Help, How do I keep him involved???

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by wjaes, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. wjaes

    wjaes New Member

    Hi everyone-My son was kicked off (or not invited to the basketball team he has played with for 2 years and now has been "uninvited back to his baseball team he has played on for 2 years. My son dosn't know yet and I think (I know) he will be upset. I have worked diligently to keep him involved in these activities as he has some skills and I want him to have structured social opportunities with typical kids. I haven't ever interfered with the coaches decision about benching him if his attitude wasn't good (he hasn't ever had physical or verbalaltercations with any of the other kids and hasn't yelled at the coaches). I emailed the coach 2 weeks ago, didn't hear anything from him and then emailed a couple of other parents on the team to see if they had heard anything. I recieved a response from one of the parents and she must have contacted the coach cause then i recieved an email from the coach. I want to respond, but don't know what to say to him. I feel like my difficult child not being involved in these positive activities is a step toward delinquency and it makes my heart hurt. Here is the email: (I have taken out all identifying info). I would like input regarding how to respond to this:


    How's the new year treating you? I want to apologize for not retuning your e-mail. Both boys are playing basketball so things are pretty busy, as I'm sure with you guys. There are some changes going on with the Blue Dogs this year, several kids will not be returning due to various reasons. I have thought thru some player changes for the coming season and I've discussed with current coaches places we need to improve. As a coach I don't know that I will be able to play difficult child in the positions that he wants to play. We are lucky to have many talented 9 yr old boys at **** L.L. I try to put what I think are the best players in the best positions to win different games, also I have a great selection of pitchers and have trouble getting difficult child in the rotation due to my confidence level with him. I blame part of this on last years controversial coaching disputes on difficult children LL team, and part on difficult child's attitude as a player. I honestly appreciate the many times you have helped the team out, whether it was volunteering in the concession stand or getting kids to practice, taking pictures, I know your heart is in it. I would like to Thank You for volunteering. On the other hand is my toughest job to do as a select team coach and that is to tell a parent their kid has a disruptive element that I don't want on the team. I have had some attitude issues with difficult child in the past and have decided it is not in the teams best interest to have him play. I personnally don't feel good about doing this, and I want you to know this is a very hard letter for me to write. You may have many questions and I would rather talk with you over the phone or in person about this rather than e-mail. Please give me call either at home or on my cell so we can discuss this further.

    Thanks, COACH
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Hurtful for you and difficult child. :frown:

    I'm assuming LL is Little League? If so, Little League has very specific rules. You can probably locate them on the internet.

    Can he go to try-outs and be drafted to another team?
  3. wjaes

    wjaes New Member

    Yes, LL is little league. Yeah, he can play on a team but I can't guarantee his behavior, but certainly support the coaches decision's to bench him if he has a bad attitude. My difficult child has the "team identity" wrapped up in this team and has talked about being a "bluedog" all winter. He has been really excited for it to start again. I am gonna have to let him know he won't be a blue dog this year and that will break his heart. The thing that kills me is that I have NEVER crossed the coaches decision and that it took him over 2 weeks to respond and that is no doubtedly after he heard that I had heard from another parent. Same thing happened with basketball this winter. Didn't hear from the coach, but from another parent. He had been on that team for 2 years as well.
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Wendy, how specifically has difficult child been disruptive? If this is a select team, can he play on a regular rec team (I believe coaches can't kick kids off rec teams)?
  5. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Sorry to hear that difficult child isn't being invited back. Is there any other sport, swimming, karate that difficult child would be interested in? Some of our children do better in individual sports while still being on a team.
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    As painful as this is for difficult child (& for you), do you think it's possible to turn this into a learning experience? I would consider asking the coach to speak with difficult child so difficult child can understand how the decision was made and what difficult child can do (or not do) in the future to help avoid these situations from happening in the future. I'm so sorry you are facing this, it breaks a mother's heart.
  7. mum2JK&TH

    mum2JK&TH New Member

    I know nothing about LL but if his behavior is a problem and it is a competitive team, I can see why there would be a problem. I am speaking from personal experience this year. difficult child made the competitive hockey team this past year, he definately has the ability. However this year has been a year from you-know-what with new diagnosis' and medication issues. He has had to miss some days for doctors appts, hospital trips and we have had to change games he was to play ( he is a goalie, so one game game off). Our coach this year has been very good about it, but we know it has already caused issues for the spring/summer team and probably into next year.

    I know how much our coach cares about these kids and I don't think he would ever be able to tell us that difficult child's issues have cost him. It is a tough spot to be in. Although I don't agree with the coach's way of not telling you, I do understand how hard it must have been. Especially if your difficult child does have the talent. Competitive is competitive and there are expectations that the league, coaches and mostly parents, lol, have. Benching your son is not any better in the sense that he's not getting the chance to play anyways.

    Maybe you need to put him in a sport or team that is not as competitive or where the rules are a little more flexible? I am so sorry, it's not easy...
  8. wjaes

    wjaes New Member

    Small world: He can be on a regular season team and I will have to look into it. His disruptiveness involved not hustling to the outfield or back from the outfield. He never yelled or refused to do what the coach asked, just didn't do it quickly. He didn't yell at the kids either. I shared with the coach over the past 2 years some of difficult child's issues and that he was on medication's, counseling and we were working on things at home, and always thanked him for his patience with difficult child and told him that i supported his decisions about benching difficult child if his attitude wasn't good.

    Timer Lady: He used to do gymnastics and have thought about other individual sports and will keep thinking about this.

    Tired Mommy: It is really painful and I like that idea of having the coach talk with him about it so this is a learning experience. He (difficult child) is already pretty down about himself and says he doesn't have friends at school and no one likes him. I don't know if the coach would be willing to do this based on taking 2+ weeks to get back to me. How should I approach him?

    I sincerely would like the coach to think about this not just for my kid, but for others. My difficult child has minimal father involvement and his coaches were great role models for him. These types of decisions seem to be what leads kids into less organized positive activities with exposure to typical kids and increase the likelihood that they will end up more involved with other kids who don't make good choices and/or who struggle socially. I think it contributes to them becoming even "more different" than others.

    The crazy thing is his wife is the principal of the school here that kids attend with disabilities (those whose disabilities impact their ability to attend regular public school).

    Everytime I read his letter (coaches) I get teary eyed and still haven't told difficult child.
  9. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Have you concidered Boy Scouts for socialization? While I realizr tht this doesn't solve the sports issue I do believe that scouting can be one of the best activities we can get our kids both difficult child and easy child involved in. -RM
  10. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    I'd give him a call and I would straight out ask him to do this so that this goes from a potentially very negative experience to one from which difficult child could grow socially. Just make sure that coach knows to make it very clear that difficult child may very well still not make the team next year even with improvements in these areas because the coach has a duty to pick the strongest players for each position (you don't want difficult child disappointed all over again). The fact that coach has respect and appreciation of your work for the team may compel him to step out of his comfort zone, just make sure he knows he has the power to turn this into something positive for difficult child.
  11. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    Sorry this happened for your difficult child. I know not being on the team he wanted will be a big disappointment, but hopefully he will accept playing on another team if there's a more rec type league he can go into. As timer lady said, perhaps you could look into individual sports. My difficult child is one who does not do well in competitive team sports. Karate was the perfect thing for him, he's with other kids but how you advance is up to your own efforts, and the sensei we have is a fantastic role model. He's strict but respectful and the kids show him a lot of respect, approachable and open to any question and will try to help the kids any way he can with advice etc. The kids think he's fantastic.

    Hope you can find something that 'fits' for your difficult child.
  12. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Wendy, I gotta say I think this coach is being a bit tough on a 9-year-old, especially one who needs role models. My own son, who will be 14 this spring, has played LL (rec team, not select) for many years, and he has a BiPolar (BP)-like mood disorder. I am not making excuses for bad attitude, but sometimes depression can cause a kid not to hustle the way he should. It is the disorder speaking, not the child's "atittude." When a child is depressed, he needs encouragement, not punishment. We have always clued the coaches in about our son's issues, as you have, and for the most part, we have been met with patience and understanding. Baseball is after all just a game, and engendering a love of it can last a lifetime. It may be well worth your while to call the league and ask which coaches are more willing to work with a kid who needs a little extra TLC. I can certainly understand your tearfulness -- I would absolutely feel the same way. Hugs.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Good lord this child is 9!

    My boys played rec sports from age 7 till they aged out. We didnt have LL here. I think I am glad. Sure some coaches were jerks about things but like I used to say...did they get a pay increase if the kids won? Did someone fine them if they lost? I dont think so. I know no one gave me money if my kids team won.

    Jamie did very well in baseball and basketball. Cory was better in football. Neither of them is in the Pro's. LOL. Last I checked none of their coaches were either.
  14. wjaes

    wjaes New Member

    This is the letter that I wrote the coach. What do you guys think?


    I appreciate you responding to my email and offering an explanation of why you opted to drop difficult child from the team. I haven't told him yet, as I know he will be very upset. He was talking about being excited for the Blue Dogs to start up again this past weekend. Mark *****, his basketball coach for the last 2 years has also let him go this year (mid-season). He was very sad about that too. Mark, however didn't give me any explanation at all, just opted to not call and I heard the team was back together (without difficult child) much as I heard about the Blue Dogs (after I hadn't heard from you for a period of time I emailed some other parents to see if they knew anything about the Blue Dogs and heard this past Monday that you have already had a couple of practices at the batting cages with the players).

    I want to say thanks for allowing difficult child the opportunity to play competetive ball and to have the opportunity to be coached by you for the past 2 years. You are a fantastic coach and kids who have the opportunity to be coached by you are very lucky. As I have shared in the past, my greatest hope was to keep difficult child involved in positive activities, positive peers and around positive adult males so he would have the opportunity to learn and model good behavior. That was part of my concern with him ending up on such a “controversial team” (as you called it) last year. He needed that type of role modeling like he needed a big hole in his baseball glove or a bend in his baseball bat.

    I imagine these (exclusion from competetive baseball and basketball) are the first of many exclusions he will experience throughout his years. It really breaks my heart for him. However, I know how easily it is to view his behavior as 100% willful and to see this as a “attitude problem”.

    difficult child has been on medication since he was 5 years old for difficulties with his mood and I continue to work on positive behavioral support with him at home, with school and in the community. I guess I thought that both you and Mark ***** (basketball coach) realized I was doing all I could do address his behavior and I presumed that as long as I supported your decision to reprimand him for his attitude and/or behavior and he didn't do anything severe like yell at you or any of the coaches, the other kids or put his hands on anyone, you and the coaches were willing to work with him. They say that it takes a village to raise a child and I guess I saw you and the Blue Dogs as part of this village.

    It would be very helpful so that this ends up being a learning experience for difficult child if you could talk to him about your decision to not ask him back. This would be good for difficult child so he gets it straight from you and recognizes the types of behavior that influenced your decision so he might learn from them.