One mom is a little uncomfortable with how intense her son's little league baseball coach can get.
In an open letter to Care And Feeding — Slate's "Dear Abby" section — an anonymous mother said that she's noticed her 10-year-old's coach is a little more intense than she expected, and she's not sure how to handle it.
"There are four parent coaches for a team of nine- to 10-year-olds. What I’m concerned about is the really intense coaching from the sidelines by the coaches," says the mother. "Though most of it is positive and constructive, I’m also hearing things like 'Keep it simple, stupid' and 'Move your a***s.' All at top volume, and throughout the entire game!"
She went on to explain that despite this, she respects the work that these volunteers put in to ensure these children have a fun time, and she noted her child says he's not bothered by it, but she feels a little uncomfortable with some of the language used. To make the situation even more interesting, her husband is also an assistant coach, but he's a little quieter out on the field.
Care and Feeding responded to the query by reassuring the mom that her worries are valid. They say that there's no situation where an adult calls nine or 10-year-old stupid or curses at them that's OK. Their suggestion, tell her kids to ignore the coach. Obviously, they need to listen to him regarding plays and such, he's their coach, but they should block out the less-than-savory language. After that, they suggest having her assistant coach husband email the head coach saying multiple parents have complained about the language. The email method would allow the coach to sort through more negative defensive emotions before a face to face meeting, which could defuse a potentially explosive situation.
At some point, parents will have to accept that their children will hear some intense language if they play sports, but at such a young age, it's pretty unacceptable. Unfortunately, talking to the coach might be a bad idea. We're sure the coach is a reasonable person, but becoming the problem parent could cause more issues than its worth. At the end of the day, the reason why parents put in the time and money to allow their children to play sports is for the kids to have fun. Taking an approach that's less confrontational can allow them to still enjoy the sport without any politics coming into play.