Little League (follow-up)
Peter Van Houten (peterva@QM.WV.TEK.COM)
Fri, 13 May 1994 08:16:31 -0800
Little League (follow-up)
This is to let you know what happened with my team last night!
1) Before the game I had a 'Frank' talk with my players and asked them
outright what they wanted out of the remaining games. I also asked them
where and who should play and how much. I asked if anyone of them felt like
they were being played unfairly. The response was consistent, even the boy
whose parent complained stated he like where he was at. (Note: He did say
he'd like to bat more often.) We continued our talk discussing things like
sportsmanship, skills, positions, having fun, why we come to games, etc.
Ended up with I feel an even stronger bonded team (IMHO).
2) We played a game, as I've never seen these boys played! Not one single
error was committed on our side, and we won 16-2. Defensively, I believe,
these boys played the best ball I've ever seen.
3) After game I called a team meeting, parents & boys. I first made some
announcments about field changes etc. Than I stated I had received a call
and it was implied as being a representative of the parents. I was honest in
stating it upset me and I was ready to quit! However, in reflection I am not
a coach to make parents happy! I coach 'only for the boys' and told the
parents this. I stated if there is a problem that the team as a whole needs
to address ... do it know, otherwise we're too far into the season to make
modifications! I emphasized my coaching style, my goals, and that even
though we are in a competitive league I want the boys to learn to enjoy the
game! I refered to a parental situation in another game in which the parent
was ejected from the game. I don't want that to be a situation in our team,
nor do I want the boys to learn that behavior as part of the game.
The end result:
Everyone (but the complaining parent) came up to me privately after the
meeting to express their support, and that they've seen major skill
improvement since their son has been on the team.
When I got home, I was met by the disgrunted parent, who wanted to have it
out! We spent the next hour in a face-to-face (some of it very
uncomfortable) working at diffusing his anger! He was angry, although he
didn't say it in this way, that I called him on his representing the team.
He was also angry that I included the boys in the meeting because he wouldn't
say anything in front of his son! We ended the meeting with a psuedo
agreement and a so-so apology! I feel I won't have further complaints, nor
do I feel I'll see his son on my team next year! I was very honest in my
opinion of his son's talents and that I've felt he's improved, but that both
he and I may have made a mistake in bringing his son into this league level
Bottom-line: I feel good about my team, and my decisions. I slept well for
the first time since the incident happened. I feel we have a good chance at
the championship, but at the same time have a lot of fun! Win or Lose, we'll
have done our best!
Thank you all for your support, for your advice, and for your 'ear'. We've
been talking about Leader appreciation and the thankless jobs we do, but
Scouters are a very unique group of people, and I feel those on this list are
even more accepting. Thank you again!
Peter Van Houten / E-Mail:
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City