A great little league coach truly is a treasure, mostly because of how rare they seem to be. If your kids have been involved in little leagues for a while, you may have noticed that certain “types” of coaches seem to appear fairly often. We’re not sure if it’s something about the game or the nature of coaching children, but you might need some special skills to deal with some of the special coaches who are out there.
If you happen to recognize any of the following types of coaches, we’ve got a little advice...
Coach Newcomer means well, he really does. Unfortunately, he’s never coached little league before in his life and seems completely overwhelmed by the sight of two dozen screaming children who somehow need to have some rules and strategies imposed on them. Experience may eventually turn him into a good coach, but today is not that day.
How to deal with Coach Newcomer: Pool money with other parents to buy him a set of coaching books or DVDs. Or think about volunteering as an Assistant Coach, since he’s a pushover.
He’s read every book on the art of coaching ever written, and thanks to his photographic memory he can quote ‘em all at a moment’s notice. From Yogi Berra to Harry Carey to Joe Garagiola to Pete Rose, his encyclopedic knowledge gives him a quip for any occasion. Unfortunately, he often seems at a loss for what to do if his clever bon mots fail to inspire.
How to deal with Coach Quotable: Serve as translator and explain how the quote applies to the game. If necessary, make something up since Coach Quotable probably doesn’t know the difference.
He might as well have “What’s in it for me?” emblazoned on his jersey. He doesn’t care about winning or losing nearly as much as he cares about the tangible – or intangible – rewards of the job. Whether it’s flattery, free merch, baked goods or just straight-out bribery, it’s pay-for-play brought to the world of little league .
How to deal with Coach Kickback: If you’re not willing to outbid the competition to get your child on the field, consider wearing a wire and running a sting operation.
Winning isn’t just everything, it is the ONLY thing. Even when we’re talking about eight-year-olds. He’s probably an old-school player who spends his time reminiscing about the time his high school team went undefeated the entire time he played on it, and will viciously attack any fault in his players – no matter how slight – to prevent the specter of defeat from ever manifesting.
How to deal with Coach Praetorian: Never head-on. If he gets too intense, have talks with the players afterward about the importance of a balanced perspective.
The exact opposite (and frequent nemesis) of Coach Praetorian, Coach Sunshine cannot fail to see the good in any situation, no matter how utterly dire. Has the starting batter never actually hit a ball all season? That’s OK, because he’s just doing his best and that’s all that matters. Unfortunately, Coach Sunshine also has no concept of “constructive criticism” either.
How to deal with Coach Sunshine: Depending on the age of the players, it might be appropriate. Otherwise, try to slip in some post-practice coaching when you talk to other players or their parents.
He’s coaching little league for one reason and one reason only: His kid is on the team and they are the best goshdarn athlete-in-training the town has ever seen. He’ll keep that kid on the field game after game, inning after inning, no matter how long it takes to prove it… even if it means ignoring a half-dozen other players who are clearly better.
How to deal with Coach Dad: Convince the kid to play soccer instead.
Back in his day, kids knew the meaning of the word “discipline.” And “pain.” Firmly convinced that the world has been going to hell in a handbasket ever since canings were outlawed in schools, Coach Bootcamp thinks that nothing toughens up a child like the sheer terror of punishment for disobedience or poor performance of any sort.
How to deal with Coach Bootcamp: Keep lots of first-aid supplies on-hand. Recruit help from other parents for an intervention if you think he’s going too far.
So, who are your favorite “types” of little league coaches? Are there any we missed?