Author Topic: Need advice in dealing with assistants  (Read 250 times)

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Offline SmakAtak

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Need advice in dealing with assistants
« on: September 13, 2019, 12:45:50 PM »
A while back I posted about the strange situation I found myself in when asked to be both OC and DC by our head coach.  Link Here

After some initial summer issues with a lot of kids being on vacation we won our first game against a very good aerial team despite having 1 CB sick and another CB starting his first game at that position.  Also the refs were a joke but that's a whole other story.

Anyway, there's an assistant who's kid is big but very slow and unathletic.  He keeps lobbying for him to play center but the kids' not that good so we sub him in but he's not a starter. 

Last week after our win the HC and I were talking about how to get our 10 play kids their snaps and we agreed to do what we've done the past 3 seasons.  We've gone undefeated and won 3 championships with this formula.  We rotate our 10 play kids at the 2 DT spots.  Our DE's and LB's are studs and they clean up nicely.  So it's a luxury we enjoy.  Allows us to keep all other personnel decisions optimized. 

Anyway, we have this new big kid who's been showing a lot of potential as a pass rusher so the HC and I talked about starting him at DT.  I got approached by one of the assistant coaches and told they were sick of me picking starters on the line.  I guess they felt that as position coaches it was also their job to pick starters.  This was a shock to me.  Not only because I had never heard of such a thing at any level, but also because we had never talked about it.

Turns out a lot of this stems back to the big slow kid's dad spreading cancerous toxic ideas to the other simpleton coach and getting him all riled up to do his dirty work while he pouts in the shadows but never confronts me directly.

If I was the HC I would give them both one stern warning and fire them immediately if it continued.  But I'm not and as you may recall the HC is extremely spineless and timid which is why he asked me to be OC & DC in the first place.

I sent out a text explaining how things are going to be going forward (HC and Coordinator pick starters, etc.) and if anyone has any problems they can talk to me directly before practice on Friday. 

My plan is to make it clear that as assistant coaches here are the things we need from them, here are the areas we do NOT need interference, and any hint of nepotism or daddy balling is highly frowned upon.  I know different coaches have different degrees of tolerance when it comes to nepotism and daddy balling, but I don't know anyone who hates it more than I do.  I've seen it a it's worse and developed a strong life-long allergy to that shit.  Because I consider it such a cardinal sin, I'm cautious about implying it towards anyone else, even though I know for a fact that's what's going on.

I feel a bit jammed up because my responsibilities and authority don't match.  I think we can win a 4th championship in a row with this bunch before we send them to HS but we need to nip this cancer in the butt.  Not sure how to proceed.  Grateful for any advice. 

Offline CoachDP

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Re: Need advice in dealing with assistants
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2019, 01:34:28 PM »
Anyway, we have this new big kid who's been showing a lot of potential as a pass rusher so the HC and I talked about starting him at DT.  I got approached by one of the assistant coaches and told they were sick of me picking starters on the line.

--Aren't you the DC?  Unless you give the Position Coaches the power to start or sub as they please, this responsibility is yours.  Or the header's.

I guess they felt that as position coaches it was also their job to pick starters.  This was a shock to me.  Not only because I had never heard of such a thing at any level, but also because we had never talked about it.

--When I arrived at MCHS, I asked the Varsity header and the JV header, how are the RBs chosen for the game, and what the rotation was (if there even was one)?  They both had different approaches.  JV header allows me to make the call and the substitutions, but he can (and has) overridden it at any point in the game.  I check with the Varsity header on each series to see who he wants, and then I go tell the player.  However, I keep subs by me and if a RB breaks off a 60-yard run, I'll send in a sub right away.  My point is, I asked the headers how they wanted it done.

Turns out a lot of this stems back to the big slow kid's dad spreading cancerous toxic ideas to the other simpleton coach and getting him all riled up to do his dirty work while he pouts in the shadows but never confronts me directly.

--Yep, that's Daddy youth ball, at it's finest (and most common).

as you may recall the HC is extremely spineless and timid which is why he asked me to be OC & DC in the first place.

--Then it's your call.

I sent out a text explaining how things are going to be going forward (HC and Coordinator pick starters, etc.) and if anyone has any problems they can talk to me directly before practice on Friday.

--That should do.

I know different coaches have different degrees of tolerance when it comes to nepotism and daddy balling, but I don't know anyone who hates it more than I do.

--I dunno...I can probably think of someone.

I feel a bit jammed up because my responsibilities and authority don't match.

--I agree.  Better get this hammered out with the header.  As for the Daddys, who cares?  They're there for one reason only....

--Dave
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Online Bob Goodman

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Re: Need advice in dealing with assistants
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2019, 02:00:18 PM »
Anyway, we have this new big kid who's been showing a lot of potential as a pass rusher so the HC and I talked about starting him at DT.  I got approached by one of the assistant coaches and told they were sick of me picking starters on the line.  I guess they felt that as position coaches it was also their job to pick starters.  This was a shock to me.  Not only because I had never heard of such a thing at any level, but also because we had never talked about it.

Turns out a lot of this stems back to the big slow kid's dad spreading cancerous toxic ideas to the other simpleton coach and getting him all riled up to do his dirty work while he pouts in the shadows but never confronts me directly.

If I was the HC I would give them both one stern warning and fire them immediately if it continued.  But I'm not and as you may recall the HC is extremely spineless and timid which is why he asked me to be OC & DC in the first place.

I sent out a text explaining how things are going to be going forward (HC and Coordinator pick starters, etc.) and if anyone has any problems they can talk to me directly before practice on Friday. 

My plan is to make it clear that as assistant coaches here are the things we need from them, here are the areas we do NOT need interference, and any hint of nepotism or daddy balling is highly frowned upon.  I know different coaches have different degrees of tolerance when it comes to nepotism and daddy balling, but I don't know anyone who hates it more than I do.  I've seen it a it's worse and developed a strong life-long allergy to that shit.  Because I consider it such a cardinal sin, I'm cautious about implying it towards anyone else, even though I know for a fact that's what's going on.

I feel a bit jammed up because my responsibilities and authority don't match.
If the HC is timid and spineless, then he shouldn't mind your taking firm command over the ACs, even firing them if need be.

My experience is that there can be a fine line to walk between having a firm hand in control and turning off honest feedback from below.  You don't want your assistants to be intimidated into not offering any advice you might disagree with, but at the same time you don't want to give the impression that their influence over your decisions is any greater than it's supposed to be.  You need their honest observations.  If you think they themselves have been corrupted by undue influence, you have to tell them so, and explain your evidence, for them to understand why you'll be discounting their input on that particular matter, without casting doubt on their judgment generally.

That's hard, because the fact that someone is so corrupted is evidence that he does not have the best judgment.  But that person's judgment in general may still be the best you've got, because nobody with better judgment is making the relevant observations.  So regarding this new big kid, his advice may be discounted and you can tell him so, but his judgment on other things because he sees them may still be important.

Offline SmakAtak

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Re: Need advice in dealing with assistants
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2019, 03:07:30 PM »
Thanks boys.  I did chat with the HC for 30 minutes last night over the phone while walking the pup.  He agreed but he's also very diplomatic and keeps looking for ways to appease the assistants instead of being honest and firm with them.  He definitely likes to play both sides and sides with whoever he's talking to at the time.  No guts.  Creates a power vacuum and if you have vultures on the team, this is what happens. 

I LOVE directness and being firm.  But I don't want to go in with bluster and bravado about something I can't actually follow up on.  I know the HC would NEVER fire these guys.  I so I have to get them in line knowing my options are limited.  It sucks.  Grateful for your feedback.  I'll stick with the approach of these are things I manage as the coordinator and here's where I need help from you. 

Online Bob Goodman

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Re: Need advice in dealing with assistants
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2019, 07:37:53 PM »
Thanks boys.  I did chat with the HC for 30 minutes last night over the phone while walking the pup.  He agreed but he's also very diplomatic and keeps looking for ways to appease the assistants instead of being honest and firm with them.  He definitely likes to play both sides and sides with whoever he's talking to at the time.  No guts.  Creates a power vacuum and if you have vultures on the team, this is what happens. 

I LOVE directness and being firm.  But I don't want to go in with bluster and bravado about something I can't actually follow up on.  I know the HC would NEVER fire these guys.  I so I have to get them in line knowing my options are limited.
So don't you also know he'd never fire you for firing them?  Or for ignoring them?

Offline JustPlay

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Re: Need advice in dealing with assistants
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2019, 02:29:15 PM »
I have had a few daddy ballers in my day. I was one - The best way to deal with lies is truth. Film doesn't lie. Sit down and watch film as a staff and be brutally honest. Having a pizza on hand helps.

If the backstabbing AC is stilling talking junk - i have always found it is best to shine the spot light on them during a blowout game. "Lean over too him and tell him -"Alright time for you to get some experience - you call the O/D  & let him shot himself in the foot or he will do it your way because vanity and pride are a daddy ballers value.

Couple games ago a dad (non coach) tells me his kid would of caught the punt and I should put him in there. I said in front over everybody on the sideline - $50 to the banquet fund and I will put him back there. It was pretty funny how his demeanor changed.
nothing replaces effort. nothing replaces the mind. One with out the other is a waste of time.

Offline SmakAtak

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Re: Need advice in dealing with assistants
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2019, 02:32:28 PM »
So don't you also know he'd never fire you for firing them?  Or for ignoring them?

You're right.  It's not about getting fired.  It's about being able to implement a plan without resistance or interference.

Well, it's getting worse now.  One of them made a scene on the sidelines during the game when I veto'd a kid he was sending in.  It was a short yardage situation and I wanted bigger tackles  on the DLine.

Regardless, he stepped WAY outta line and the header did nothing. 

I had to call a meeting after the game and reiterate that the behavior is not acceptable and they signed on to be assistants and there's no reason to assume or push for decisions that don't fall in their bucket. 

I'm thinking of asking the header to fire this guy but like I said, he's spineless.  I'm too classy to make a scene so I don't know how to deal with this.  It's getting painful. 


Offline JustPlay

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Re: Need advice in dealing with assistants
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2019, 03:26:53 PM »
If the coach doesn't value you enough to take a stand with you - You may want to retire. Let them do it without your ability.
nothing replaces effort. nothing replaces the mind. One with out the other is a waste of time.

Offline SmakAtak

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Re: Need advice in dealing with assistants
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2019, 06:09:06 PM »
Been seriously considering that.  But I'm not a quitter and my son's on the team.  I don't want to set a bad example or spoil his last season of youth ball before he goes to HS. 

Offline mahonz

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Re: Need advice in dealing with assistants
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2019, 06:55:56 PM »
Been seriously considering that.  But I'm not a quitter and my son's on the team.  I don't want to set a bad example or spoil his last season of youth ball before he goes to HS.

Its time for them to go. Spineless Header or not.

No drama on the sidelines allowed. Now the kids have seen it.

Tough deal. Best to deal with it now.

What is beautiful, lives forever.

Online Bob Goodman

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Re: Need advice in dealing with assistants
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2019, 11:26:56 PM »
I'm thinking of asking the header to fire this guy but like I said, he's spineless.  I'm too classy to make a scene so I don't know how to deal with this.  It's getting painful.
Make him choose between you and that one.

Offline pballiker

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Re: Need advice in dealing with assistants
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2019, 01:07:34 PM »
Not looking to offend anyone but are you sure you are not the problem?  You yourself are an assistant coach complaining about the head coach AND complaining about other assistant coaches.  100% the assistant coaches job is to assist the HC, it's really not your position to fire coaches or to whine/complain about other coaches.  It's great to have a system that allows you to give input, but ultimately it is the HC's decision on the direction of the program.  You called your HC 'spineless' and you also said you are 'too classy', seems like you may have the situation all wrong. 

If I am the HC I am definitely firing one of my coaches but it's probably going to be you.

Offline CoachDP

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Re: Need advice in dealing with assistants
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2019, 01:11:56 PM »
the assistant coaches job is to assist the HC, it's really not your position to fire coaches or to whine/complain about other coaches.  It's great to have a system that allows you to give input, but ultimately it is the HC's decision on the direction of the program.

--True enough.  I don't agree with all that goes on where I coach, but I am not responsible for running the program, either.

If I am the HC I am definitely firing one of my coaches but it's probably going to be you.

--After 3 years, welcome to the DC Forum!  Now there's a first post!

--Dave

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Online Bob Goodman

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Re: Need advice in dealing with assistants
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2019, 02:22:03 PM »
Not looking to offend anyone but are you sure you are not the problem?  You yourself are an assistant coach complaining about the head coach AND complaining about other assistant coaches.  100% the assistant coaches job is to assist the HC, it's really not your position to fire coaches or to whine/complain about other coaches.  It's great to have a system that allows you to give input, but ultimately it is the HC's decision on the direction of the program.  You called your HC 'spineless' and you also said you are 'too classy', seems like you may have the situation all wrong. 

If I am the HC I am definitely firing one of my coaches but it's probably going to be you.
If SmakAtak's been truthful and candid in all he's been writing to us about the situation, it can't be as you think.  It's the HC who wanted him installed as boss of both offense and defense, so assuming the channels are as usual, the ACs are supposed to assist SmakAtak, and Smakatak's supposed to assist the HC.

This situation seems unusual to you because most of us are in organizations too small to have actual coordinators of offense or defense -- middle management.  It doesn't seem SmakAtak's club is big enough to require coordinators either, but that the head coach wants some buffer between himself and the assistants.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 02:25:35 PM by Bob Goodman »