Coach from Hell

I've seen and heard of bad coaches before, but the one that is coaching my son's Little League team takes the prize. It is not an instructional league anymore for 10 year olds, but this is a guy who seems to ONLY care about winning.

He screams and yells during the games: "GO! STOP! STEAL! SLIDE! BACK HIM UP! NO! THROW IT! HOLD IT!" It's crazy. The base coaches can't coach because he's too busy barking orders at the runners, and then "correcting" them when they haven't done what he wanted. I've seen him yell at someone to steal third, and when the kid made it safely to third, he was chastised for looking at the catcher and not running hard enough.

He has called out several of the players who are not as good as some of the others, criticizing and catching only those kids goofing around, even if they are goofing around with the "stars." He's made kids cry while standing in the outfield because they weren't at the ready all the time. Other parents have threatened to pull their kids off the field if it continues. He even has pursosely embarrassed his own son during a practice.

As for my son, who is not a star, he has relegated him to the outfield, which, at this age, is like playing right field all the time. He told me that he couldn't play infield because he once missed a short-hop and it almost hit someone behind him in the face.

I know, I'm sounding like a whiny parent, but hear me out.

School is still in session, and practices are on school nights. He starts at 6:30 and goes for 90 minutes, according to his emails. He expects the kids to come early for batting practice, too, so that is another 15-30 minutes. Then he runs over his stated time. One night, at 8:08 (I checked), I yelled from the sideline out onto the field where he was standing, "It's a school-night, coach!" He called ONLY my son off the field, embarrassing him.

I sent him an email asking him to not embarrass my son like that and, if he has something against me, then he should take it up with me and not take it out on my son by embarrassing him or penalizing his playing time and positions on the field. This guy had the kahonas to write back that he didn't embarrass my son; I put my son in an embarrassing situation! Suffice to say that the league heard about this, and apparently put him on notice.

Last week, after chastising one of the non-stars, and ignoring the antics of one of his stars, the boy left the field in tears and hid until his Mom showed up. She was furious, as this was not the first incident between her son and the coach. She went out onto the field after practice (with a bat in hand, which I counseled against) to discuss why he would single out her son, and that he should be acting more like an adult and less like a child. He poked his finger at her nose and got in her face and accused her son of insubordination and asked if she knew that her son was ADHD. "Huh? HUH? Did you know that? DID YOU KNOW THAT?" I would have told him that when he gets his M.D. that he could diagnose my kid then.

At practice last night, a strong electrical storm blew in just as practice was starting. The two games that were going on within spitting distance of the practice were cancelled at the first sign of lightning. Fifteen to twenty minutes goes by before this nut finally calls practice, either in response to my shouting at him and my kid to get off the field, or to some sense finally overcoming him. And he wanted the kids to hang out by the cars! I guess in case it blew over, or didn't kill anyone.

I have to admit he has done a good job training the kids, and they are the most improved team this year. I can even excuse the other incidents and requesting more money for equipment that he intends to keep. However, when he puts others in danger, especially kids in his charge, that is too much. This guy should be banned from the league.

I am not a sideline manager, either. I have been coaching my kids' soccer teams for four years now. I know how to treat kids respectfully and so that they will have fun. I would never embarrass a kid on any team purposely, nor would I only care about winning. These are 10-year-olds, for the love of Pete, and don't deserve sweat-shop treatment.

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