I was talking to a buddy about his kid who plays on the school baseball team and he was railing on the coach.  Being a coach, I like to cut them some slack, but when there are bad ones there are bad ones.

But, is this a bad coach?

First off, my buddy was a little bitter that his son was on the bench when he “clearly” was better than the players ahead of him.  The coach must have an “agenda”.

Upon further discussion, my buddy talks about their relaxing spring break trip down in Siesta Keys.  The son was also on this trip even though their baseball team was able to schedule a spring training type trip somewhere else in Florida.

So, the kid dissed the team for the family trip?

Hey, I get it.  There is nothing like family time and family experiences.  But, the coach can’t give you a pass when others are making the trip.  So if you a take a trip there might be some consequences to be had.

The kid also plays club soccer and missed a few baseball practices early on.  But he told his baseball coach that his son will be able to make all the games.  I bet the teammates enjoy seeing him only at games.

There have been some team liftings that his son has not attended for one reason or another.  My buddy didn’t even know if his son had given his baseball coach reasons for not attending these lifts.

Let’s re-cap:

  • Father is upset at the baseball coach for not playing his boy.
  • Son skipped the baseball team’s spring training trip to be with his family on their spring break.
  • Son plays club soccer and skipped some practices, but is available for all the games.
  • Son misses team lifts albeit not the worst thing in the world, but doesn’t help the kid’s case.

And the coach is a bad coach because he is not playing the kid?  In a sport like baseball where there are few practices once the season gets going, your son is skipping them to go to club soccer.

How is this coach supposed to get a gauge on whether this kid is worthy of starting when he can’t compare him in practice?

Once the games start, you have to go with who you can trust and trust is built over time.  If your son were accountable then, you might have an argument or you might learn he isn’t as good as you think he is.

But, you are illustrating to me that your son is showing this coach that he isn’t as accountable as his teammates.  You might want to go to practice and see if your son shows up on time or if he is late.  Does the kid hustle all the time in practice?

Every kid that gets benched by a coach is not benched by a bad coach.  Maybe it is as simple as he is not as good as the person starting ahead of him.  But, if you truly feel that the athleticism is equal then you need to look at the accountability of this athlete.  Because that does matter.

Does the athlete do the following:

  • Attend all practices. Missing “A” practice is fine, but missing one every two or three days for one reason or another, even if you tell the coach, is not being accountable.
  • Show up on time to all functions – practices, games, team meetings.
  • If the athlete cannot attend, is that communicated to the coach in the appropriate fashion?
  • When the athlete goes to practice is he giving it his all? There should be no doubt that this athlete is practicing hard.
  • Basically, is this young man going down the path to becoming a responsible young adult or does he still show signs of immaturity?

Just because an athlete has a lot of talent doesn’t necessarily mean they get free passes because of lapses of judgements.  Yes, something once or twice, a good athlete can probably be forgiven for.  Something that becomes habitual, eventually that will work against him and yes, playing time might be lost.

Before you are quick to dismiss your coach as being a bad coach, maybe you should look at your athlete and see if he/she is doing everything that needs to be done to ensure success.  In my experience, the people with the most excuses are the ones that are not having the most success.  And it is never their fault.