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Hello That Parent in the Stands,
You know who you are. You are the one who knows everything, yet contributes nothing. You are the one waiting with baited breath to find flaws in everything—the team, the coach, and other people’s children. I am ashamed that you wear the same logo as my son because your actions are not in line with what I want sports to teach him.
You probably don’t realize this, but I stand off to the side for a reason. With the season well underway, the coach, my husband, is forced to make decisions to benefit the team. It upsets you when your kid is not at the center of those tough decisions. My question to you is, “Are you here to be a member of a team, or are you more concerned with personal accomplishments?” I am curious because we are here to play a team sport. If personal accolades are your goal, may I suggest golf or tennis?
My husband, the coach, the guy who is supposed to make decisions about this group, is looking to create the strongest combinations of kids. His goal is not to showcase your son and his talent. Don’t get me wrong, your child is an asset, but so is every child—in some way.
At night, after he takes 15 minutes to read his own children a story, he’s racking his brain for drills to help the weakest link on this team develop the confidence he needs to contribute. If I had to guess, that’s the same kid you are saying is terrible on your car rides home from games.
Yes, “that kid” hears what you say about him from the stands. And every negative remark you make, my husband has to counter so that he can rebuild that child’s confidence to continue with the game. May I remind you that these are kids. They may be teens, but the teenage years are awkward. That will carry over into their performance. And it’s normal.
My husband is also trying to find ways to connect with your son because your chronic complaining has driven a wedge in their relationship. Now the respect necessary for him to help your child doesn’t exist. So, despite how skilled he is, he’s not an asset any longer because you have planted the same seed of negativity that is consuming you in his head as well.
Negativity spreads like a cancer on any team. So, not only is my husband trying to help the kids overcome their physical and mental weaknesses in practices and games, he’s now charged with battling the pessimism you’ve planted on his bench.
You see, when you get in your car after the games and start giving your armchair analysis of what happened, you make it even harder for my husband to get your kid to listen. What you don’t understand is that the game looks a lot different in a coach’s eye because his attention is directed at how the group is functioning. Your focus is mostly directed at your son’s performance.
When you bash the coach and the choices he is making in a role you didn’t volunteer to fill, you are making his job harder. When you make his job harder, it affects the entire team.
Here are a few things you don’t know about my husband. He took on a job that not too many people want to take. And notice I said job because it takes a lot of work—work he doesn’t get paid for. Yet, he’s undervalued and overworked.
No one was willing to step up and volunteer his time to manage this group of 13-year-old boys. You want to know why—13-year-old boys don’t like to listen. In fact, they think they know everything. That’s why the volunteer list is short. I’d be willing to bet that this is the reason your name was not on it.
I am guessing you don’t know this about my husband, but he has a particular way of approaching every kid on this team. He has gone to great lengths to break down walls to find ways to motivate and communicate with all of the kids because they all have something to give.
There is one thing that makes my husband stand out as a great coach. It’s not his ability to help players polish their strengths; it’s the way he teaches kids to embrace their imperfections. He’s a firm believer that you care about people with their flaws, not in spite of them. He’s an even stronger believer that your shortcomings are what drive you to become better at any challenge you face in life.
So, when you see that weak link out there in a position that forces him to overcome one of his imperfections, that is my husband showing that child (yes, child—not professional athlete) he has what it takes not only in this game but in life. My husband is there coaching him and encouraging him to face his shortcomings regardless of what people like you are saying about him in the stands (again because they hear your damaging remarks). That’s what good coaches do. They don’t put the stronger and more skilled kids in places to compensate for their teammate’s weaknesses. They teach kids how to acknowledge and overcome their limitations.
Can you say the same? Not from where I am standing. And I am standing far away because your pessimism is not something I want to catch.
My husband, as well as almost every person who takes on the role of a coach, is a good person with great intentions and undying commitment and loyalty to other people’s children. It’s sad that you can’t see that.
It’s even sadder that he comes home deflated because nothing he does please you. Your constant berating has blinded him. His focus is shifting from the kids to pleasing you. That is not what is best for all of these kids. The once positive, motivated man who cared about showing kids they have what it takes is becoming overly concerned with making a selfish man happy. He can’t see that nothing will make you happy. You don’t want to be happy, you just want to point out what is wrong with everyone else—even children. It’s not my husband who is failing as a coach; it is you who is failing as a person. I’d really like to leave you with one last thought. I am an adult. My husband is an adult. We’ve come across several people like you in our years in youth sports. We can easily let your harsh words and embarrassing remarks roll off our back. Your son, not so much. Your behavior will be something he remembers when he thinks back on his time playing youth sports.
This time is supposed to be one filled with happy memories. Perhaps you should stop worrying about who is playing where and start worrying about how you can get ahold of your emotions. You don’t want to take what could be amazing experiences and memories away from your son, and right now, he’s embarrassed of you.
The Coach’s Wife
Did you really just type all that? No wonder your husband coaches, the alternative is spending time with you listening...and listening...and listening to you prattle on...and on...and on.
This must be an e9’time that league is a joke
Could’ve been a pretty good post if it wasn’t a book.
She is spot on but I bet this guy gases 12 beers a night just a cope...
First of all, did anyone actually read the entire letter that this poor woman wrote? Yeah, me either... good luck coach, she's a keeper!
I'm not a coach. Although the letter is long, it is spot on. Coaches are under appreciated by a lot of parents, even in Fed elite. It's takes a lot of effort to coach, especially given the lengthy duration of the season. It's worst when you have a few parents of players on the team who never have anything good to say and are always complaining.
So your husband is Jesus friggin Christ himself in skates and a whistle. Okayyyyyy.
Put it a sock in it lady.
Your husband probably stinks as a coach and was asked a thousand times to NOT BRING THAT KID BACK. The kid probably struggled all of last season, because he's simply not good enough. What's worse, the kid probably doesn't work at practice nor try in a game.
But nooooooo, because your husband is a friggin know-it-all and refuses to account for anything other than his own ego, he decided, screw it. I'm super coach, so I'll bring him back, even though the kid is too small, struggles to skate, is scared of contact, and refuses to play D.
Because you know, your husband was a first liner at 'Beer Leaguer U' a lifetime ago, he knows better than everyone else.
Last thing, that "dad" wasn't cursing the kid who is struggling. He was cursing your husband... who's awful. Anyone else with half a brain knows he coaches for the free tuition, and so your bender can play whatever position he wants, start every period, AND get triple shifted.
Oh last thing.... those tourney weekends. Coach ain't heading to the hotel lobby bar for a late night beer with the dads.
Save your sanctimony for Sunday mass. Oh wait, you probably haven't seen a church in years due to all that hockey.
Thanks for that post! It was great and spot on.
All these haters are exactly who you are talking about. Some of these clowns forget, or don't care, that the coaches wife and children can hear them. Yes, there are some coaches out there that have good intentions but should hang it up as it just isn't working. There are also coaches out there that pour what they have into this game and they deserve some respect, even more so during a losing streak.
Good luck coaches wife. It is a long and stressful road but worth the ride.
"Oh my, read this long story about how saintly my husband is." Listen Lady, maybe your husband is a nice guy and maybe he's not. I don't know him or you for that matter. Posting this book about him on here just makes him sound weak and you a bit off. Let your husband take care of his own issues and if word gets back to anyone about this post blame it on the Ambien.
Please...please...please tell me what team this is !
Is this the "New hockey novel for teens & tweens" I've been hearing so much about?
This is so true and happens at every level, with the criticism and commentary usually coming in direct proportion to lack of skating ability and lack of athletic or academic and emotional success in general in the parents. My experience has been the more critical the parents, the poorer the relationship between the parent and child, and the worse the ride home probably is from the rink for everyone in the family. So don’t sweat it too much, I’m sure there are a couple of normal parents on the team.
When did the DBoard become the Dr.Phil listserv? I thought by the title of the post this was actually gonna be something much different but clearly its like when you rented 'Dirty work' on VHS years ago and got home to find it was a crappy Norm McDonald movie.
Jesus christ bring back the guy who thinks Deck hockey should be on LiveBarn rather than this after school special
Sounds like you met the Taylor family
I thought women weren't allowed to post on this board? First we let them drive, then we let them vote and now this!! Unbelievable!!