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During our game yesterday (girls 6-8 softball) that I am coaching this year, one of the players (starting 1st base) left the game to go watch a movie, Shrek 2. This girl is a good solid player and plays a very important position on the team --- at 1st base and always gets on base with her hitting. Not only did she leave, but her parents did not even inform the coaching staff of her absence. The other girls on the team knew she had gone to watch a movie.

I was livid and extremely upset at this situation. I cannot fathom the amount of disrespect, discourtesy nor lack of team ethics that it takes to pull a child from a game to view a movie --- much less without notifying the coaching staff of her decision. We did not find out until she did not show up in batting order. (coach pitch league --- so we are not in the dugout but we do have asst placing on-deck batters and helping with lineup etc)

Ok, what to do/say or inform the player and/or the parent this Friday (tomorrow) at practice about this incident? Please be fair, constructive but honest in your response.

Thanks so much for your insight on this. I know what I want to say but cannot in full. I played at all levels of sport from little league to college to professional and I cannot fathom this blatent disregard for basic team morals. I blame the parent -and- the child for this behavior and lack of discipline, respect and concern for her fellow teammates. It does not show a good example and definately sets poor precident.

Selfish play is not good play in my book.

Thanks,
Andy
 

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Andy
I fully understand the softball aspect but I think you should approach the parents with the fact that no one in authority, managers or coaches was told where she went. For all anybody knew she could have wandered off or been lured away by a sexual predator or kidnapper. If they are normal people they might understand and appologize. Or they may be arrogant asses and blame you for not stopping everything and forming a search party that ended with the swat team surrounding the movie theater.
After getting past this, explain how it's unfair to the rest of the team who depends on each other to show up and how if she isn't serious in her commitment to the team, some other child may wish to take her place. The fact that she's a good player is secondary if you can't depend on her.
 

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Couple of options:

1. Press on and let her play just like before and hope it doesn't happen again and no one else gets the idea or

2. Talk with the parents and explain that this is a team sport that relies on all the players, and if this continues then you will have no other option but to put their daughter onthe bench because you cannot count on her to be there.

That is the harsh way to put it, and I would have to polish it up quite a bit but that was not right. If you are going to go to a movie then don't bother showing up to the game in the first place!!!

After reading your post again, I see that it is younger kids. I would probably ask the parents about the deal and tell them if a situation like this comes up again with a previous commitment you would like to know beforhand so you can plan accordingly. I would also suggest to them that they not show up for the game because it disrupts the whole team for a player to leave after it has started.

I agree it was not right and not a good example for any of the kids. We told our son that if he starts something he needs to finish it. Thing do come up between activities but we pick which one we are going to do and work something out with the other. A movie is not a good excuse to me!:argh:
 

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:thumbsup: What sixchows said. Her ability is secondary, her team spirit should be first and foremost.

What kind of message does her actions and your response to it are the other team members receiving? That is a question you should ask yourself before proceeding.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think what led to the problem was that the game didn't start on scheduled time of 5:30pm and instead started closer to 6:00pm. Movie was apparently for 7:00pm and we would have be done had the delays not occurred. Still we had 3 other parents that had to leave to watch other kids play and they didn't pull their kids but instead the coaches dropped the kids off at home after the game.

It is a team sport and the team has to come before the player.

Keep em coming --- good advice.
Andy
 

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i agree with the others..
the parents should have asked or told you they woulsd need to take the kid out..

if a 6-8 year old goes missing mid-game.. as a coach you need to be aware of where the kid would go...

at 6 years old to the kid.. the movie was probably more important than the game.. but someone should have informed you..
 

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You guys just aren’t thinking like SAPP’s
(Smart, Articulate Progressive People)

SAPP’s justify doing anything they want at the expense of others
because THEY are simply more important than others. This girl
obviously has SAPP’s for parents. Remember SAPP’s don’t do anything,
all they do is react negatively to anything anybody else does.
Benching her will only result in the SAPP’s sueing the coaches and the
league. SAPP’s are unencumbered by facts, they form their positions on
wild extrapolations of points that have the lowest possibility. Therefore
the SAPP’s will contend that the benching was sexually biased (even though
the entire league is girls). The case will ultimately wind up in the 9th Jerkuit
court, where the Jerks will rule in favor of the SAPP’s. The league will no
longer be able to operate because of the new liability insurance premiums.
The coaches will be fired from their day jobs because the newspapers will
publish their pictures and names connected with a sexual misconduct, child
abuse scandal. Other communities will see what happened here and shut
their leagues down. Hundreds of thousands of kids will no longer have an
organized place to play softball, and the SAPP’s will be HAPPY that justice
was served.

I wouldn’t tell her parents anything. Bench her without the sermon, the other
kids will know why, she will know why. You will get to teach her and her
teammates a lifelong lesson and you won’t be putting any bullets in her SAPP
parents gun.
 

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Follow sixchows. If you get lip or attitude from the parents, speak with the girl because it might not be her fault. If you get tude from the girl... bench her. Tough on the team, but that's life. I would wait until game day to do the benching too.

could have been a complete accident. (I told my husband to tell you, I told my daughter, I forgot).

Give them the benefit of the doubt and speak with them. Then and only then can you decide if you drop it or not.
 
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