Daily Archives: May 9, 2008

Sometimes ignorance is just…ignorance

Saw this one at a high school game today. It makes me wonder sometimes how people get hired to coach kids.

These two teams — call them team A and team B — had played on Tuesday. Team A had the better record but wound up losing to team B. From what I heard they had a tough practice on Wednesday that consisted primarily of running every time they made a mistake. Keep in mind that they had lost primarily because they didn’t hit very well and team B did.

Tonight team A lost again. They made a couple of fielding errors, but the primary reason was again a lack of offense. So what does the coach do? She decides to have them run a bunch of foul poles. I’m not sure how many since I didn’t bother to count but it was probably close to a dozen.

I have to ask: how does this make sense? I highly doubt that any of those kids went to the plate thinking “What I’d really like to do is ground out weakly to the second baseman” or “Boy, a pop-up would sure feel good right now.” I watched them. They were energetic, kept their spirits up and battled to the end. But they came up short. So the coach, apparently in a fit of pique, decided to punish them for something, I don’t know, I guess for not being good enough.

Personally I think all she accomplished was getting them to hate playing for her. Kids aren’t stupid. They recognize bad coaching when they see it. Now, if she would’ve told them tomorrow cancel your plans, we’re going to hit until your hands bleed it would’ve made sense. She would’ve been addresing the problem. Instead she makes them run. Not for conditioning. Not to improve their technique. Apparently just because she was mad at them — or didn’t know what else to do.

Running shouldn’t be a punishment. It shouldn’t be used to embarrass your players (this little display was done at team B’s field while team B was working the field after the game). It should have a purpose. If your team doesn’t field, hit, get the bunt down or run the bases well enough, have them practice fielding, hitting, bunting or running the bases. As far as I’m considered the person this coach embarrassed the most was herself.

In a little postscript, one of the players who was made to run had an asthma attack in the middle of it. Out of fear of the coach she kept going until she got to the point where she couldn’t breathe at all. It took her at least four hits on her puffer to stop wheezing so loudly that it could be heard across the field. I was getting ready to call 9-1-1 it sounded so bad. She got to stop, but the rest of the girls were made to keep running.

I ask again how does this make sense? Who is it good for?

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