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First Year Coaching Little League

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  • First Year Coaching Little League

    Newbie here. I am currently help coaching our 10U All-Star team. I did help coach my son's 10U Mustang Team as well for the first time and I have helped coach youth football for 2 years as well. I was never allowed by my father to play youth sports and wanted to give my son every opportunity to play whatever sport he was interested in. To me it is all about enjoying the game and learning about the game and not about winning or losing. It is about putting forth your best effort and everything will come together, but I am not so sure now. It does not matter to me if we win the game as a coach or the championship. Our football team won the conference championship last year, but I want to teach honesty and sportmanship.

    However I have mixed emotions about youth sports. This year a coach in our house playoffs decided not to following the house rules of pitchers pitching a max of 4 innings in a week. We did on our team and everyone knew that when the pitcher came in for the 5th inning in the 3rd game of the week. I called him on it before the pitcher through his first pitch. I asked our manager for the an email for our division VP for tracking the pitchers and it did not have his pitchers listed. The other mgr ignored the fact that if you use a relief pitcher for 1 out or 1 pitch that it counts as an inning, but he pitched the next extra inning as well and pitched another 2 innings in his next game as documented on an email. The other mgr just said that his pitcher only pitched 1 inning in our first game. Out VP questioned him on it and stood by his story of 1 inning pitched. All of the kids on our team was saying how was this possible and allowed. I just had to tell them that sometimes in life some people choose not to play by the rules and the VP of our division said without videot that he would have to follow the "honor system" of the other mgr's word. THe VP did not talk to any parents/coaches or players. What answer did he think he was going to get? This team would win this game against us to advance to the champ game, but lose. I did not want to see us advance to the champ game on a forefit, replay the game just to have the mgr admit his error. It might have been just a misunderstanding or an oversight, but when he was further questioned it was deceitful since both pitchers used in the relief inning were coaches kids.

    It is pretty sad. But, when you think about it, it is representative of the real world. I emailed the Little League board and it was ignored. This rule was put into place before the season and told to all coaches. I thought that mgrs would be honest, but apparently you need keep track of scoring pitchers.

    In years past our little league would have the mgrs rate the players at the end of the season and the "successful" mgrs would purposely rate their good players low to increase their chances of retaining them the next season via the draft. I had heard this from numerous coaches. This season I was teamed up with a mgr that had never coached before as well and all the other coaches had multiple years experience and even had played in College. I was not able to attend our draft because of travelling for business.

    In football my son's first year in a scrimmage game another kid (coaches kid) complained to his Dad about my son "holding" on the offensive line and after the play sent his kid to "lay out" my son when he was not looking before the next play. Our coach talked to this "Father" the next day and denied everything. I should have complained to the Football board.

    Certainey has made me rethink values that are instilled in today's youth by playing sports. "It's not about winning or losing, but how you play the game."
    Last edited by Landry; 07-08-2012, 08:24 AM. Reason: typo

  • #2
    Rules are like locks, they only keep honest people honest.
    Coaching football and baseball I can tell you we follow the rules regardless of what others do(even if they're just agreements). Just because "everyone else" breaks the rules thing doesn't fly with me. If you are expecting other coaches to follow the rules unfortunately it ain't gonna happen. Winning is winning and there are those that do whatever they want to achieve this goal, regardless of what's best for the kids. We try and have gentlemens agreement with drafting due to 2+ rec centers all included in one draft and can't get them to stick to it(we draft from ours first, then when no more from other recs). Many a parent drops there kids because they get drafted by diff rec centers, either they don't want the driving or kids want to play with there friends. If I'm not coaching I tell the coaches draft from a diff rec and we don't play for you so save your pick.
    How about coaches that throw games because they aren't number one and don't want the number one team being number one so they throw the game to the 2nd place team so that team can be number one? Seen it myself.
    We don't have enough time to talk about "stacking teams"... I usually mingle with the parents talking with them before any drafting. It's surprising how many know of this and don't complain, not only from my area but moving in from other areas. Personally I coach to make sure kids are treated fairly, have a good time and learn something regardless of wins/losses. Some parents are not ok with that either and leave...fine by me.
    Doesn't matter LL or TB, no lack of coaches who only look out for themselves.
    Rant off...
    Last edited by rodnok1; 07-14-2012, 05:18 PM. Reason: uhhh poor wording

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    • #3
      After the first tackle football episode I decided to get involved with coaching. I just have to look at recent events with coaches at the College level.. My wife takes photos of all the kids and I upload pictures of all the kids with commentary to the website and reward play with football and this season with baseball cards.

      What are the point of rules if they are not enforced just play street ball like when I was a kid. According to our Division VP needs video evidence to enforce violations?

      How do you try and turn these kids into good people without becoming so naiive that they are taken advantage of....

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      • #4
        You have excellent points and I agree with you. There are no simple answers really.
        The problem I have encountered is I cannot get others to get involved to get things changed, to even complain or insist on change. The old they bitch until they're blue in the face but won't take any action senario. One person complaining means little to most, when dozens complain then actions are taken. Or video evidence is provided to the public. Of course the parents and coaches who do not follow the rules could care less, or fear if they do little Billy will be excluded from the "good teams".
        In reality esp for rec type leagues they need to un-involve the coaches in team selections(blind drafts and or teams are assigned by lottery), all star elections etc...
        Then they don't have a personal interest in it, so no benefit to them. Rules seem to be followed more often and competition gets better across the board. Our local rec's allow parents to bitch if they don't like a coach they get and get placed where they want....
        So my advice to you is to do what you think is right and allows you to sleep good at night...

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