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Thread: questioning head coach

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    Checking out the clubhouse msmith's Avatar
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    Default questioning head coach

    Hey guys i need some advice. how to you disagree with a head coach as an assistant coach without causing conflict?

    Last edited by msmith; 03-15-2019 at 12:06 AM.

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    Softball Junkie Josh Greer's Avatar
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    One on one conversation away from others is the only option. Discuss, don't argue. Ultimately his/her role is to lead. Yours is to advise. Give advise and allow him/her to lead.
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    I can talk softball all day softball dad 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Greer View Post
    One on one conversation away from others is the only option. Discuss, don't argue. Ultimately his/her role is to lead. Yours is to advise. Give advise and allow him/her to lead.
    Deifinitely what Josh said. Before i accept an assistant coaching job i discuss with the head coach what they see as my role on the team. I tell them i would like the ability to make suggestions and point out options. I also tell them that after they make a decision, I will have their back on anything they decide. We may discuss things later beteeen games but only away from the team and other parents. It really helps me grow as a coach to hear why he made the decision he did. Everyone has different experiences and strengths. Sometimes as a head coach you miss something because you are concentrating on something else. Sometimes as an assistant coach you miss the big picture while focusing on your part.
    It is very fun to be a part of a coaching staff that really talks about the decision making after a game and goes through what they could have done better.

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    Certified softball maniac marriard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msmith View Post
    Hey guys i need some advice. how to you disagree with a head coach as an assistant coach without causing conflict?
    Privately and politely. Like anything else, prepare what you want to say, stick to the facts and keep emotion out of it. Listen to what they have to say in reply and then you can decide where you go from there. Sometimes it goes well, sometimes it doesn't.

    The best head coaches are benevolent dictators. Willing to take advise and input from those around them, but they make the final decisions.
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    Certified softball maniac RichK's Avatar
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    One maybe different thought here: I think it depends what you are disagreeing with the HC about. In-game calls? Playing time decisions? Mechanics? Tournament choice? There's going to be a range of ways to address these very different issues.

    But yes, talking it out is always the best but how you approach that talk will really depend on the topic (and obviously the personality and approach of the head-coach and your relationship).

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    "disagree with a head coach" isn't very specific...disagree about what? Strategy/Philosophy? Line-up/Batting order? In-game decisions? How he dresses (a too small shirt tucked into shorts pulled up too high)?

    That said, in general privately and politely, as marriard says, it usually the best approach. Except in the case of the last item above - that requires public shaming.

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    I'm a fan robertc3's Avatar
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    Every coach is going to be different in how they would receive an alternative viewpoint. I am a head coach when I coach baseball and softball, but I am an assistant coach on a rec. soccer team. When I am the head coach I am happy to hear any thoughts my coaches have about any issues of concern. My goal as a head coach is that the staff is all on the same page, so generally, I ask for their input before assembling the lineup, selecting pitching matchups, choosing a tournament or whatever. In game decisions are generally mine, but if they have something to say it is always welcome. I expect they will be respectful in how they present their views, but they are welcomed. When I am an assistant I generally let the head coach make all of the lineup decisions and figure it will all work out. He and I are very different in how we like to organize things. He has his way and I have mine. We know we think differently and we both accept that. I don't try to change that aspect, but we talk quite a bit about other parts of team management. If I have something I think we need to work on at practice I just ask if I can run a station where we focus on XXXX and he always lets me run with that.

    Talk it out politely and respectfully and it will all go well.

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball grcsftbll's Avatar
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    It depends on what it is. Some things, privately. Other things, never.
    Softball Mom

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    Checking out the clubhouse A's dad's Avatar
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    I unfortunately am about to have a similar conversation so I'll pass along what my wife told me. Depending on what your issue is, ours is the philosophy we were told isn't what we see being executed. Her advice was to ask in question form if something had changed with the direction of the team. Calmly point out that that philosophy was the big reason we wanted to be a part of the team. After that listen and discuss, and expect to not get the answer you want. That way you'll be pleasantly surprised if it works. Apparently I'm not allowed to ask if we were sold a pack of lies to get my daughter to join, even though that's the way I feel.

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    Ex "Expert" Cannonball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msmith View Post
    Hey guys i need some advice. how to you disagree with a head coach as an assistant coach without causing conflict?
    I would require more information to give an appropriate response. I have been both a HC and AC and am currently an HC and AC. In softball, I am now the AC to the person who was once my AC.

    I'll be honest, it is extremely hard for a competitor like myself to return to be an AC after having been a HC. I don't always handle it the best. Still, I do my best to disagree in private. Listen, you are an AC. Do the best job you can do as long as it does not violate your values. That can be seriously tough at times. The best approach, imo, is always to do things face to face and without agenda.

    My opinions here are simply that, My Opinions. I'm an ex expert. I no longer care to have to be right.

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