Tonight’s softball game was played partially in the rain, but oddly enough, the rain saved the spirit of the game. The opposing team’s coach is a douche bag. And really, that’s putting it nicely. He’s the guy who yelled at our team for not warming up correctly (on the dirt instead of turf), the guy who yelled at the teenage umpire who was clearly afraid of the coach already and would look to him before making calls, the guy who yelled at his players, and tried to intimidate ours. This is nine and 10 year old girls softball, not high school or even competitive summer league softball. The guy puts his weak players in the outfield for the minimum number of innings they have to play, then he makes them ride the bench. The guy is desperate to win in a division that doesn’t have standings.
It was ugly and stressful to watch. I felt myself getting tense and angry as a spectator. We’ve seen this guy before in previous years and he’s always been this way, clearly short on self-esteem, thus trying to get it by pushing his daughter to succeed, as he yelled at her most of all. Letters about his poor conduct have been sent to the board, but no matter because he’s on the board, a position he boasts of, as if he’d been elected into it, instead of a volunteer.
My daughter’s coach is a nice guy who wants the girls to have fun while improving their skills. The girls are enjoying the season, which makes it successful until we face a team coached by a meanie who is out to win at all costs, even if it means humiliating third and fourth graders and turning them off of the sport forever. It’s ugly to watch, but luckily for my daughter, her team only has to face him a few times a season. Her team played in the pouring rain tonight because mean couch refused to call the game – and there was no way teen umpire was going to argue with this guy. Thankfully, the rain helped. The commotion drowned out the coach, it was dark enough that only his bleached white teeth were visible, and the wet ball made everything unpredictable. Our team still lost, but the girls left talking about how it was to play in the rain, instead of how it was to play against a team run by an angry man shouting from the sidelines.
This man and his team may walk away with the first place trophy next month, which may warm his heart, but I fear he’ll feel justified in his ways, and while he may feel like a winner, his attitude may have discouraged many girls from returning to the game. This should be about the kids, and it’s sad when the adults leading them lose sight of that.