Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Let The Coach Decide...Please

Do you know what we despise? We despise parents that sit in the stands and complain that the coaches don’t know what the heck they are doing. They think that they are much more qualified to make decisions on whom to start, who to play when and what situation may warrant a better choice than the one that was executed.

OK, parents, so you think that you guys are so smart? Have you spent time with the players three or more hours a day, 6 days a week, for the past five months? Because the coaches have. That’s over 360 hours of observation and analysis of each player. They have situational practices, inter-squad scrimmages and countless hours of time in the cage to help them decide who the better players are.

Have you even seen your own kid play that much? If so, where and what was the level of competition? How much time have you spent in the cage with your own son and what credentials do you have to critique his hitting mechanics? How many ground balls or fly balls have you hit him this week? Can you teach him the proper way to field a ground ball? When do you use the back hand? Do you know the different ways to throw a double play ball to second, based on how far away from the bag the ball is hit? Have you worked with him on that for countless hours each week?

Do you work with him on how to react to the hundreds of situations that occur when runners are on base? Do you work on hitting the cut-offs everyday? How about the double cut? Do you watch him run the bases and work with him on that? At what point in the pitchers delivery should a base runner take that first step towards a steal?

How many times each week do you work on bunting with your son? When do you bunt towards third base and when should you bunt down first. Do you teach him the push bunt? When would you ever use that? Do you work with him on hit and run plays, going opposite field on off-speed, or hitting to the right side with a runner on third with one out or less?

Do you work with your son’s on covering first base if he is a pitcher? How about bunt coverage? Do you parents ever talk to your sons about the upcoming game and their hitters and what they have done in their past at bats? Are you discussing what your son should be thinking before each pitch? How about how to hit based on the count? What might the other team attempt?

Do you help him visualize situations like how to cover a steal, hit and run or bunt? Where do they need to be in each situation? Did your family dinner time conversations talk about what your MIF son should do if there is a runner on first, ball is hit back to the pitcher, and the ball is fielded and an errant throw is made to second?

Do you do any of this for three hours a day, 6 days a week? If you don't, then HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY KNOW if your son can adequately handle all of the skills well enough to earn a starting position? If you do, then you don’t have a job…because that’s exactly what coaching a team is…a full time job!

And much like in your own job, mistakes will be made, It's a crazy, unpredictable game...There will be mistakes...but not on purpose. There’s not a coach alive that wants to maliciously make it a horrible experience for your son. Oh yes, he will be tough on your son, maybe even in his him a little verbal beat down...because he wants to make him tougher...We have seen that strategy work many times...Hey, if your son can’t handle a little tough talk, how the heck is he ever going to handle a tough game situation? Heck, forget about baseball for a will he handle a game of LIFE situation? Listen, good coaches take a statement like “there’s no crying in baseball” very seriously. So stop your crying folks!

As I sit in some stands, I hear more often than not how horrible the coaches are. These are usually the parents whose sons are NOT playing. As if the kids that are playing are given some special privilege that somehow, some way their kid didn’t get. Parents, did you ever think that maybe the players that start have proven time and time again in practice that they deserve to be on the field? OK, we get it. Sometimes a starter doesn’t always deliver in a game…but maybe he impresses them so much in practice that they are pinning their hopes that he will someday break out and therefore, give him a few more chances that our armchair observations can’t see. In baseball, as it has been for the past 125 years, only 9 play on a team and if it is a close game, only 9 will play period.

Be a good your team...set an example for your own children and please, quit embarrasing yourselves in front of everyone else and have respect for the other parents that are in the stands enjoying their sons season. Sorry for the tough talk folks...High school and college ball isn’t tee ball where everyone plays and the losers get a trophy.

RT Staff
Getting It Off Our Chest Rant


Anonymous said...

Have you been at our games? This sounds so much like the bunch of whiners on our baseball team. And every single whiner has a kid that sits the bench. I have to sit elsewhere away from the stands it gets so bad. I'm not sure why they even come to the game if they are so miserable. I love our team and my son loves his coaches. These parents are just a bunch of overprotective, unrealistic and in my opinion, know the least about the game of baseball than anyone.

Great article!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sending me the link to your site. This is one of the most sensible articles I have seen on this subject. I feel like sending it to all of the parents of the guys that sit on the bench. But I can't...administration rules...I just hope your web site is popular enough that they see this themselves. Keep up the Good Work!

Anonymous said...

Just got your e-mail and read this. I can't tell you how much this rings tru. I think I am going to hand this article out before evry season Great Job Guys! Great web site too!

Coach Jack said...

Oh My. You guys really laid it on the line. Can't argue with a thing you said.

Anonymous said...

Why do parents like this have to ruin it for the rest of us. I read your web site every day. and a few weeks back, you had an article on travel ball players vs. rec ball players on a high school team. I bet that the parents complaining have sons that play rec ball and the players starting played travel ball. Liek you said in that previous article, rec ball players have a false sense of security...more competitive high school ball is a huge wake up call for them. When they fail, they give up. The travel ball player..when he fails, he works harder. I've seen this scenario hundreds of times with all four of my kids, 3 boys and one girl that all played travel baseball and softball.

Luv2Hit said...

listen to this one. My son who now is now playing pro ball in the minors was being criticized by a group of parents on his high school team for geeting too much playing time and getting all the breaks. They thought my son who was leading teh team in just about every offensive category was getting preferential treatment ovr their sons who didin't play and therefore theor sons were getting shafted. When i told them my son and my wife and i don't feel the same way about teh coaches as they do, they said: "yeah, that's easy ofr you to say, your son gets all teh playing time"

As if he didn't work his butt of to earn it. I hate parents like that. They just don't get it.

Anonymous said...

We are dealing with that on our team as well. The kids are fine I think, but the parents are putting all these negative comments into their heads and their kids hear the criticisim and they become crictical too. Parents need to just stay out of it.

Anonymous said...

How about the situation where there are 3 kids starting on the team that are hitting in the low 200's and they are still playing? Heck, my son could easily do that but he has only received 2 at bats all season and has waited his turn and continues to wait his turn to prove himself as a Sophomore on the Varsity team.

Anonymous said...

Oh how i would love to agree with you guys on this article! Unfortunately, I am part of a high school varsity team in central Texas that has not had success this year. The worst part is that my team has all the talent, we just don't have the coaching, and I KNOW there are specific parents (not my own) that could do a better job. My coach plays the wrong players in the wrong spots, bunts too much (not strategically), is too agressive, favors certain players, and ultimately makes a mockery of the game. Worst of all, our practices are endless, but unproductive. His instruction seems to come from no experience at all. He has lost the respect of the entire team. Now RT can't tell me that this man knows more or is better suited for the position of head coach than some of the other parents. If he does have more knowledge, he sure as hell doesn't know how to use it. It is wrong for RT to assume that every coach is the best suited to run the team SIMPLY because of "countless hours". It is the coach's obligation to appease the parents by DOING A GOOD JOB, not the parents' obligation to like the coach because he "spends more time" with the team and has "superior knowledge". P.S. For all those who think I am just another benchwarmer ranting, I am the starting 3rd Baseman and 5 hitter and I have played every game of the season. And he likes me.