Thursday, October 20, 2011

Some People Are Wrong All The Time

Every year for the past... um... a lot of years, one or more of my kids has played in an Optimist-sponsored basketball and/or tball and/or softball league. It's parent-coached and, while the parents often have various levels of coaching ability, the kids have fun and learn a few things along the way.

Miss A wanted to play basketball this fall, so I signed her up and waited to hear from the person who would be coaching the team. Instead, I got a phone call from the guy who runs the leagues asking ME to coach. After choking a bit, I said, "Hell, no"... although perhaps a bit more politely than that, and left him to track down some other stupid parent. Evidently, all the other parents are genuises - or don't answer their phones - because he called me back and essentially said, "Congratulations! I nominate you."

He must think that me sending in every registration fee at least two weeks late for the past seven years and then having to beg for a spot on the roster for my kid automatically qualifies me for guilt-trip coaching. He must be right. Because I said, "Okey dokey."

The husband and I both played basketball in high school - some of us more successfully than others - and I figured we couldn't screw up first and second grade girls too badly. We've worked on dribbling and passing and shooting and even made an attempt at putting in an offense and a defense.

Want to see something super funny? Watch an adult trying to explain 'offense' and 'defense' to a group of first and second grade girls: If I have the ball, it's ... ? If the other team has the ball, it's ... ? Priceless.

What I didn't count on was the parents of our future All-Stars. In the span of three practices and one game, you would not believe the complaints I have heard. Not enough practice time. Not enough playing time. Not enough work on the fundamentals. Too much work on the fundamentals. My response has been simple:
If you don't like the way I am coaching, you are more than welcome to take over this volunteer position.
My personal favorite of the slew of negative comments from parents: Our first game was embarassing. Really? Embarassing for who? You? Because the girls were having a heck of a good time!

People, this is a recreational league that charges the massive fee of $25 for participation. If you want your little Michael Jordan to learn how to throw elbows and attack the basket, go elsewhere. If you want your kiddo to learn the basics and have fun with her friends while getting some valuable exercise time, then this is the place for you. Frankly, I think there are a few parents who should put their listening ears on when I'm teaching the girls about sportsmanship.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Oh, dear. This is why I try to avoid other people as much as possible. :) Your polite response is much friendlier than what I might be able to muster. Hope it gets better, coach!