I Got Banned From Coaching Little League

I’m linking this post up for the challenge grid at Yeah Write. Come and check out some of the talented writers over there. You shan’t be disappointed.

 

Big whiffer, sa-wing batter, batter, batter

How Scooter’s cousin, Handsome Bastard and I ended up coaching a hardball team in the Legion league escapes me now, but we were really doing a good job. We would practice once or twice a week, which was not common in that level of play, and our team was seeing a big improvement. The kids were making friends with each other and the mommies were out in their shorts and tight shirts. Everything was right in the world.

Then the league supervisors came and took our two top players, replacing them with the two weakest players from the lowest ranked team.

It was explained to us that our team was far better than the others, and that it wasn’t fair to the kids on the weaker teams to always lose their games. They were trying to make it so that it’s not a matter of winning or losing, but just going out and having fun.

I was pissed. Royally fucking pissed. These little boys and girls were taking extra time each week to go to practice, improve their playing skills, and grow as a team. They were forming bonds through hard work and learning new skills and now this was being taken away, because they practiced and got too good for the league. The two guys that got traded out were upset at being uprooted from their new and old friends, and put into another group of players that they now had to get to know. I voiced my displeasure at this, and thought selfishly about how hard we were going to have to work with the two new girls that were deathly afraid of the ball or any sort of movement.

Ummmm, Ryan needs some extra practice this week. Maybe over dinner?

Yes, I was ticked off that our winning team was being split up and how we maybe weren’t going to be #1 anymore. I thought about how hard we were going to have to practice to compensate for our new arrivals, and how sad it was going to be now that Ryan’s mom wasn’t going to be sitting by the bench in her pretty sun dress. I didn’t think about how the two kids that loved to play ball, and were happy to get to have some extra practice time, now didn’t get that, because the other coaches were too busy with their own kids, jobs, life to have time to arrange a couple of hours each week to give them that extra bit of play time.I think one of the kids used to come and practice with us, but I was partying pretty hard back then, so I could very well be wrong.

After a few more weeks of winning, the powers that be came around and switched two more kids out for some less ambitious replacements. The kids were getting mad by now, and so were some of the parents, but I doubt anyone was as mad as I was. I was seething inside, and for whatever reason, I just didn’t want to let it go. I became owly and ignorant with the management and the other coaches, and I started to let it show on the field.

This is exactly how I looked that night.

One night, we had a teen-aged kid umpiring our game, and he was making the worst calls I’d ever seen. It wasn’t just against our team, either. The other coach was voicing his opinion as well, but he didn’t quite go to the lengths that I did. I walked up to the ump and told him that if I ever saw him on one of our diamonds again, that I would smash his fucking skull in with a fucking baseball bat. I said this clearly and concisely, and in front of some of the parents. If I was my kid, I would have gotten a belt out, and whipped my ass until I couldn’t sit down. I’m ashamed of myself for allowing such a loss of control, for making someone feel threatened and belittled, and for being such a fucking whiny little baby.

Needless to say, between the possible charges of uttering a death threat (The kid’s father was a cop.), and several of the mothers not wanting me around their kids anymore, the management was forced to ban me from coaching sports within the Legion leagues. It was a pretty sound choice on their part, and I don’t blame them for it. If I had a kid on the team, I probably would have demanded it too.

Until I sat down to write this, I hadn’t thought too much about my actions in the matter. I had played it off as everyone’s fault, but mine. In a way, I wish that it hadn’t come up tonight in a conversation with a friend, but in another way, I’m glad it did. It gives me a chance to reflect upon a younger, more hateful me, and be glad I’m not still that guy. I really find it hard to believe I ever was, but I know it’s true. I don’t know what made me like that, or what made me change, but I’m so glad that I did.

Life is too short to be so fucking angry all the time.

Give a moment or two to the angry young man, with his foot in his mouth and his heart in his hand,

Birdman

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33 thoughts on “I Got Banned From Coaching Little League

  1. The point for me Birdman, is that you grew out of it.
    You found LOVE.
    We all go through the angry young man phase and loom around you…Some never escape it.
    They get caught up in feeling like they’ve failed at something and/or that no one is listening.
    We all have hopes and dreams and sometimes we are surrounded by the people that don’t believe in those hopes an dreams. So, they surrender and accept they are what other people see them as. The psychologically ingest other people’s projected fear as their own.
    They know it deep inside that it’s wrong, but lack the courage and support to get out of it’s grip.
    EVERYONE has potential to be beautiful.
    In the short period I have known you – I have seen you go thru a Metamorphosis – into your true colors.

    You are no longer the baseball bat threatening thug. You left him behind you and now you revisited him and gave him a hug and forgave him.
    Lesson learned and now you can move on from it, knowing that you are no longer that guy and truly never was.

    You inspire me and others.
    You are a beautiful person.
    I’m glad I know you.

    Keep inspiring others.
    Keep keeping it real.

    • Thanks, Brad. I’m glad I know you too. It has been quite a journey, and I’m glad to say that I made it with most of my body and mind intact. I’m also happy that you made it part of the way with me.

    • Thanks, Christie. I hope there is still more growing in my future, but if this is it, I could live with that. Cheers to mellowing.

  2. You are still that angry young man. You have grown a calm adult man around him, that’s all. I know how angry you can get about things you are passionate about. Death threats aside, you voice your anger in a way to be constructive and thought provoking.

    Threatening a kid was not a great idea but then hell, live and learn right?

  3. I love that song 🙂

    And I think that there are many former angry young men running around in the world functioning as regular people. I used to tease my hubby that life became easier for the both of us when he decided that tact wasn’t just for pussies. I met him as a 19-year-old former West Point plebe who was all “Fuck the establishment!” And now he is the establishment and is pretty good at it. He just smiles sheepishly at me. It happens to the best of ’em…

    • They do it to the girl’s soccer teams here too. It kind of makes them not want to try too hard or they may get moved. It’s either that or they like sitting on defence and talking to their friends. 😉

    • I’d appreciate that, seeing as I have a restraining order now. If you get caught, you can just tell why you are so mad. No judge will convict you for freaking out about not being able to hit the bong. How else are you going to remain calm?

  4. Mellowing out is an ok place to be, isn’t it? My son is a senior in high school and has been playing baseball since he was not quite 5. He’s played tournament ball for too long. His team was all-star state champions several years ago, 4 trips total to the state championship….all that great stuff. I’ve seen it all but comment on none of it. Ok, I grumble! I’d have been mad at kids being switched around too. I’d have come after you with one of those baseball bats if my son was that umpire you yelled at. And then, mellowing out is an ok place to be. Thank goodness you got there :).

  5. Man, I despise the “everybody wins” generation of parenting. It’s such BS. How do kids learn about life — REAL life — if they win medals just for trying?

    Cheers to you for reflecting on your former self, acknowledging your wrongs and learning from them.

    BTW, the coach dads in girls softball could give you a run for your money in the anger department.

    • Yeah, I’ve seen some pretty intense people at kids games. I just don’t understand it. When I take the girls to soccer, I don’t even watch the games. Why? Because I don’t care if they never score a goal, if they win, or if they just stand in front of the net and gab. (The last one is what they do.)

  6. Great quote to end the post with (thanks for getting that song stuck in my head, by the way). Those moments when we look back and realize what felt so justified in the moment pretty much wasn’t – those moments are tough. Good for you for letting the anger go. Anger will eat you alive.

    • Don’t I know it. We’re always going to have a spark of anger, but I’m so glad that the burning inferno of it has died. Thanks, Michelle.

  7. I am just copying and pasting this first part. Sorry … I promise you will only have to endure it once. I’m Angela — new to blogging and new to yeah write. But, not new to writing. Until becoming unemployed this June (effin’ Scott Walker … oops!), I taught high school English and Creative Writing was one of those courses. So, long story short: I will always have lots to say. Feel free to curse at me if you don’t want to hear all my feedback. If you want more, let me know that too. I will glady offer even further feedback, but I’m not interested in pissing anyone off my first time on the grid. Now, on to your post …
    First of all, I love that there’s another blog out there that uses “fuck” as often as I do! That’s fan-fucking-tastic! And … yes, life is way too short to be so angry all the time. Stories like the one you have told here don’t matter without the reflection and transformation part, and thank god (or whoever/whatever) that we can change. And here’s the most important thing I have learned about anger in my life: When we carry around anger, it doesn’t even touch the people that pissed us off in the first place. They could give a shit about how angry and hurt we are. We just end up really hurting ourselves and the ones we love. I have been struggling all year to let go of anger, and it’s been coming and going. I have this unsent “apology letter” I wrote about a month or two ago. My husband said it’s too much cursing even for me. However, I think your post might have just inspired me to share it on my blog. Be looking for that. Okay, I write too much.

    • I do look forward to reading it. I hope it’s to that cunt of an ex-husband. I would gladly bring forth some anger for that douchebag. Sorry, I get carried away. 😉

  8. Life really is too short to be mad all of the time.
    I think my favorite part of this story (besides that I still love the fact that you have a friend named Scooter) is how incredibly honest you are with who you were back then.

    Awesome job.

    • Dawn, I thank you, and I have a confession to make. Almost all names on my blog are made up to protect the guilty. I’m sorry if this crushes your soul, but it had to be said.

  9. Life is not fair, and sometimes I think we do our children a disservice when we try to delude them into believing it is. It’s the give everyone a trophy syndrome. I understand the need to balance the talent among the teams, but at some point you just have to leave things alone. I’m glad you’re not so angry any more.

  10. Does it suck that the league pulled kids off your team? Oh hell to the yes! I sympathize with you there. I agree with the ‘make it a game not a win-lose’ attitude, but not with breaking up a happy group. Those kids probably never played again.

    But.

    I’m glad you’ve grown into somebody different. Coaches like the old you were just one reason I never played ball. Or any sport. When I meet the drill seargeants in front of the aerobics class now, I’ll get up and leave the room. I’m sure that anger bled into your coaching. And I think it’s very VERY cool that you can look back on who you were and own up to your own culpability.

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