Re: adult appreciation
Peter Van Houten (peterva@QM.WV.TEK.COM)
Wed, 11 May 1994 08:12:06 -0800
>what about the recognition you get from your kids & their parents?
>isn't that better than some plastic badge?
>> Some jobs are really thankless, though.
I realize the following is not Scout related, but it is youth related and is
specific to appreciation of volunteers, (and I need an avenue to vent for a
minute). Besides being heavily involved in Scouting I'm also a Little League
coach. Now I could tell you stories about parent behavior that would make
your head spin! Parents & Coaches berating umpires, other coaches, and even
players. Until recently I thought I had a unique situation because noone
complained, nobody yelled at the umpires, we all showed up and had a lot of
First some background: We're in the Minor league, which unlike earlier
leagues includes a Championship and All-Star team (ie. Focus is on winning).
My coaching philosophy has been development of baseball fundamentals,
positioning, good sportsmanship and having fun! I like to win also, but it
isn't my foremost intention! More than anything I want the boys to enjoy the
game, and if we're to lose not be landslided! When we started I figured we
wouldn't have any chance at the championship, most of my boys are 9, in a
9-12 league! But with 4 games left in the season, we're in first place with
a 7-2 record!
So whats the problem? I get a call from one parent last night who says he's
representing the parents on the team! He doesn't like my rotation schedule
and specifically his boy isn't getting enough playing time, or is always in
the outfield! I shouldn't be concerned about winning games, but letting the
kids try different positions.
As a coach I get this kind of thing from parents who normally want their son
to pitch, and usually its so obvious why the boy can't pitch that I have no
problem with explaining my decisions! I have more practices than any other
team outside of games, during which I will let boys try out different
positions! If they look like they can do ok (that is hold their own without
getting frustrated or scared) I would let them play the position in the game.
If its obvious (ie. firstbaseman is afraid of catching a fast throw and
moves out of the way) I won't!
So knowing this why don't I brush this call off. One, the call lasted for
over 20 minutes in which I felt I was raked over the coals. While he didn't
say which parents he represented he said he represented the team. After the
call I was ready to throw in the towel. I spend literally 8-10 hours a week
with these boys teaching them the skills. I set up a mini-camp where they
could work out with a college team and see how the big boys play! Every boy
plays and hits in every game (unlike some other teams we've played).
So, in your infinite collective wisdom, what should I do: [Note: Only 4
more games left]
A) Brush it off, coach as I have, make no changes. (Result: Probably go to
B) Change my rotation, put kids anywhere they want to play. (Result:
Probably lose next 4
games, and not go to Championship)
C) Hold parent meeting prior to tomorrows game. Explain that the team has
and state I'm fed up with it, they can select a new coach! (Result:
I'm off the hook)
D) Hold parent meeting prior to tomorrows game. Explain situation and being
with parent vote on coach style (something that I've never seen occur).
E) What else?
This call, for some reason, really got to me and I didn't sleep at all last
Anyway, decisions need to be made today so I appreciate any input (you can
also tell me I'm way off base too...).
ps. I figured I needed to add one item. One family did go out of their way
to show their appreciation this last week. They had a sports bag embroidered
with a Baseball player and my name on it. They gave me that along with a
thankyou card that was signed not only by the immediate family, but by the
grandparents as well!
Peter Van Houten / E-Mail:
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City