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Discussion: Team Coaches Get No Respect

Posted Discussion
March 29, 2008
Mr. Mechanic
Men's 65
2 posts
Team Coaches Get No Respect
We all know them - the player who runs the team, the player who calls to see if you can make to the game, the babysitter, and the one who makes the decisions on how we all play (good or bad), the player who fills the gap on the money collected. A good friend, Bill Allen, is our coach and this season calls it quits. Bill was always there - played very little, but was always in the game. I appreciate all the good times and the many tournaments we shared. #3 Indy Fog
March 30, 2008
Southpaw55
Men's 55
50 posts
Thank you for a very interesting post #3. I know that running a team can often be a tedious and thankless task. I know from personal experience that it is very often much easier to put that 14th. or 15th. guy in the lineup and hold yourself out to try to ensure that everyone is getting ample playing time.

Our team manager, Paul Smit, and his wife Anna do a remarkable job of getting tournaments scheduled, travel arrangements made, uniforms ordered, etc. and turn the field manager duties over to me. This has proven to be a good system for all of the team. Sometimes it can get a little overwhelming, having 17 or 18 players and trying to get everyone in and stay competitive at the same time.

Although I’ve never met Bill, he sounds like a standup and selfless individual and I wish him and the rest of your team the best this season.

Mike Boatright – Field Manager
Doubleplay 55M
March 30, 2008
Enviro-Vac
Men's 60
394 posts
The following was posted here in 2004. I saved it cause' it's so poignant...

Coaching Senior Softball
When I die, I want “He was a Fair Man” placed on ‘The Rock”. This topic is for coaches or coach/players who play on a non-sponsored team. If you are a player that plays on a sponsored team, you are fortunate, because there are few. Remember: your sponsor is paying $5000-$8000 to take you to a National or Worlds Tourney; give him a GROUP hug. Every manager has the same job every week; you spend unbelievable hours over the winter lining up tourneys, & then average 20-30 hours during the week keeping all this together. You give these schedules to your players & they know every tourney months in advance. You e-mail them every week to give them updates. Here are the constant problems: many players never look at the schedule; never plan their sick days or whatever to coincide with the tourneys; give you notice one or two days before the tourney that their going on a picnic or etc. causing you to have to show up understaffed; whimper cause you move them in the lineup because their bats went cold or because you just want to use a different strategy. Every player on a non-sponsored team should coach one tourney to see how it feels to hear the feedback that goes with the job that NO ONE WANTS. It is almost impossible to carry the 16 or so players you need throughout the year & survive, mainly because of unforeseen injury or family deaths. When you do carry 16 some wonder why you need so many players? Coaches have to put the best man for the job at the position best suited for the player, he is constantly analyzing all situations to determine what to do next; hard to play & compete when all of this is going on; also, he blames himself for any losses. Players, take a look at his success; if you are winning, have chemistry, & are having a great time; he must be doing a great job; don’t reinvent the wheel. There is not a coach out there who gives up all of these hours who will not listen to suggestions, but when a few get together & mumble about what should or should not be done, then this is a cancerous root that will eventually destroy the unity & divide the team. Remember: we expect contention from young players but this should not be with Senior Mature Men
March 30, 2008
Sisavic
138 posts
Enviro-Vac,

Your posting implies the manager's role is different for Sponsored and Non-Sponsored teams. Is it?
March 30, 2008
Books8
Men's 55
3 posts
Enviro Vac,
Your post is right on. Managing a team is often a thankless job.
March 31, 2008
Brett
Men's 55
239 posts
Kansas City Barons (50+ major),
I really enjoyed reading these posts and wish the best to Bill Allen. I fully understand his decision to call it quits. I've felt that way many times myself, but the few thank you's I get from a few of my players makes it all worthwhile. It's all about team chemistry. If you have negative team chemistry, make the necessary changes to get rid of it and do it fast. If you don't, you will be miserable. This is my third year of being the manager/player of a 50+ non-sponsored team. I managed a team for many years prior to becoming a senior. I have found managing at the senior level to be much more demanding and time consuming. Only those who have done it before can fully understand what all is involved and why it is so often referred to as the job no one wants. In addition to the time involved, the manager of a non-sponosred team will ALWAYS end up spending much more money than anoyone else on the team. Aside from making decisions on playing time, game strategy, batting order, etc................well, those who have done it know. It's all good when you are winning.
March 31, 2008
TGIII
Men's 60
90 posts
Enviro-Vac..great post. To Mike B. I echo everything you stated. I'm a realitive newcomer to senior softball and to managing a team. My hats off to all of those managers and coaches that have done so for many years without loosing their sanity. For me, it's easy to manage a team if you have a great bunch of players with the same common goal. Be competitive! You aren't going to win all of the tournaments. The Top Gun Senior Softball program has been around for a long time with a very long standing tradition. Players coming into the program know the quality of play and the expectations up front. The ground work has been set and I get to ride on their coattails. But most of all, we as managers know what is expected as well. That is why we continue to manage, coach, and hopefully play. To Bill Allen, I'm sure senior softball is loosing a dedicated manager/coach and I wish you the best. For me, it's getting ready for the next tournament, trying to put together a lineup, and finding a great place to eat. Most of all, it's another oportunity to meet some great people involved in this great game.

Kevin Evans, Top Gun III
April 1, 2008
DD
Men's 60
75 posts
The remarks posted by Enviro-Vac are absolutely priceless. I don't think anyone could have encapsulated the unique challenges faced by senior coach/managers any better. Many thanks for saving it all this time..and for sharing it again now, Jim. It could not have come at a better time for me and is the most encouraging thing I could have read as I strugglw with the aftermath of dealing with several team "cancers."

The team I manage has had a brutal time of it in the past 6-8 months. I have been insulted, defamed, and personally attacked on this website by men whom I have never met and who have never played for me, yet have been given incomplete or grossly inaccurate information from angry, immature, and disingenuous former players. They chose to publish that inflammatory misinformation and add their own bilious opinions for the entire world to read---without so much as a phone call to verify its authenticity.

Over what?

Over playing time in a senior softball tournament if you can believe that. These men know what they have done to former teammates they called "friends," and continue to do everything they can to promote their perceived "injustices" even as they try to live with the visceral awareness of their own malignant cowardice.

Players who insist to the point of physical threats on playing every inning of every game and then whose performance suffers from the fatigue they cannot hide on Sunday; players who criticize every lineup selection and every strategic decision, but do not have the manly ingredients needed to do the job themselves; players who ridicule their teammates for not having enough ability; players who boast about Hall of Fame nominations for themselves and then play like chumps when the chips are down; players who walk off in the middle of tournaments because the game times were rescheduled and they were inconvenienced...leaving their mates to contend with no bench; players who tell you at the start of the year to count on them for every tournament and then show up barely half the time; players who want to quit you 6 weeks before the World Championships for a "better offer"...all of these petulant, childish behaviors are neatly condensed in a few (former) players of ours who went very public with venomous half-truths, distortions, and outright lies about our team.

Where were they when it was time to organize the tournaments? To run the practices (which they rarely attended)? To make out the lineup? To deal with all the petty jealousies of likeminded ego-maniacs who need more stroking than a kitten just weaned from its mother.

Most players will tell you they would not do what coaches do---no wonder when there is so little appreciation of the incomprehensible pettiness and self-centeredness most (if not all) coaches endure "...for the love of the game..."

Why do we continue to do it? Probably because, as Full Count just learned, if we didn't the team would fold.

I know I'm speaking for a lot of coaches who have dealt with very similar situations---some years don't turn out like you had hoped, right???---and I share these thoughts and my experience with all of us who must keep silent most of the time in the hope of convincing you to stay the course because you love the game so much and you are not alone in your frustration---or your exhilaration when things are going well.

This is a wonderfully cathartic experience....thanks for the thread!!
April 1, 2008
terrymac
46 posts
I want to wish Bill Allen the best of luck. I stepped down as the manager this year after 6 years on the JOB. The messages that have been posted are really on the money. The problem is always a few guys that dont buy into the team concept. You really need 14-15 players to play in a 3 day tournament but the guys only worry about playing every inning of every game. Cant be done! By the 5th or 6th game the legs are gone and the team wears down but no one wants to come out - it is a TEAM game. If everyone really put aside all the ego stuff travel softball could be the greatest rush ever. Just try to remember we are lucky to still be able to play. Thanks to all the guys that manage, without you guys there wouldnt be any senior ball. LOL Terry McClaskey Ohio Silverados
April 2, 2008
THE HI-JACKER
118 posts
DD: Are you crying? Are you stating facts? Are you not posting statements that can or cannot be proven?
Are you any different than some of your past players? Why should anyone believe you, D, & not the others, that would be some of your past players?
D, the world does not revolve around any single one. Why, do you, state H of F, inwhich many know who you are talking about? Is this an attempt, or a cheap shot @ a past player? or even a present team mate?
D, should you not look with in? Are you not bringing up past moments, that should be left alone? If, one is to win the battle..... then one should not fight! D, is it not time to move on & leave the past?
If, one keeps the pain, after awhile, it it pain or a lack of understanding & growth. D, if, you are not happy, let someone else, help, co-manage, try having a team captain or co-captains.
DD, softball is just a game, inwhich players are to have fun & enjoyment? A game. Try & not cry any more. Players have no one to blame, but, theirself. Why is your post true & other are false, lies, cowardly, etc.
D, if, you are telling the truth, then why, are you surrounding yourself, with the likes of such men? Who, is telling the truth?
Is this senior message board, the right place to state, "childish behaviors"? Have you become one of them.

The Hi- Jacker
April 3, 2008
Enviro-Vac
Men's 60
394 posts
Hi Sisavic, to answer your quesion. Yes, as a manager I do feel there is a difference between sponsored and non-sponsored teams. I have experience with both situations.

If a player has his travel costs paid for (flight, hotel, food) he has little reason to be upset when sitting for a game or two. It is much tougher trying to sit non-sponsored players who spent a couple K to travel to a tournament. Even if his bat has gone cold.
April 3, 2008
OREO
Men's 60
88 posts
AMEN ENVIRO, as manager I feel it is as important about
people as it is about winning. We all want to win, but
we have asked our team to invest the time and expense
to go to these tournaments and are bound by our own
conscious to balance our desire to win against being
fair to all. On the other hand if a player is struggling
he should be willing to say so and volunteer to sit
for the good of the team. No one every said it would
be easy, otherwise everyone would be lined-up to
take the job over.
April 3, 2008
2awesom
Men's 50
296 posts
Great Post I enjoy reading all the comments!

I Coach a 50+ team which is entering its third
year.
I feel lucky and am thankful that we have a
great bunch of guys!
I also have 4 or 5 guys who really help me
make the right moves.
So to guys like Doug, Jeff, Mark, Leo & especially
Joe, Thanks Guys!
April 3, 2008
Joncon
289 posts
My coach is a doofus but I love him anyway.

Life is short, play ball :)
April 3, 2008
The Great McGonigle
Men's 50
13 posts
Geat posts to the unsung heros of SSoftball. Dissapointing though to read the feminine diatribe of hijacker. Please pull your lower lip up over your forehead and swallow . . . will solve many of your problems!
April 3, 2008
Joncon
289 posts
oh yeah........my ex coaches were doofuses too.
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