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Tuesday, April 2, 2019



People who volunteer to coach youth sports do not get the credit they deserve.  Most of the stories you read about youth sports coaches involve pedophilia or fanatical nut jobs who care nothing about sportsmanship or the children, they only care about winning.

I have been involved as a coach three times in my life.  I did not volunteer so much as I failed to take two steps backwards as quickly as the other parents at the meetings.  I was coach of two different seven year old soccer recreation teams (about twenty years apart) and a nine year old Little League baseball team.

I would like to use my forum here to blast the real culprits in harming children through youth sports….PARENTS!  

In case you did not hear let me make it clear; annoying busybody do nothing drop the kids off so you can babysit piece of crap freaking parents are the trouble with youth sports.

The worst of the parents are soccer moms (and dads). 

My first experience with coaching was for a soccer team of seven year olds. One soccer mom was unable to drive her daughter to and from practice and games.  I picked up this little girl for all practices and games.  I was never thanked for this…that was fine; I felt sorry for the little girl because of her mom was a little…er….WEIRD! 

All season I was this little girl’s chauffer.  We finished the season, and the next Saturday was the annual soccer picnic.  The girl’s mother came up to me at the picnic furious that I did not pick up her daughter for practice on that Thursday.  I explained to her that since the season was over last Saturday, it would seem silly to hold the usual weekly practice on this past Thursday.

“Well you could have at least told me.  I HAD PLANS!!”

You’re welcome.

Twenty years later I again forgot to step backwards and was coaching another seven year old soccer team.  I did not mind that kids seldom made practice and showed up for games ten minutes late; I did mind that parents of these kids expected the same playing time for their kids as the ones that showed up on time. 

The parents always knew to the minute who played more than their child.

These games were four eight minute quarters.  Each team had ten kids.  You could only field six at a time.  Every kid wanted to play goalie, or forward, or only on defense.  Few of the children were accustomed to not getting what they wanted.  Coaching became almost completely trying to monitor who played where and for how long.  It was VERY important that everything be equal.  Screw teaching the kids how to play the game.

One game I apparently failed to put one little boy in the game an equal amount of time as the rest of the children.  His mom and dad let me know very loud and clear.  I was accused of holding him out and playing better players so we could win the game (We didn’t even keep score so as not to damage the little precious children’s self esteem).

I was attacked in such a way I really had only one of two choices.  Pop the kids obnoxious dad in the chops (I would never hit the mom) or walk away.  I walked away.

The next week I intentionally played this kid an extra quarter and held my own son out.  I did this to make a point.  The dad attacked me again.

“I know what you’re doing, playing my son extra just because I complained.  That’s not fair either.”

I stepped back and told this dad, 

“Last week I elected to walk away from your inappropriate tantrum instead on knocking you on your ass.  I am beginning to see what a bad decision that was” (well something to that effect.)  

My assistant coach stepped between us before I corrected the previous week’s decision and another parent suggested this gentleman back off….quickly. 

I did get an apology from the wife over the phone.  I accepted, but none too graciously.

Too be continued tomorrow- Sam Shapasshole and Little League Baseball.

Re-run from April 2012


  1. And they wonder why their kids grow up the way they do. Spoilt and very pampered. In my day we had to fend for our ourselves from a very young age.

  2. My husband coached soccer, basketball, baseball and softball. He has an arsenal of these same stories, though there is one family that stands out because both parents were nuts.

  3. When we were growing up the best of the best were the ones that played. It was survival of the fittest and the parents kept their noses out of it. Too bad that's not the case anymore.

    Have a fabulous day, Joe. 😎

  4. Goodness, I am appalled at the parent's behavior. How to make your kid feel unloved and in need of therapy in three easy lessons. Being forced to spend time with them when the parents had "plans". Being told loud and clear that they are not getting enough playing time because they are NOT one of the better players. Having their parents, who embarrass them normally, make fools of themselves in front of their friends. Boy do I feel sorry for any coach. Might be a good idea to work on that two step back Joeh.

  5. A thankless job indeed to be a youth coach. I look forward to part two.


  6. I hope they all sold their share of those fundraiser candy bars for uniform money!

  7. This is one reason my kids had music lessons, and only did sports with homeschool kids where the parents were well behaved.

  8. I was an assistant coach for three seasons and was mostly the bouncer that kept the coach safe from harm and other abuse. It was in a 'non competitive' (i.e. no score) soccer league where ALL of the kids knew the score. Ya know?

    I was coach for one miserable season for a bunch of lazy ungrateful parents but great kids. Had no assistant so I was my own bouncer and as far as I know was the first and only coach who tossed two sets of parents out of a game for ref abuse. The refs were mainly older teens and young adults who didn't deserve the abuse. Then again, I was also the coach who found out and reported several veteran coaches who were cheating and stacking their 'non-competitive' teams so they wouldn't have to endure the fair random draw for the teams.

    I would have done it again but our daughters decided soccer was not for them. The league probably would NOT have allowed me back as I also violated multiple unwritten league rules and forced them to write down the unwritten rules that they weren't categorically ashamed of.

    I was THAT guy.

  9. "!##****&&" Sorry but that would have been what I would have told these "parents".

  10. I coached a baseball team for 8/9-year-olds, and I only remember one 'parent issue', and he was drunk. Biggest issue I had was, I was coaching a group of city kids just learning to play, and we had a couple teams of suburban kids who'd been playing for a while (and were probably cherry-picked) whose coaches encouraged 'em to show their innate superiority by mocking my kids and rubbing their superior skill in our faces. I told their coach after the game that I didn't mind getting beaten - that's how we get better - but I also want my kids to learn about character, and how to treat others with respect, and I thought he'd done a pretty s***ty job with that. . .