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Re: Re: A Thought for Little League Improvement

Posted by: fairball () on Wed Mar 24 10:48:34 2004

Hi Everyone,
> >
> > In my estimation, Little League baseball has evolved into a political showcasing, which is shown most clearly in the favoritism of a coach's son above all others, even though others may have higher credentials. On this site, people often talk about how proper hitting mechanics can be beneficiary--and, for the hitters accumulating statistical significance, can lead to dreams of "going somewhere"--but their dreams are quashed the instant the coach reveals that his son is the predestined favorite. At this point, the team disregard all useful techniques, and garner an apathetic attitude toward these coaches. More importantly, other coaches may feel that their children were used and discarded in order to help one person become famous.
> >
> > What is needed, then, is a way to revamp the entire youth league system so these conflicting interests do not deprive the deserving from being given credit for their accomplishments.
> >
> > The only way to achieve to this goal is to elect friendly, nonpartisan coaches who judges these children on what they do with they God-given ability, rather than whether they the son of a patrician, politician, or an actor who attracts a great deal of popularity.
> >
> > Sincerely,
> > BHL
> > Knight1285@aol.com
> >
> >
> Perhaps we could end all favoritism by hiring qualified coaches who don't have kids on the team. It probably wouldn't cost more than a $500 - $1000 a player.
> I personally have more of a problem with a lot of the parents of the kids that think they are the ones being discriminated against. I'm referring to the parents that don't want to volunteer their time coaching but want to coach from the stands during games. Or maybe they just want to bitch about their kid's playing time, where they bat in the order or anything else they can come up with.
> It sure is nice to work on Saturday mornings and make a couple bucks or go golfing while a volunteer coach is spending time coaching, and in many little league cases, babysitting their kid. The same people have no problem showing up a couple minutes before game time. They are probably not aware and probably don't give a hoot that the coach has already been there for an hour.
> I'll bet if they ever observed a practice, they would really have a problem when the coach threw his kid a couple of extra pitches during bp. They certainly wouldn't consider that the coach just threw bp to everyone for a couple hours. Every other kid on the team has the opportunity to drag their dad to the cage for more bp. Except of course the coach's kid whose dad's arm is about falling off.
> On most teams that I have observed, the coaches kid also happens to be one of the best players. I remember a quote years ago from the late Al McGuire, former basketball coach at Marquette. This was back when his son was playing. A player came up to him and said, "Coach, how come I am not playing instead of your son? I'm just as good as your son". Coach McGuire told him the problem is that you're just as good as my son and I really like you. I love my son.
> To all of you that feel life's not treating you or your kid fair.
> Quit having a pity party and volunteer.

Newsflash: SBK- because you used it excessively to try to justify a coaches right to favoritism/nepotism- "volunteer" is defined as "expecting nothing in return". If you or any daddy coach expects to be able to favor your child over others in your charge and justify it because others haven't "volunteered" to do same with their kids...then don't expect to be praised for your unselfish (?)"volunteering."

As a one time daddy coach myself, I expected parents to drop off their kids and go on with their 2 hours of whatever it is they wanted to do. Those parents expected, per the letter of the LL written pledge, that I would "play fair" and yes, treat their child fair and most of all, teach them skills about the game of baseball. That I would act as a good role model/mentor (=coach) for their child. I also anticipated and expected the chronic complainers and because I was "fair", open to adult discussion, (verses power hungry/controlling/ my way or the highway) I dealt with them easily. I didn't volunteer without knowing the plusses and minuses that came with the territory. Frankly, every LL board pretty much has a duty to make this clear to their "volunteer" coaches. No coaches I have ever known over 20+ years went in blindly on the issues you addressed. Most, however went in to coaching LL with their eyes wide open on the real fringe of volunteering...pssst…they went in for the wrong reasons!

LL baseball's very own charter states its purpose (LL) is "for the betterment of the community as a whole". The fact that most, not all, daddy coaches use their pseudo volunteer positions to put the "betterment of their child" over and above the betterment of the community is one of the reasons LL charter numbers and consequently LL player numbers have drastically declined (fact-by the millions) over the years.
Is it possible there are plenty of soccer players out there who weren't adequately recognized for their baseball skills that could play a whole bunch of daddy coaches kids in baseball and, dare I say, WIN? Yes- same could be said of soccer players playing baseball who were mistreated by similar daddy/mommy coaches in soccer. It isn't just LL baseball...it is Youth Sports and it is, sad to say, the major problem today and…because it was never fixed yesterday!

Continued problem especially when you read posters on this site that actually justify why coaches "should be able" to volunteer to treat their kids special?

I would argue that "most" coaches kids are the best or even one of the best on the teams. That is the case in many situations but from my well documented experiences of numerous LL’s , it is not nearly "most" coaches kids are the best. Albeit, that would depend largely on what is used to qualify talent or who says so? Ask most daddy coaches who their best players are and what do you think they will say? Ask parent outsiders looking in and you would get a different response. Better and best bet, bring in a neutral evaluator who doesn't know any of the kids or parents and can really evaluate baseball talent and then you will have a more realistic view. That approach is called "leveling the playing field" and while hard to argue against it as the obvious right way...do you think "most" daddy coaches ever want a neutral non partisan evaluator telling them who their best players really are based on talent and not politics?
I know LL® Inc. wants nothing to do with that neutral approach!
That would put a major kink in the "volunteer armor" and remove the much earned fringe benefit of nepotism ... you think?


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