Author Topic: How do I handle this moving forward?  (Read 1820 times)

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Offline MBCoach

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How do I handle this moving forward?
« on: August 10, 2017, 03:09:16 PM »
I have a pair of brothers on my team. One is a stud athlete. The other is clearly a great lineman, but has the wrong attitude and shows next to no effort in practice.

The lineman has not been trying in practice. I've tried a kick in the butt, I've tried a pat on the butt, I've tried it all to motivate this kid and nothing works. His dad just keeps assuring me "he's a gameday kid. He's always slacked in practice and shows up for the games."

My response to that was, "cool, but he's not going to be able to show me that if he doesn't try in practice, because I won't play him in the games." So Tuesday rolls around and we announce our offensive personnel groups. I leave the lineman off the A team AND the B team completely. He's the only kid on the team who's not in a group. I tell him exactly why.  Dad didn't like that.

The stud athlete is clearly the best athlete on my team. I wouldn't say the best football player, but he's definitely the best athlete and it's not even close. Motivation is not an issue with this kid, but he's a little reserved, not very vocal. Clearly a great player, he's just not a leader.

We announced captains on Tuesday as well. I didn't make stud athlete a captain, because there were other leaders on the team who clearly deserved it more. They were all first year players. Dad didn't like that either.

So, dad starts plotting during the middle of Tuesday's practice, and goes to the league commissioner. He doesn't tell the full story, just asks if his kids can move up to the next division. League commissioner says yes, and Dad texts me that night saying he's pulling his kids from the team because the one didn't make captain. Yes. He admitted that was the reason. In writing.

So I fought it. Tooth and nail. I don't care if they're not on my team anymore, but that's the wrong reason to let a kid move up. He doesn't get captain so we let him move up a division? My organization agreed those are not the values we are trying to teach. We are so late into the year now that they cannot leave the organization and go to a new one. This family is now left with 2 options. Stay on my team, or don't play football.

I don't know their decision yet, I'll find out tonight at practice. But how should I handle the parent and kids moving forward? I don't think the kids really want to move up, it was the Dad. But I'm concerned about having him on the sidelines bashing me to the other parents all year long. I'm worried those boys won't be 100% invested. I don't really know how to handle this because now that I've fought it and won, I don't really know if I even want them on the team anymore

Offline mahonz

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Re: How do I handle this moving forward?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2017, 03:17:22 PM »
Meet with the 3 of them privately and make things right.

Dad needs to realize that youth sports is not his deal. He is the checkbook, taxi and cheerleader.

The kids need to learn that everything is earned.

They all need to learn to get out of the here and now and making things all about them. Do that and there is a very good chance they will all be happier.

Collect moments, not wins.

Offline MBCoach

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Re: How do I handle this moving forward?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2017, 03:20:47 PM »
Meet with the 3 of them privately and make things right.

Dad needs to realize that youth sports is not his deal. He is the checkbook, taxi and cheerleader.

The kids need to learn that everything is earned.

They all need to learn to get out of the here and now and making things all about them. Do that and there is a very good chance they will all be happier.

Did I make a wrong move along the way? Should I have not left the lineman off of our personnel groups? I know you're not in my practices every day but I really do want to learn from this scenario and not make the same mistakes again. I just don't really know what I did wrong.

Offline mahonz

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Re: How do I handle this moving forward?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2017, 03:42:47 PM »
Did I make a wrong move along the way? Should I have not left the lineman off of our personnel groups? I know you're not in my practices every day but I really do want to learn from this scenario and not make the same mistakes again. I just don't really know what I did wrong.

Had you made the stud brother a C....you would have been feeding the problem. Had you given the lazy brother a roster spot....same deal.

I dont see a mistake. Everything must be earned. It all starts there.

Dad running to the Commish for help was a MONUMENTAL mistake on his part. Now they might be out entirely but only after the Commish wavered on the decision. So he / she is a flake too.

It seems you are the only one doing right....so make it right.
Collect moments, not wins.

Offline davecisar

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Re: How do I handle this moving forward?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2017, 03:52:14 PM »
You did most of it right

I would have put the lineman in a personnel grouping of linemen - last string

Im not a fan of team captains - the real leaders will assert themselves over the course of the season
We do weekly captains- for coin flip only
Causes fewer headaches- the ones you describe

In our day 1 parent meeting we talk about:
How playing time is earned= we talk about "game day players" that turn on a switch- we let everyone know that it wont work here.
You earn your playing time in practice

Also we talk about tanking it in practice on one side of the ball and turning the switch on to start on the other side- that doesnt work either
We had a kid do that- he is now playing DII on scholarship on the side of the ball he tanked it on- we sat him

Most of the time that kind of stuff can be headed off at the pass with your parents on day 1- and of course the kids are there
We share real stories with names about kids who sat etc

What they did was wrong- the easy way out is let them be someone elses problem- life is too short
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

Winston Churchill

Offline patriotsfatboy1

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Re: How do I handle this moving forward?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2017, 03:57:36 PM »
You did most of it right

I would have put the lineman in a personnel grouping of linemen - last string

Im not a fan of team captains - the real leaders will assert themselves over the course of the season
We do weekly captains- for coin flip only
Causes fewer headaches- the ones you describe

In our day 1 parent meeting we talk about:
How playing time is earned= we talk about "game day players" that turn on a switch- we let everyone know that it wont work here.
You earn your playing time in practice

Also we talk about tanking it in practice on one side of the ball and turning the switch on to start on the other side- that doesnt work either
We had a kid do that- he is now playing DII on scholarship on the side of the ball he tanked it on- we sat him

Most of the time that kind of stuff can be headed off at the pass with your parents on day 1- and of course the kids are there
We share real stories with names about kids who sat etc

What they did was wrong- the easy way out is let them be someone elses problem- life is too short

This ^^

I am not a fan of season captains.  I choose them weekly.

PT is earned even with MPR's. 

My guess is that the lineman was being made an example of and you can do that with some kids, but not others.  Sounds like this kid needs some different motivation.  I would talk to Dad first and explain your side of things and let him explain his.  Address that side of it first.  With the kids, you may have no issue other than maybe trying a different approach with the lineman. 

Offline Michael

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Re: How do I handle this moving forward?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2017, 04:09:28 PM »
I don't punish the kid for the parents, I don't reward the kid for the parents, I don't interact with the kid a certain way because of the parents.

If you'd normally leave the kid out of the groups, leave the kid out of the groups.  If you'd normally not make the kid a captain, don't make the kid a captain.

If you want to have some fun, ask the dad which captain his kid should replace, and tell him you need to know so you can add that kid's parents to the email and get all this sorted out.
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Offline coachmiket

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Re: How do I handle this moving forward?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2017, 04:22:59 PM »
Were any other players left off of personnel groups or was the OL the only one so as to be made an example of?

How old are the kids?

Offline MBCoach

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Re: How do I handle this moving forward?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2017, 04:39:31 PM »
Were any other players left off of personnel groups or was the OL the only one so as to be made an example of?

How old are the kids?

I probably should have given a bit more context. They're 6th graders. The lineman who I left off of personnel groups has played since he was 5. Yes. He was the only one who I left off of personnel groups. I didn't really do it to "make an example" of him though. All of my other kids show up and work their asses off. I did it for him, and only him. I did it because I've been trying for months to motivate this kid in practice, and he just wasn't trying. He said to our business manager that he was really looking forward to our upcoming scrimmage so he could show me how he plays on game day. I did this to show him I don't care how he plays on game day if he doesn't play that way in practice throughout the week.

Offline MBCoach

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Re: How do I handle this moving forward?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2017, 04:40:56 PM »
I don't punish the kid for the parents, I don't reward the kid for the parents, I don't interact with the kid a certain way because of the parents.

If you'd normally leave the kid out of the groups, leave the kid out of the groups.  If you'd normally not make the kid a captain, don't make the kid a captain.

If you want to have some fun, ask the dad which captain his kid should replace, and tell him you need to know so you can add that kid's parents to the email and get all this sorted out.

Oh I absolutely never punish kids for their parents. But the parent has fed into these boys mind over the last few days that I'm incompetent, so now it's their belief too, I think. Idk we will see how today goes I guess

Offline gumby_in_co

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Re: How do I handle this moving forward?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2017, 04:43:07 PM »
Have the meeting like Mahonz described. If you want to show that you care about the kids (if you're into that kind of thing), try to have the meeting before they announce their decision (or at least try).  If not, have the meeting if they decide to stay. If they decide to go . . . c'est la vie.

Don't second guess yourself, though. I think everything you did was reasonable.
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Offline gumby_in_co

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Re: How do I handle this moving forward?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2017, 04:47:50 PM »
He said to our business manager that he was really looking forward to our upcoming scrimmage so he could show me how he plays on game day. I did this to show him I don't care how he plays on game day if he doesn't play that way in practice throughout the week.

All the reason to do what you did. Plus, his dad has been enabling this crap.

Let's say for the sake of argument that he IS a game day baller (I doubt it). What if everyone else on the team followed that example and CAN'T elevate their play on game day? This kid needs to learn the most important lesson that football has to offer. Everything is about the TEAM. This kid's coaches have failed him the last 5 years.
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Offline gumby_in_co

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Re: How do I handle this moving forward?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2017, 04:50:06 PM »
But the parent has fed into these boys mind over the last few days that I'm incompetent, so now it's their belief too, I think.

Who knows what conversations take place on the rides home, or at dinner? Bottom line is if Jr doesn't do what we need him to do, he doesn't play. Most 6th graders are smarter than that anyway.
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Offline MBCoach

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Re: How do I handle this moving forward?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2017, 04:59:14 PM »
All the reason to do what you did. Plus, his dad has been enabling this crap.

Let's say for the sake of argument that he IS a game day baller (I doubt it). What if everyone else on the team followed that example and CAN'T elevate their play on game day? This kid needs to learn the most important lesson that football has to offer. Everything is about the TEAM. This kid's coaches have failed him the last 5 years.

I 100% agree with everything you said to the letter. They claim to be a "football family", and the dad has coached many times in previous years. Pre-season he believed in my coaching style and philosophies, he just doesn't like it when it applies to his kids. For being a "football family" I really don't understand how they can have the values of the game so backwards.

Offline Bob Goodman

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Re: How do I handle this moving forward?
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2017, 06:10:27 PM »
Tell the parents you want him to help teach the others.  And that honestly is what a lot of group practice is, so the worse players can learn from the model of the better ones.
They claim to be a "football family", and the dad has coached many times in previous years.
Wow, all the better to say this, then!