Ya know, I have been around athletics and coaches my whole life. I started playing t-ball in kindergarten, then baseball, basketball and football from the third grade on, with football going all the way through college. Then I began coaching in 1989 and that went on for thirty years and is still going on, albeit on more of an unofficial level these days.
I have had plenty of coaches over the years, some good, many bad. Funny thing is, the best coach that I ever had was one of my first, Coach Miller. He coached me when I was weighing 80-100 pounds in football. He was a Marine, with tattoos on his forearms and a fiery red beard that scared the hell out of me the first time I met him. “Get your beady little eyes on me,” he began the first team meeting. And we did. He was tough, but fair. Never did anything stupid with us like run endless laps for no reason. He'd say, “Now men, we can play some football or we can be the best darn track team in the country, if you don't want to listen.” We listened. He'd also say, “Men, two things in life to avoid, the Army and wind sprints.” And then he'd gather us around and say, “Men, tomorrow is the game. I don't want to see you running around at night, going to bars, hanging out with loose women.” We sat there with our collective mouths open as he spoke to us. Then he'd say, “And no bubble baths. I want your mommas to lock you in the closet tonight and slide you raw meat under the door. Makes you mean." I loved that man.
He'd play everyone, everyone got to run the ball. And we'd have a big pizza party at the end of the year and he'd give us a trophy with a marshmallow stuck on top of it. He called us his marshmallows. Nobody got offended, nobody thought anything about it. He wasn't petty or vindictive, and he wasn't silly and he didn't think that he was Vince Lombardi. He was just Coach Miller. We won some , lost some, and some parents would get irritated because he played everyone, but the kids didn't care, we just had a lot of fun. Oh, yeah, he'd send us into the woods to urinate, and he'd yell, “Shake it more than once and you are playing with it!" Nobody needed to be coddled when he said it.
Hell, men just talked like that back then. But he really cared for us, we all knew that about him. He was a great man. If I am 52 and still remember him and things that he said, he must have made a huge impression on me. He sure did.
Times have changed.
My kids play little league or whatever it is called these days. I guess I call all youth sports, “Little league”. I didn't even know that all of this existed when I was coaching in college. I just thought that some parents volunteered and did the best that they could. But it's a big deal to people. Parents get all nuts and the coaches? I see the coaches that they have, and I appreciate the time they put in, but damn, some of them, suck. I don't know if it's because they think that they should act a certain way because they watch too many videos of coaches, or if they are just stupid. All the yelling just to yell, all the posturing, all the fake bravado. Hell, they probably never even played the game. The really good ones played the game. In college, usually. And the good ones that didn't play, realize that they don't now a whole bunch and focus on the fundamentals and having a positive impact on the kids. Its all so stupid even talking about it. Makes me pissed off. Don't you know that they are just kids, and the little kid game is not about you? My one son had a coach who I swear to you, was dumb as a brick. He talked crap to the kids, blamed them for losses, blamed everybody for losses but himself. What he really needs is a good ass kicking. You can always tell a lousy coach by the way his own kid treats him. This one lets his son YELL at him and talk back to him during the games. Embarrassing. And amazing to me. I don't think I ever said two words to Coach Miller besides, “ Yes, Coach.” The problem with coaching in college for years is that when I see guys trying to be all “coachy” and stuff that I spot the fakeness right away. And it's all too much, these guys who think that they know what they are doing because they are a coach of a “travel” baseball team. I feel like saying, you are nobody. You can't coach and you aren't a celebrity, you are just a youth baseball coach who nobody gives a damn about. YOU ARE NOBODY. Belittling kids is a pussy thing to do. I have had to pull my one son off of two teams so far, one football team because the coach had them run endless laps before during and after practice and also wouldn't allow them to take off their helmets or get water in 100 degree weather. Bye. The next one was when he told my kid that he “fucked up his practice plan” and belittled him for playing as a guest player on another team. Bye to you too, coward. I'm too old to go to jail, but I would like to gather all of these lousy coaches up who treat the kids like crap, have them swear that they won't press charges, then beat them down, bad.
But it wouldn't solve anything, besides make me feel good. They'd still go along, sucking, but thinking that they are an MLB or NFL coach.
So in conclusion, if you wanna coach kids, coach them, actually teach them. Don't make it about you, don't be a bitch and and don’t ever think that you are important. Hell, just be like Coach Miller.