adult: "So!!! Wat kine F*'in coach you? Wat? He get F*'in ADHD?"
Adult: "Go get him his F*'in meds den!"
Coach: "Wow. Great attitude. Class act coach."
Adult: "I not one coach.......(very proudly boasts) I one PARENT!"
Coach: "WOW! Even more so. Real Claaaasss act there."
Practice resumes and after a minute or two she walks to the field disrupting the practice yet again.
We are standing right next to each other as she continues to yell,
Parent: "Wea's his F*'in parents? Wat kine coach you no can control your players?
Coach: "Whaaa? First, I don't know who his parents cause I nevah see 'em. Second, you don't know me and you sure don't know how I coach (so shut the f-up *said in my head of course*).
Parent: "Wat you goin F*'in do? You bettah do something! Kick him off the F*'in team!"
Coach: "Wat? This is a community league. It's for the community kids. Are you kidding me? Here you are swearing left and right showing no class and definitely not setting the example for your players - your own kid - and yes, this particular player does have a problem and no meds, no coach is going to solve it or control it. It's a situation that he has to deal with for the rest of his life...you only had to deal with it for five seconds.
And let me point out that your players disrespected US by running thorough OUR field during OUR practice. How would you feel if I had my players take their laps and do their drills right on your court during your practice? You guys have the gym...not the field!"
Parent: "We are girls you are boys!"
Coach: (kept to myself - what does that matter? Your girls acted the same way if not worse being that they were at least two to three years older!)
At this time two other parents come down from the volleyball team pulling her away. The above "conversation" is the abridged shortened version. It was heated and more "colorful" words were used by her. I forcibly with-strained my "Korean-ness" and kept calm trying to set the example as my players were watching her swear left and right.
Did I mention that there were at least 50 kids on that field witnessing the whole fiasco?
Wassap Wit Dat? (dis could be put anywhere in today's blog)
I gather up my team after to discuss what happened. I first wanted to find out if my player did in fact swear at the girls. He did. I then began talking about how even though the volleyball players were wrong and exhibited no class by running through our practice, no one from my program should ever act out like that. All you had to do was ask them to go around politely even though they've been doing the exact same disrespectful actions the past few years.
I then began to talk to them about standing up. You back up your player or friend when you are right but when you are wrong, you stand in front of him and tell him so. Backing up is easy, standing in front takes a special person because you have to face the player/friend that you are willing to fight (play) along with and tell him they are wrong.
So I had my player face the fire by going up to the other parents and apologize. They then had the nerve to start lecturing him for a minute then directed him to the girls. I was expecting those same girls to apologize to the rest of my boys but it never came - their coach didn't even have the cajones to come down either to talk, rant or wat evah.
That night I didn't sleep until a little after 2am running that whole scenario in my head. It was bothering me so much that when I came home earlier in the evening, I didn't even want to share it with Da Wife. She poked and prodded but I knew she'd get upset as well and I was about ready to just hang it up right then and there. I was telling her after 15 years of coaching, it felt like in one fell swoop that the program I've worked so hard to build up and establish just crumbled in front of a hundred people.
I already knew coaching in the Salt Lake community was tough as we get more of the "hard luck" latchkey underprivileged kids (I grew up there and was one myself) but it's so disheartening fighting an uphill battle trying to turn problem kids around as well trying to coach the right thing - preaching the ethics and attitudes of just being a good person and to respect adults. Then here comes a PARENT acting in such a manner that exhibits the exact opposite of what I'm trying to drill into my players. My mind just recalls the adage - one step forward, two steps back.
It's becoming so difficult to deal with, forgive for saying, the dumb irresponsible parents and the lack of common courtesy. Football players practice on our field with no permits, but when my players want to practice in the off season and no one's around we get kicked out - there seems to be a major dislike against the baseball program from the gym staff. People walk right through the field and don't realize that a baseball is hard and give us stink eye when the ball is hit close to them.
And the latest I hear is the volleyball players complained about us to the gym staff. I wanted to write a formal complaint to everybody I could - the gym director, parks director and even all the way up to the Mayor but eh, spending time with the kids is time better spent because at least I know the words won't fall on deaf ears.
Class act like I said.