Open Letter to the Parent Yapping at My Coaching

Clearly I should defer to your demands. I’ve only spent five hours a week for the past two months trying to get your little couch potato to move her rear end at something more than first gear. What do I know?

And let me tell you, it really helps when you yell to your kid “Great job!” every time she moves her feet in the general direction of the ball. I mean, it’s not like it makes any real praise for extra effort meaningless when everything your princess does gets a “Great job!”

Screen shot 2010-06-17 at 6.31.30 AMNothing helps make the world your oyster like an inflated sense of unearned self-esteem and wholly unrealistic expectations of the praise the world owes you.

See where I’m going here?

Look, I yell because I know your kid is capable of better. She has the potential to do a great job.

If I thought she was a complete moron then I wouldn’t expect any better, now would I? I wouldn’t say anything at all.

Yes, they are 7 years old. I know that. What that means is, they aren’t 4 years old. The playing field is not a play ground. I’m not the play facilitator at Romper Room. It’s time to start getting competitive. Most of the other girls on the team are. That’s how the real world works.

And guess what? Kids like being competitive. They care whether they win or lose. They want to do better. They deserve a chance to improve. Coddling them isn’t doing them any kindness.

I yell because I have a loud voice and I know they can do better.

When they hear “Good job” from me, they know I mean it because I don’t toss it out like beads at Mardi Gras. (Which reminds me, by the way, if you don’t get a handle on your kid’s unrealistic self esteem, do expect to see them at Mardi Gras, likely in Girls Gone Wild 26)

I will never fault any of my players for doing their best and falling down. All I ask if that for one game a week and two hours at practice they give me their best effort.

But yes, I am going to tell your precious she’s doing a lousy job if she’s lollygagging around and letting the other girls down. And I will yell at her to throw the ball when she tries to walk it back to the infield after I told her FIVE EFFING TIMES to throw it.

(I’m also yelling because, in case you didn’t notice, a baseball field is pretty large, and I’m trying to be heard over the cheers of the other team. You know the other team — they’re the ones turning a single into three runs because your snowflake can’t THROW THE EFFING BALL.)

Look, my team doesn’t exist to build your kid’s self-esteem. Your kid is there to serve my team. And when any girl half-asses it, she lets all the other girls on the team down.

In conclusion — sit down, shut up, and cheer when we do well.

You know why I’m coaching? Because I love the game, I like these girls, and because I decided last year I didn’t like how my kid was being coached. So if you don’t like my style, start your own team, and I’ll see you next season.

We’ll be the ones beating the socks off your little snowflake.

(NOTE: This is meant to be taken with a grain of salt. Lighten up.)

UPDATE: I love this.


  1. Brittany Boyer says:

    I cannot stop laughing at this, especially having played softball for 12 years and resenting the hell out of snowflakes on my elementary team.

  2. So how did your ladies do this season? I’m moving up from Asst. Coach to head coach this season (7-8 year old coach pitch). We were undefeated in the Spring but only have two players coming back.

  3. Not too good. First year together though. They have the fundamentals now. I expect next year will be different.

  4. amanda says:

    I admire any parent who puts on ill-fitting polyester coaching shorts and picks up a whistle. Of all things you can do for your kids, having an involvement in team sports is one of the best. It builds character, instills confidence, and kids learn “non-verbal” cues of getting along in society. The parents, though? Make it hard.

    Trey mentioned the over-praisers…these are the same kids today, at age 30 living with their parents, btw. But, there’s also the out of control screamers. My daughter was on soccer team at age 4 or 5 with a poor girls who had a father yelling, “C’mon, Kathleen,” (his child), “you fat slut, move the ball!” It was weird.

  5. Frank R says:

    I used to coach my youngest kid’s soccer team. And I was a world class yeller. It didn’t always help, but it sure made me feel better. Thankfully, I never had a parent complain about my yelling. They understood that I loved the kids and wanted them to do well. They also knew that I would give every kid a chance to play, even though there were others who were clearly better players. Ya don’t play, ya don’t learn.

    My sympathies to you. Keep at it.

  6. Don Van Slyke says:

    This is so funny that I am laughing out loud,