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Worst coaching experience
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Hammer
Varsity
Varsity


Joined: 17 Jan 2002
Posts: 385
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2002 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reading about DG's problem child made me feel a little better about some of my coaching. I've always been known as a 2nd chance coach and because of that some of my collegues (sp) have douted my resolve. I coach HS athletes and many of the runners on my Boys team have checkered pasts (drug and alcohol use, decipline problems). (one of my friends calls my boys teams a bunch of *&^% ups) But I (and our head track coach) seek out these kids and try to turn them around.

At our state's championship meet the big story going around was about how a team had won even though their coach had kicked off a runner that week for attending basketball practice. Now this coach has won over 20 state titles in his career and has a shipload of good runners, and winning state for him really isn't that big a deal.

I don't know how to react to certain situations because I usually don't know the whole story. But as a coach there are certain things that I can not stand: 1. missing practice without notifying a coach (if you did that at a job you would get fired) 2. not reporting injuries 3. lying.

I have to agree with everyone on this post, DG you did the right thing. Good job.
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Dan
Chief Pontificator
Chief Pontificator


Joined: 22 Mar 1999
Posts: 9334
Location: Salem, OR

PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2002 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I've always been known as a 2nd chance coach and because of that some of my collegues (sp) have douted my resolve.

That strikes me as odd. I would be more apt to question the resolve of someone in a cushy situation than a challenging one like yours...

Dan
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Micah Ward
Olympic Medalist
Olympic Medalist


Joined: 08 May 2000
Posts: 2152
Location: Hot&humid, GA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2002 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hammer, this may sound funny coming from the hard nosed cop in the crowd, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with a second chance. Or even a third if appropriate. If you are successful with your second chances then maybe those young guys won't have to "interact" with my profession. And that would be the best result all the way around.

Good luck to you and the guys Exclamation Exclamation Exclamation
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Hammer
Varsity
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Joined: 17 Jan 2002
Posts: 385
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2002 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had a lot of problems with my boys team this year (inconsistancy and with behavior proplems.) I know a lot of their problems are caused by their family life and their social problems. I'm hoping that this will be a "bridge" year and that these kids will be more focused during the track season.
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Conway
Olympic Medalist
Olympic Medalist


Joined: 25 Aug 2001
Posts: 3570
Location: Northen California

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2002 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have found through life that some of the best talent out there in sports belongs to screw ups ... Misdirected kids who have typically had problems steming first and foremost from the home ... Simply becasue they have parents that didn't do the proper thing doesn't mean that no one else should do the proper thing ...

The ranks of the successful are full of people who had great influences from somone outside their immediate family ... I think a coach who works with these kinds of kids is showing tremendous resolve in my opinion and performing the full duties of a coach ...

Anyone can coach good kids ... And / or talented kids ... The others are the challenge ....
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JM_Runs
Lurker


Joined: 12 Jun 2006
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You said ". It took me a couple of days of not answering the messages he left on my voice mail to calm down enough to even talk with him."

And you said "After all when the team is asking what's going on and you tell them things are going to get ironed out and then it doesn't happen it makes me look bad."

I think you are taking your team too personally. You are not the team, and it's not YOUR team. They are the team. You are letting your buttons get pushed, and it's affecting your actions and judgement.

First you identified one problem. The kid has legs that are different lengths. Different enough that you noticed them and thought they may be causing injuries. You said that neither the kid parents, nor the school will pay for orthodics... but you have not come up with a solution.

First find someone who will evaluate the kid to see if he needs, or would benefit from the orthodics. Then figure out what the resistance is: Does the kid resist them thinking they are for cripples? Have you introduced him to adults who use, and love, orthodics?
If they would benifit the kid, you need to figure out how to get them in his shoes. How about a local running store, or shoe rep, doing a freebie or sponsored deal. We are not talking about a lot of product. Maybe the team needs to have a bake sale for a set of orthodics.

Second, he was not coming to practice, AND he told you why. You said, that he said, "He often gets hurt at your training sessions." Is that true?

If so what does he need to do to avoid getting injured? Maybe it's not just a question of running too fast. Maybe it's something like building ankle strength so he can run fast round the curves or just more warm up and stretching after the workout. If you don't have the experties to evaluate the inguries and figure out what he needs to do to over come them, then find some one who is an expert to evaluate the issues.

Last... You said you had a communication problem. You think he was not listening, or fully understanding you.
Here is an idea. Try breaking your team into pairs, a buddy system like scuba divers do. Each pair responsible for looking out for each other.
Each responsible for making sure the other has the right gear, knows what the plan is, does pair stretching together, etc. Sometimes kids are more open to learning from their peers, and will absorb your wisdom second hand.

A buddy system may help if you think the kid is not opening up to you. Let him work through things with his buddy on the team. Often a kid will not admit to being afraid, or out of depth, or not understanding: They don't want to look stupid to you, or in front of the whole team.
One on one, with a peer may be different. If their training buddy thinks there is a problem that you should know about, they may speak up for the kid, or maybe just help the kid resolve it with out your help.

For example, you suggested the kid was short of money. Maybe he needs orthodics, or just needs a new pair of shoes, but does not want to prostrate his poverty publicly. Pair him up with another runner. Don't single him out, pair them all up. Let them select partners, but get them all paired up. Make them responsible for looking after each other: Everything from having the right kit with them when they go to a meet, to doing the stretching they need, to reporting and looking after each others injuries.

Buddies can say, Its time for us to turn in because we have a big meet tomorrow. That sort of statement, when spoken by a coach, sounds authoritarian and controlling, but not when spoken by peer.

Running can be a very selfish sport. Me, in my own space, running my race. Being a buddy, and responsible for your partner too, can help curb that selfish instinct.
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Fry the Sailor
Junior Varsity
Junior Varsity


Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Posts: 169
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I don't like is when a coach lies to me. This season I wanted to switch from distance to mid-distance because my body was not ready for the mileage. I was doing 400 instead of mile anyway, so it just made sense. Then he told me I was better off in distance. Bologna. Doing the extra miles strains my back and acchilles. He told me some other non-distance athletes wanted to do distance (since they do XC well), but he makes them do pole vault or whatever. In speaking with these athletes, I found they NEVER wanted to distance in track!
When I asked the coach why I wasn't progressing at all, he said, "First, you have to train." I felt insulted. He knew I had a serious injury to recover from XC and that my training was limited to lifting and core exercises. WHICH I did faithfully as the school mascot.
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mlewis73
Water Boy
Water Boy


Joined: 23 Nov 2003
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Distance_Guru wrote:
... an athlete is afraid of competing poorly so they don't compete and since they don't have any to give them confidence (which mainly comes from improving race performances) they become more and more scared until they finally can't handle it... (



BINGO!! Great post! You just explained an issue I've been dealing with personally for years. Not to hijack this thread.

Going to have to do more races... Idea
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