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Parent Politics

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Irishcheesehead, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. Why do parents have to be involved in youth sports?

    I know I will never get the answer to that question but here is the scene:
    Parent A: Very nice man, great family and a good coach. He coaches my son's basketball team and he is very encouraging to the boys. Shows them the fundamentals and I am grateful for that.
    Problem: Wants to do things his way. HS basketball coach has become involved in the youth organizations to try and get an early start on some of the schemes (man-to-man defense) he runs at the HS level.
    Parent A wants to run a 1-3-1 zone and ignores pleas and requests to "play along" with the organization. Other team in the grade uses the HS coach's philosophies and is considerably more advanced in the skills that are being taught (IMO).
    At the end of the season, Parent A is asked to step away from coaching because of issues associated with his thinking (bad mouthing other coach, HS coach, etc.)
    My son is bummed but I try to stay out of this whole mess because all I want is all the boys should play together and learn all of the same things.
    So this summer, an opportunity arises that there could be a team mixed with both teams but need a coach. I said I would do it but need help implementing the HS coach's philosophies. It was like I turned my back on Parent A and all I wanted to do was give the boys a chance to play together. This weekend was a different tournament and it was like I was Benedict Arnold. Aggravating to say the least. End of rant.
  2. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Is English your native language?
  3. GoochMan

    GoochMan Active Member

    One of the many ways that youth sports has been negatively impacted by 'adults.'

    God forbid these kids learn different styles of basketball...or decide to play baseball (or run track, or anything else) during the summer.
  4. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    The worst part of the story is that the high school varsity coach is involved in trying to force the youth organization to "run his system"

    There is nothing worse that a varsity coach acting like he is building some sort of a Division I college program.

    If he really wanted to help, he'd teach the kids fundamentals, he'd teach them how to play the game and he'd worry about teaching his fucking system to them when the five or six who actually continue to play all the way through varsity basketball arrive in tenth grade.

    The reason most kids don't have a clue how to play basketball is because they are put in some motion or flex offense when they are in fourth grade and spend the next eight years running plays.
  5. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    You hit the nail right on the head, Zag. Most of the kids on these youth teams will probably not play in high school. Some will move. Some will play another sport. Some will give up sports altogether.
    For those who do go on to play on the high school team, there's no guarantee there won't be a different coach by the time they get there or maybe the coach will be using a different system.
    I can see using the high school system in seven or eighth grade, but not before that. Teach the basics. Make it enjoyable so the kids want to play and keep playing.
    If kids need more than four years to learn a system, the high school coach needs a simpler system.
    This guy says the same thing about youth football. Actually, I got many of these points from this article.
  6. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    I used to officiate youth basketball at the Y (it was a favor for a friend who ran the program, and it paid for my membership during the winter) and it was comical to watch these coaches draw up plays and then watch the kids try to run them. They were 4th and 5th graders who had no clue about screens and cuts and zone defenses.

    One coach worked with his team just on fundamentals. His team knew how to dribble, pass and shoot. They didn't run any plays, they just played. And they won games.
  7. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member


    Youth sports are far to geared to the wrong things these days.

    I hate more than anything when I am coaching against a team - and I coach various sports at the youth level -- in a summer league where there are either no standings or in a league where everyone makes the playoffs --- and see the same five or six kids playing all the minutes while there are three or four more sitting on the bench and not getting a chance because "it is a close game"

    Kids don't get better or more importanly, they don't enjoy themselves and thus are likely to give up on a sport long before their growth spurt, if they don't get a chance to play it.

    The rule of thumb for all sports until the varsity level should be everybody gets a chance to play if they are on the team.
  8. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I like what Jim Valvano said when someone asked him what his 8-year-old (?) should work on.

    His answer? Something to the effect of, "He should work on being nine."
  9. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    My two favorite youth parent coaching stories from when I was officiating:

    • One of the guys who coached in flag football had playbooks for his players (these were 10-11 year-olds). One of his assistant coaches (yes, he had assistants, too) said, "That playbook looks like something Mike Martz would have." I looked at him and said, "Yeah, but he's not coaching Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk. He's coaching 10-year-olds."

    • The Y had a no-profanity rule. Any coach or player using it was to be ejected and suspended for the next game.

    So one game this dirtbag who was coaching one of his teams came out on the field during a timeout and started chewing out his team. He says,
    "The way we're playing is bullsh ... I mean, bullcrap."

    Then he looks at them and says, "Now get out there and F---ING BLOCK SOMEBODY!!!!!"

    It felt so good to toss him.
  10. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    The funniest thing about a high school coach insisting his "philosophies" are implemented is that even if the coach is around long enough to have these players, he'll still have to re-teach everything, because he'll have volunteer coaches with no idea what they're doing "teaching" it at the lower levels.
  11. crimsonace

    crimsonace Active Member

    Usually, when the high school coach gets involved at the youth levels, it's not about trying to make kids learn a flex or motion offense. It's about trying to prevent the youth coaches from teaching kids gimmick systems that pay short-term dividends, but cause long-term problems (like relying on a 1-3-1 zone, which works great against 10-year-olds but not so much against varsity players).

    I've coached youth basketball, and there are two types of coaches -- those that teach fundamentals, and those that are hung up on their own coaching ability. The ones who teach fundamentals often are part of high school programs that are among the tops in the area. They might have 1-2 set plays or a simple flex offense, but it's mostly learning how to play man-to-man defense, dribble, pass, shoot and play basketball. Then, you'll run into a couple of dads who deploy every exotic press and zone defense known to man. I don't know if they have a half-court offense -- they never put one in. They assume they'll get enough steals and layups to win the game -- and they usually do against sixth-grade girls. Then, four years later, those kids get to high school and the coach gets fired because "they won in middle school" (running and pressing), but they are fundamentally deficient and the gimmicks and tricks they have always relied upon don't work against varsity players.

    Our travel league actually had to ban zone defenses at the third and fourth-grade levels because of too many coaches putting in exotic defenses to win now and not teaching their kids how to play basketball.
  12. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    If your 8-year-olds can deal with my 8-year-olds' 20 minutes of hell, that's not my fault. That's your shortcoming as a coach.
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