Role Models

By Brian Gotta, President of CoachDeck:

I stumbled upon a Little League blog and began reading comments. The posts that were written were some of the most outrageous I’ve ever seen regarding a youth sports league. It is amazing that these parents believe that they could have the best interests of the children of this community at heart. This particular thread contained 127 posts. I’m copying some excerpts below. I’ve left out some of the most virulent and profane, but suffice it to say, nothing – including marriages – was left sacred. Accusations of theft and corruption were made about the League President. And, as often happens, most of the bitterness centered around who was picked for the All-star team:

A sampling of comments, exactly as it they were posted. I’ve left out posters’ names and name of the league, for obvious reasons:
Whos tired of the way its runned seem like its only certain people that gets the breaks or if you dont have money or family that knows somone theres kids are treated like nobodys.

I have to agree with (name) and (name), It’s all about MONEY, who you are, where you work or who you know. And yeah I saw a team get beat several times last years because the coach played his son in the wrong spot, people told him what he was doing wrong but he didn’t care. This coach doesn’t care for the TEAM he is only concerned about his son, I guess he’ll be playing TWO of his sons in the wrong spot this year. Glad I’m done with (league).

The thing that gets me is there is talk the all star team has already been picked and been on the field some, but I thought all stars was picked by players receiving votes (after season not two months ago), not who is who’s kid. I think the league needs some checking into around all star time.

The problem is (not to offend anybody) yes there are some good players on the traveling team but some do not need to be there because of who their daddy’s are. That is the problem with the league most children do not get a fair shot because to many of the coaches are afraid to make somebody mad. Hint if you have to write a check to make sure your child plays a certain spot or team then your child may not need there. Most of all some of the parents on the traveling team need to stop bragging that is the all star team and realize first of all that can cause a league investigation about all star voting and also realize that yes the game can go on if their child isn’t playing.

Well (Gary) I agree with some of what you are saying, but whats the problem…afraid your child
wont make the all stars..!

No (Steve) my child always makes the all stars. So before you jump you better think. By the way I don’t write a check for mine. However you must.

At which point this poster replied something inappropriate for this forum. But that got things going:

LOL (Gary)! Sounds like you hit the ” nail on the head”. lol Allstars will be posted tonight.

NO (Gary) didn’t hit the nail on the head, my child can actually play ball. LOL you must be good at writing checks by now. Truth comes out tonight how much money is on the team and who gets reported.

And now someone, presumably from a rival league, joins in and claims to have video a photos of this all-star team playing together before the teams were officially posted, a violation of Little League rules:

All of this is good to know, (League) plays in our area and with this and the pics taken at (city) should be enough to protest your games in area tourament. Someday you people will learn to o things by the rules.

And there was much more, including the crude and profane. Imagine being an 11 year-old kid who just wants to have fun playing recreational baseball in the midst of all of this. Little League, and youth sports in general, are supposed to be leadership programs, where youngster learn how to be better citizens; learn how to win at the game of life. What are the children in this community learning? And as sad as this is, what may be sadder is that we all know this disappointing portrait of parents is not an isolated example, but rather one that plays itself out to various degrees time and time again, in community after community.

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