Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Coaching drama

Baseball coaching continues to be a focal point of my existence right now. I say it never takes a backseat to providing quality instruction, but today it was kind of hard to argue that it didn't; I took my first sick day of the year, yet still went in to at least supervise baseball practice. I felt pretty sick, but the food poisoning I seem to have come down with overnight was gone. I was up nearly the whole night with major G.I. trouble, and it had passed out of my system by morning. Still, without any sleep. I could barely function to call in sick because of it. I felt much better, just a little icky, by the afternoon, so decided to keep practice on. We only have a week to get ready for the season at this point; first game is the 26th.

Coaching dominates my thoughts and a lot of my energy during this time of year. One player cursed out a coach, pretty severely, on Friday. I didn't realize how bad it was until the coach told me. After a lot of reflecting about it, as well as talking to the other coach, I decided to suspend the player for a month. I wrote the letter to him and talked with him briefly. I met with the father briefly. Tomorrow, the mother has requested a meeting. I wish nothing but the best for this kid, and hope I made the right decision.

The latest drama involves a kid who is a senior and one of my team captains. His mom does not want him to play, a fact that I learned tonight. She called me, saying that she doesn't even want to go to his graduation, that he's very disrespectful and this is the last thing she can do to him before she puts him out of the house. She seems determined, and it seems the only reason she wants to do it is because it's the last thing she can do to him. Of course, I'm only hearing the kid's perspective, but his version of the fight sounds pretty bad. She tells him she'll be glad when he's out on the street with the other losers, and he tells her that it's baseball season and hopefully he'll get recruited, and she grabs his phone, gets my number, and says, "Not if I have anything to say about it, you'll be going nowhere."

He'll be 18 in a month. He really has a pretty good shot at playing college football or baseball. He's also a hard worker and a leader on the team. His last text message was, "I really need help coach." I really have no idea what options I have or how I'm going to go about helping this situation. First step is talking with my Athletic Director tomorrow.

I'm considering writing a letter to the mom (she was obviously very angry when she called, not a good time to negotiate), stating how proud I am of the young man, and how I think letting him play baseball for the rest of the year will be a good thing for all involved. He was my student as a 9th grader, and a total goofball. As a sophomore, I could tell there was a great leader there, about the emerge if all the goofiness would melt away. Then, sadly, as a Junior, he was ineligible because of grades. Since then, he has pulled 70s and 80s and 90s, and has received several college acceptances. You should see the letter of recommendation I wrote for him the other day; he really is a success story, at least on the school and athletics side of things.

Wish me luck. Or, more importantly, him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like Fences, except Troy Maxon is his mom this time, and didn't Troy just tell his son that he couldn't play football because he didn't want his son to suceed? I don't know - I always thought Troy was just a jealous hater and couldn't handle his son being a better athlete than he was.

Hate to say it, but a lot of parents could use some lessons in being parents. Sounds like this is one of them. Good luck.