HOW TO DEAL WITH TROUBLED DECENT PLAYER AND HIS PARENTS?

I have been assistant coach for 2 years on this team. Head coach has been there for 4 years. This year my father and another parent joined our coaching team.

Two years ago we picked this kid who was 10 at the time. He ended up being one of the top pitchers in our AAA loop. He doesn’t hit bad, but strikes out a lot. Can’t run smart or fast. Can’t play any position except pitcher. He also cries, screams and throws things when things don’t go his way. He has hit sac flies that have won games and still throws a temper tantrum.

This player’s parents think he is a god and should get to play every position he wants and pitch every game. Our other kids emotions have gone downhill because of this. His parents complain to the league that we are bad coaches.

The three of us convinced the head coach to take him for this last year and we would deal with him and his parents. He never solved his issues and even got worse.

His parents said nothing until the week before our tryouts for next year. The parents complained to league, higher sources and tried convincing other parents to complain. The league obviously doesn’t want to get involved.

We are in a position now where we feel we need to cut him for the sake of saving the other kids. None of the kids really like him. The parents are nuts and two-faced. I can’t cut a kid because of his parents, but attitude towards the game and other players yes. The problem is he is better then half the kids.

Any suggestions? Tryouts end in a week.

 

COACH HENZE’S ANSWER

Thanks for the question and I am sorry you are having to deal with this issue.

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I try to answer the baseball questions on my site using my gut-feeling and not trying to “over-think” the issue at hand. With that said and based on what you have explained above, I would not hesitate one bit to cut him.

He has, over and over, disrupted your team with his behavior. His behavior does reflect on you and your team. As a youth coach, his parents also have an impact on the rest of your players and parents.

Good coaches don’t bend on player behavior expectations. If you don’t cut him, other players may decide to not play for you due to him. You will be surprised how much more coaching you can do once this player is not on the team anymore. Other players may even step up and replace his talent.

To make a long story short, it seems like you have given this baseball player and his parents plenty of time to make some changes. They have not. It is time to cut ties and move on for the betterment of the rest of your team.

ESPN RADIO SHOW DEDICATES SHOW TO THIS EXACT QUESTION!

I was contacted by Tony Fiorino about using this question as a topic for his youth sports radio show out of New York and Connecticut. Tony is the host of ESPN Radio’s “Hey Coach Tony”. Below is the video of the show where he discusses this question and takes phone calls from listeners.

Take the time to listen!

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