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PostPosted: 29 May 2018, 22:52 

Posts: 2
So this is my 4th year coaching this particular summer team. Boys are a 15u team. Up until this season everything has gone very smooth. Kids showed up to practice, practiced hard, played hard, learned a lot and icing on top was we won a lot of games and tournaments. End of last season I told the boys we would be going to bigger tournaments, really testing ourselves and skills. Let everyone know that everyone had to be locked in.

This season comes around, like every other season we had some kids doing school sports still. No big deal, happens every year. This year though a few kids don't show up to practice after school sports like previous years. Give a few warnings, get kids to come but parents act annoyed. Other kids are dropped off late despite me stating start time is start time. 1 minute late is late. (I have a 10 minute rule) be there 10 minutes before start so you are ready when practice starts. Bunch of little things, mostly lack of communication. I deal with, it is their first year in high school.

I talk to the parents the best I can, let them know practices are mandatory. Get weekly school schedules, work around the best I can. If I can't that kid is excused from practice. Pretty basic stuff.

Let's roll it around to this past weekend. We are in a tourney. Sunday night is our first bracket game. Tell all the boys and parents that to be at the gym by 7:00 that night. We play at 7:40. I get there early and am waiting for the kids to show up. All but 3 are there at 7:00. I text the other parents. One kid is going to be 10 minutes late, ok can deal with that. One kids parents walk and tell me their son is with the other kid and his parents. We text them, no response.

The game starts, they are still not there. One kid is a starter, only one is last off the bench. Got no communication from anyone on what's going on. They show up laughing and smiling with 5 minutes left in the first half. I turn and tell them to not to even sit down, go sit with their parents. They would just be a distraction on the bench. One goes and sits with his parents, the other leaves the gym with his parents, doesn't even bother to watch the game. The one that left is the last one off the bench and his parents were the ones responsible for them being late. Found out later they were shopping.

Fast forward to half time and I am talking to the boys and suddenly another parent, not one that I told to get off the bench, comes over and starts telling me that was shitty, wasn't the kids fault, just screaming. I just tell him to get out of the bench area. That parents kid is now embarrassed to all hell and we are even more unfocused. We lose by 20, down by 4 at halftime.

After the game I calmly go to the kids parents to talk to them. (The kid that is still there that I kicked off the bench) Like I said 4 years coaching and not a single issue really. Tried telling them he could have texted me before the game, texted his parents, contacted someone. Him showing up during a game was just as much his fault as the people he was with who by the way all ready took off. After some discussion they didn't agree but did agree that I was the coach and did what I thought was best in the moment.

Part of the problem solved. Today I have a parent meeting and told everyone the rules again. All basic stuff, practices are mandatory now that school sports are done. Communication is a must, parents do not approach the bench, etc... Everybody agrees and goes home. The kid that left parents did not attend.

Get home tonight to a group Facebook message saying that I discourage other sports which I have never once done. Hell I tell kids to play multiple sports but if they commit to them they have to show up to everything they possible. Preach to them about responsibility and becoming young men quite often. Also was told by a parent that is not the kid that I sent off the bench that I was wrong for doing that and I humilated him
. I have 11 boys on this team and suddenly 5 of the parents act like I am worthless. I don't get it, don't know how to handle it. Like I said before I have coached this team for 4 years. Thought I was well respected by the parents, think the boys still respect me. But as soon as this season started I could tell something was off. About 4-5 parents no longer communicated, had the kids to practice late quite often, were trying to tell me what to do with the boys.

Sorry for the wall of text, just looking to vent and get some guidance. Out of my 10 years of coaching travel teams I have never dealt with something of this scale. Feels like a parent mutany.

PostPosted: 30 May 2018, 09:11 
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Posts: 1269
It might be a mutiny. They might all be planning to leave after the season. When players leave the program you usually can tell... they kinda shut down. But you never know.

You have to decide how you want to handle it.

I feel that I do a pretty decent job... I still lost 5 players a couple seasons ago... it's a long story but the short version is 3 got recruited to another team, 1 moved, and another decided to go to another team. It was some bad luck for most part but it happens. Several went quiet late in the season and I knew something was up.

Again you have to decide how you want to handle it. You can have open conversation with each individual parent / player. You can try to talk them into staying, make some compromises, etc. Get them to open up and let you know all their concerns. See if you can work things out.

Personally I stopped talking players into staying. I only want players that truly want to be there on our team! For a couple of my youth teams that has been my philosophy. It's my way or the highway. If you don't appreciate what we are providing, there are plenty of other teams you can join. I have no problem if you go somewhere else. You either like what we do or you don't.

It sounds like you are communicating expectations ahead of time so I don't have any suggestions. You just decide if you want to work with these players and get more flexible -- or draw the line and don't worry if they do elsewhere.

Jeff Haefner

PostPosted: 30 May 2018, 10:33 

Posts: 2
Thanks for the response. My way or the highway is where I am at . When I started the program I knew going in what I wanted it to be. Practice, hard work, dedication, a real team basically. A lot of programs around here are pay to play, doesn't matter if you go to practices or even games. I wanted to be the exact opposite of that. I started sending a bit after a few years and you know the saying you give someone an inch and they will take a mile. I have decided if kids leave then that's their choice. Sucks just the same though, after so many years you really get invested in them and care about them not just as bball players but as individuals. Think on my end its not more about going to another team as it is they just get burnt out with traveling and may just be burnt out on me and my system. 4 years is quite awhile.

PostPosted: 30 May 2018, 10:54 

Posts: 214
One of my thoughts was burnout. Either they are getting tired of the same system or just tired of the sport. How many of these kids are Varsity caliber players or want to be? How many have the potential to play in college or even want to?

This seems to be the age where kids start figuring out what they truly do and do not want to participate in. It's no longer forced on them by parents.

I've had players leave my club for different reasons. We wish them luck and are always cordial when we see them out and about. One player left us this spring for a the biggest club in our area. They are now trying to get back in with us.

PostPosted: 06 Jun 2018, 12:21 

Posts: 899
Rough deal. Sounds like you're doing your own version of a "club team" with kids you've had for years now. Am I correct? Totally understand that situation.

When you go that route you lose the leverage other club teams have which is tryouts. Tryouts usually weed out most of the players who aren't serious about taking it to the next level. It's extremely difficult to play against the more competitive teams with a homemade club team if you don't have that commitment from the players and parents.

I think coachmt is correct about the possible lack of motivation. As a coach, you see the benefits of playing in tougher tourneys to get them ready for varsity. That means a more serious commitment if you even want a chance to compete at the higher levels. Tough predicament.


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