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Ignorant v. petty

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,470
48
Mundelein, IL
Ok, back to business on fastpitch softball.

I've been holding on to this one a little while, but can't wait on it anymore. Stupid is a high school coach scheduling her team into a four-team tournament on the same day as prom. Petty is then benching a senior during the one game she is going to attend because she took the lead on behalf of all the others and asked if they could leave early to get ready for the prom.

The reality is prom is a big deal to most high school girls these days, whether they are athletes or not. They spend days or even weeks picking out just the right dress, deciding on how they'll do their hair and nails, and generally getting prepared. The day of prom most will take several hours getting ready. It's a very special day, especially for seniors who are at the end of their time in high school. Scheduling a completely meaningless tournament on the day of prom is just asking for discord and disappointment. It's also asking for three extra losses on your record, because you're fighting the tide. They're going to go to prom, whether you like it or not.

Worse, though, is taking those kids who are willing to cut things a little closer by attending at all and punishing them for wanting to be high school girls. Why penalize your players because you were too short-sighted to realize what you were doing, and what you were asking of them? Why not give them that weekend off, so they can take advantage of another activity the school has to offer? And one that's sure to be a lot more special and memorable than some pointless softball tournament?

Marc Dagenais talks about the year-round specialization of softball players (rather than being well-round athletes playing multiple sports) as one of the leading factors in the increase in softball injuries. That same single-mindedness applies to other activities as well.

It's time to remember that youth sports participants are youths first. You're only young once. There's plenty of time to be responsible adults later. When you're making out your schedule, be smart. Don't put your players in a position of making that decision and you'll all be a lot happier.

More...
 

Cannonball

Ex "Expert"
Feb 25, 2009
3,906
63
Ken, my first year coaching baseball here at this school, I inherited a schedule with a DH on the day of prom. So, we attempted to move the game up so that the boys could have time to do both. We ended up going 11 innings in a very emotional game with over 1,000 fans in attendance. This WAS a hugh game for many reasons not the least of which the head coaches (Me and the other coach) switched teams over the winter due to ... Thus, the immense crowd. Well, we won. One of the senior Moms heads up to me and I cut her off. I knew what she was going to say and I knew that they were walking on eggshells due to the atmosphere of this game. I called all of the seniors AND juniors over and told them to scat. They wanted to play. I reminded them that if there was a young lady involved, they couldn't make the decision to play based upon sports. Kids have to be kids. Prom is a big deal! Besides, I would have never forgiven myself if I forced them to rush and one of them had gotten into a car wreck. BTW, we were short gamed the second game playing freshmen and sophs. Still, we had a great day.
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,470
48
Mundelein, IL
In my opinion you did the right thing. That was a classy move. Not a lot of coaches would've willingly sent their top players off. Unfortunate that you got stuck with that schedule -- what goof set that up -- but you kept it in perspective. I'll bet your players would run through wall for you.
 

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
8,509
48
Tucson
Gosh, prom has taken over. My kids never played on a team that would have left a game for prom. (Change clothes in the car and use a wash cloth, maybe, but not miss a game.)

We were at two different HS's and prom just wasn't that big of deal. Especially, to the boys.

If I was coaching somewhere now, I wouldn't have known that anyone even cared about prom. It must be different at various schools.

I don't think that my sons went at all. They are 24 and 26, so I am trying to remember. But, I do know that their coach wouldn't have let them miss a baseball game.
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,470
48
Mundelein, IL
It's a huge deal around here. But the bigger point is why schedule the conflict in the first place and make your players choose? Just because you can? Coaches should use more common sense than that.
 

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