March 08, 2010

Why I decided against coaching (again)

Friday, as I laid on the couch recovering from one of the nastier sinus infections I've had in a while, I got a call from our school's athletic director. "Hey Hube -- the softball coach had to quit due to injury -- you wanna do it again?" Now I had just finished coaching with our A.D. this past basketball season -- sort of last minute thing being that the former assistant had moved to another school. And, I had coached softball with this person for five years previously. I said "I'd mull over" the softball gig and call the A.D. back.

At first I was very much leaning towards taking the job. The girls that we keep on the team are usually very nice and easygoing. Then a friend and I went out to eat yesterday at a local restaurant ...

We got there fairly early (around 4:30) so it wasn't too crowded. However, there was a table of about four couples and some of their kids on the other side of the room. During our entire meal two of the kids (ages around 7 and 5) were running around the restaurant while playing "hide and seek." The parents? Completely oblivious. Not even once did they even look in the kids' direction to see what they were up to. I could have grabbed one of the kids and whisked them out of the place, were I a demented predator. Yep, the entire time we were there these kids were running, jumping, yelling and engaging in other assorted non-restaurant behavior. Many of the staff were looking on with dumbfounded grimaces on their faces.

And this is what helped me make my decision ...

Do I want, after my regular school day is essentially over, to deal with similar parents? The restaurant kids were allowed to do as they wished. Do I want a similar atmosphere about my team? Do I want to field phone calls from them upset that their child didn't make the cut? Do I want to hear how their child is an all-star in their local league, and that there's no reason for her not to make the team (despite the fact that our school draws from virtually all over the northern part of the county)? Do I want to persistently be asked about "playing time" during games? Do I want my team rules (like everyone has to sit in the dugout during games) to be questioned all the time?

Now, granted, such parents are [usually] a minority, but they are a distinct minority. They can take the "wind out of a coach's sails" in a microsecond. After-school sports are extra-curricular activities, yet too often they are viewed as just another "right" that a kid has. They have a "right" to be on the team, and once on the team they have a "right" to play -- when and where they want.

So, sorry -- I don't need that headache and aggravation. Not at this point in my career.

(And if I wasn't already sufficiently clear, such parents [and kids] are still, in my opinion, in the minority. But -- it is getting worse. It has every year since I've been teaching.)

So you parents at that restaurant yesterday? Next time, get a freakin' clue and realize that there are other people in the restaurant who are paying for their food and trying to enjoy their meal. They did not come to have their senses assaulted by your children being unsupervised, because you're too damned lazy to discipline them.

Thank you.

Related, from the archives: Why I don't (and won't) coach anymore; Sounds VERY familiar!.

Posted by Hube at March 8, 2010 07:30 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

ah, come on Hube...we'll have a scrimmage! Run your team like a fiedom and the ell with the parents! coach cardinals fan!

Posted by: cardinals fan at March 8, 2010 10:06 PM

Ahhh itīs so refreshing to hear someone be honest about this issue. Iīm a teacher - although I have no kids of my own - and at the end of a long (though always enjoyable) day I like nothing better than to go to a cafe and just relax with a coffee and a good book. I recently found a new cafe near my house, and they have had the brilliant idea of having a seperate section for kids to play in - away from the tranquility of the rest of the cafe. Iīm all for taking your kids out, but I think parents forget what its like to be without children, then again maybe they havenīt and theyīre just trying to block out the noise of their own children just as much as we are!!

Posted by: Briefgold at March 9, 2010 06:52 AM

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