If your kids play competitive sports of any kind – chances are, sooner or later you’ll see it. I’m talking about coaches who are out of control. Grown men (although to be fair I’m sure there are some women too) who act like total jerks at the games. They scream at their team, argue with umps/refs, yell at the other team’s coaches and throw temper-tantrums in front of everyone. This type of behavior never ceases to amaze or disgust me and I don’t understand why it’s so often tolerated by our society.
Recently, my oldest son’s travel baseball team played another team that is coached by one of these dispicible characters. We’ve played this team before so we know how this guy is. He’s always yelling at the kids (10 and 11 year old boys) and when they start falling behind or making errors you can see the rage building in him. Honestly, it would be funny to watch him get all worked up and look like his head is going to explode if we were talking about a team of adults. But these are kids and TBH – this guy scares me so I can only imagine how frightening he must be to a child who has to play under him. The parents, for some unknown reason, seem to accept this behavior because he always has a full roster and he coaches not one, but two teams!
At this past game I was horrified both at what I saw and heard. His team was losing and he was losing it – as usual. At one point, a ground ball from one of our batters got past the first baseman of their team. I was sitting about 15 feet away from 1st base on the other side of the fence so I had a clear view of the play. The first basemen was a chubby kid and although he made a good effort to catch the ball – it just didn’t work out. The coach starts screaming at this kid from the dugout on the other side of the field and he actually said “If that was an ice-cream you would have scooped it up!” I almost choked on the sunflower seed in my mouth. I just could not believe that he yelled that. I got up out of my chair and looked around at the other parents from our team and they all looked as horrified and disgusted as I was. Then I looked over at the parents on the other side near their team’s dugout and I fully expected to see them all up out of their chairs with the same look on their faces too – but no. Nothing but blank expressions. I wanted to scream “What’s wrong with you people? Why do you allow this man to verbally abuse and humiliate your children?”
Honestly, their apathy was revolting and I’ll never in a million years understand how or why some people think this is acceptable behavior. Our own coach (who was coaching 1st base at the time) was obviously disgusted by this man’s behavior too. He moved in closer to the first baseman and said “I’m sorry. Your coach is an @&&^*$%”. I didn’t necessarily agree with his choice of words at that moment but I guess if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck then you should call it a duck. The poor kid just looked down at the ground and said “I know”.
At that moment the mama bear in me wanted to tear that idiot coach a new one but instead I did nothing. I’m still torn about whether or not I should have said or done something – or if I should still. Keep in mind that this isn’t Little League – it’s travel ball so I don’t even know who to complain to. Do I have a moral responsibility to try to do something here when the actual parents of these kids aren’t willing to stand up to this overgrown bully?