A Good Coach Gone Bad

October 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

man yells
The coaches of Little Dude’s flag football team warned us that we’d be facing a tough team this past week.  We just figured that meant they had good (and big) players, ran smart plays, and knew how to make touchdowns.  Well, we were right about all those things, but what we didn’t assume was that our team would also be facing a tough opposing coach.  At first we all thought he was just overly enthusiastic and had a very loud voice.

But, it soon became evident that this coach had a screw loose, I think.  A coach that screamed so loud that the rest of us on the sidelines were staring at him with our mouths agape.  A coach that yelled the following directives to his team:

“Run them over!”

“Destroy them!”

Now you might be thinking, “oh that’s not so bad.  I mean, after all, it is football.”  And, maybe you’d be right if these kids were middle or high schoolers.  But, these kids were nowhere near that age.  They were seven and eight – 2nd and 3rd graders!  These kids are still learning the game of football, learning how to run plays, learning how to think on their feet.  The last thing they need is the distraction of a crazy-ass parent coach telling them to run the other team over.

I must say, I was proud of the boys on our team, who remained focused and tried their hardest to the end, despite the lunatic on the edge of the field, maniacally waving his arms and shrieking after every play.  “It’s like psychological warfare,” I complained to my husband.  “I feel like his antics are psyching out our team.” My husband wisely did not egg me on because he knows that if he did, I’d be yelling obscenities at the opposing coach by the end of the game.

I was also proud of our parent coaches, who calmly but energetically kept our kids engaged and enjoying the sport like they do at every game and practice.  Even when we clearly had no hope of winning (and I won’t go into the shady tactics by the other team), our boys kept at it.

At the end of the game, Little Dude came running across the field to us as he always does, with a wide smile showing off his mouth-guard between his teeth.  We high-fived him as we always do, and told him he made some great passes as the QB.  It was their first team loss of the season, but you’d never know it by the joy on his face.  He loves the game and his coaches are fostering that positive attitude for him and every boy on the team.

I suddenly felt sorry for the boys on the other team.  Although some of them seemed to be responding to looney-coach, I’m sure that several of the other boys – perhaps the less-skilled players, and maybe even the coach’s own son – will not make it past this year.  I can bet those boys will quit football because they are fearful that they can’t live up to the coach’s expectations of crushing the other team every time.  They’ll be so concerned about winning that they will lose their inspiration – and love — for the game. I wish there was a way to weed out these psycho-coaches, but they are parents in the community who volunteer and for that, we are supposed to be grateful.  However, I am not feeling grateful right now.  I am feeling sad and scared for a bunch of little boys who still have six more games to play this season. If they’re lucky, maybe their coach will come down with a bad case of laryngitis.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea October 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm

“Psychological warfare” – that’s exactly what it is! I’ve even seen that with the 5y.o. segment. Unbelievable! You guys handled it well!


ohboymom October 3, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Thanks Andrea for your comment. Scary that it happens with 5-year olds too! I appreciate your feedback and your retweet!


Angela October 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm

If my son wet in tha team, he wouldn’t be after that. Report it!


ohboymom October 3, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Angela, Believe me, I would have reported him, but technically he wasn’t doing anything wrong. Very frustrating!


Janine Huldie October 3, 2012 at 6:36 pm

It is a damn shame that people like that have to ruin the fun and love of a sport. We were just talking about this recently (my husband and I), because our kids are 3 years old and 2 years old. We were thinking of starting soccer up next year, but don’t want to get them involved where they would be having to be throw into an actual competitive game at their age. We really just want them to learn the basics and have fun. So our thoughts were to do some research to find out if that does indeed exist someplace locally and sign them up there in the upcoming year. Thanks for sharing and I too would have been ready to scream some obscenities in the visiting coaches direction!


ohboymom October 3, 2012 at 7:52 pm

That sounds like a good plan Janine. I’m sure you’ll be able to find something non-competitive in your kids’ age groups. The crazy coaches usually don’t appear until 2nd or 3rd grade!


Janine Huldie October 3, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Thanks again and definitely not looking forward to any crazy coaches in the future after reading your experience!!


karen October 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm

oh that is just too sad. I am glad the boys on your team played with their hearts and enjoyed the game. Lunatics like that just ruin everything.


ohboymom October 4, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Thanks for your comment and I agree, they can ruin the game but luckily our boys were somewhat oblivious.:)


Julie October 6, 2012 at 11:58 am

I heard of an incident in our ‘hood of a coach/parent (husband/wife) who were barred from participating for displaying behavior like that…I’ve also heard about “silent” games where parents and coaches aren’t aloud to shout anything between plays. Anyone ever witnessed that? Interesting idea. Can you imagine being the son of this coach? Ugh.


ohboymom October 6, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Yes, we have “Silent Sunday” here for soccer but haven’t seen it instituted for football. It would definitely be a good thing, especially for the team with the screaming coach.


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