Tuesday, June 21, 2011

character assassination of a 12 year old

bare with me folks, cause i'm in a state of ridiculous pissed off-ness. and i'm sure this post will make it all the way around this tiny little town i'm currently living in- and to that i say.. GOOD.

i think.

sometimes it sucks being honest and owning up to your words when they are raw, real and authentic. and you have to potentially see the people you are talking about around town. and look them in the eye. and know that they read what you wrote. it's much easier to talk about people you don't know. or people you'll never see in real life. :)

in a nutshell- blake's last year of little league sucked. his coach was less than inspiring and left a lot to be desired. in a role where you should be building confidence and encouraging the small people to be more! awesome! bigger! people! he did the exact opposite with his belittling, yelling and public humiliation during and after games.

if you know anything about the sport of baseball, you know how mental of a game it is. and as a player, you are so fucking caught up in your own head that the last thing you need is your coach pointing out all your flaws and failures. especially at this age when you're still learning what you're capable of handling, what affects you, etc.

cut to our last game of the season when the coach tried to make an example of blake (in return for something blake had said). he yelled at blake in the team meeting, told him that he had no respect for adult coaches and then threatened him with, "you'll pay for that dearly during all- stars."

um... who the hell threatens a 12-year old kid?!?!? and oooooh, you'll pay for that in all stars. really? what the hell kind of threat is that?! little league isn't even real baseball for fucks sake!!!!!!! (and people, do not start emailing me or posting in the comments section about how you disagree and little league is real baseball. i refuse to have this pretend argument. talk to me when the players can lead off and steal like normal people, and when you move the bases and pitching mound back an acceptable amount of feet. see? i'm right. told you. lol)

by the end of the season, blake was beaten down and had simply had enough. continuing to play with this coach was no longer an option. so blake was put in the uncomfortable position of telling his all-star coaches that he did not want to play because of this other coach's involvement.

I APPLAUD blake for standing up for himself.

i told you i was pissed off.

sometimes i'm unreasonable when i'm angry.

i am a girl.

so, he told the coaches (both of them) that he didn't want to play. one of them convinced him to come to 1 practice, and then decide. blake agreed. after that practice, and then sleeping on it for the night, he decided that he didn't want to continue the unhealthy coaching relationship he had been in for the past 5 months, and he respectfully declined playing.

shortly after his decision, one of the coaches called my home demanding to hear it from blake personally. so blake got on the phone and told the guy he didn't want to play. and he didn't want to play "because of coach so and so" and that he "didn't want to be on the same field as him" any longer.

end of story.

i mean, that is where the story should have ended, right?

because he got chosen for all-stars. he said no. we all move the fuck on, right? clearly, we do not move.the.fuck.on.

so now... from what i'm hearing... things are being said about my son. people are saying that blake isn't playing because he wasn't having fun on the field. or because he has conflicts with his travel baseball team. or because he's a baby. and they're saying blake quit all-stars, when the truth was that he never wanted to play in the first place. they are saying all sorts of things about him and why he's not playing, but nothing they are saying is the truth.

i am angry that adults are spreading, fueling and encouraging misinformation about my son- all for the sake of not admitting, or owning up to the real reason why he doesn't want to play. other coaches (who damn well know better) are blatantly lying when asked by other adults as to why blake isn't playing.

when the real reason is perfectly logical. perfectly acceptable. and should be respected. hell, it should be freaking honored with a medal. or a brownie at the very least.

listen, i understand that it isn't everyone's business as to why blake chose to leave. (although now it is, since i've taken it to the world wide internets!!!) but if people were simply trying to be "pc" or handle the situation a certain way, they should have said that they weren't sure why blake wasn't playing, instead of making up a pretend answer and having that answer reflect upon him.

which puts him in a weird position when his friends say things like, "i heard you weren't playing all-stars because of travel baseball." to which blake is like, "huh? that's not true. who told you that?" and then he's confused and doesn't understand why people are not only talking about this and making it a huge deal, but why they would say something about him that wasn't true in the first place.



the real issue here is that coach.

not my son.

and the sickest part of all of this- is that those people who know the truth, yet are choosing to lie when asked... they are supporting the coach who sucks at coaching, instead of supporting the kid who has an extremely valid point. they are throwing a 12-year old under the bus.

for what?

for who?

a coach who triggers more harsh feelings from parents and players than any coach i've ever known?

why aren't we defending the kid who was put in the position of making an adult decision? why aren't we standing by him, telling him we believe in him, learning from this and teaching others from it?

blake did the right thing.

and it's even clearer to me now how rare that quality truly is in people anymore.


Dana said...

Ugh. That coach should be fired. Or dismissed from volunteering or whatever. Reading your post I got angry; kids do not need this crap.

Let us know how it goes...

Hang in there! And good job Blake for standing up for yourself!

kristina said...

Good for Blake. What a sucky situation for him to be in. I hope they pull their heads out of their asses and see what they are really teaching the kids. That coach sounds awful. Good luck.

Alison said...

Maybe the other parents are afraid they or their children will have to endure his wrath if they tell the truth about him. It's still not the right thing to do though.

It's too bad that Blake is in the middle of this. It sounds like he's the only mature one involved. The coach and parents are all acting like children.

On another note, I can't stand coaches who yell and belittle their players---whether they're coaching children or professionals. As a teacher, what if I did that to my students? It doesn't bring out the best in them by any means---if anything, they just rebel and stop performing altogether.

Anonymous said...

I think it is time for you to go a step further. Contact the league office and tell them they are going to
1. Fire the coach and say publicly it is because he is verbally abusive to players.

2. Take out an add in the paper apologizing to your son for allowing members of their organization to slander him.

Unknown said...

1. Good for Blake!
2. Yes, standing up is rare.
3. Why do you care what other people say? Only a tool would duck and cover.

Mom101 said...

I love that Blake stood up for himself, but I'd report the coach. Aren't there rules in leagues that govern coach behavior?

Tell him to stick with ballet. Much nicer teachers, and you don't get your uniform so dirty. Heh.

Anonymous said...

Good for Blake! I am SO glad he is such a strong, brave and healthy kid. He stood up for himself and what he believes in, and you are right, having the courage to behave that way is something that should be applauded, not admonished. Don't worry Jenn, regardless of whether or not the truth ever comes out, you can take comfort in knowing you have a great son who will one day grow up to be a great man. =) Love, Sandals

A. Jacob Sweeny said...

People are like sheep and sometimes worse;they are like chickens who try and peck the one that they think is weak. I know Blake and although he is a kid he is anything BUT weak. oach seems like an ass but other kids are following his words and tell their parents about events through their own filtered mind. Parents who care or concerned would call you to ask what happened-those who gossip do it because it nakes them feel as if their child is somehow better. I would have never had the balls (wait, I don't have any now)to stand up and talk the coach when I was a child I would have just cried to my mom or heald it all in. Good on Blake-teach him that being a leader can sometimes be a little lonely but he is just that. xoxox

Nyt said...

My dear, the answer is right in front of you....WRITE IT! Got a local newspaper? You and Blake sit down and write a tidy little essay about baseball, kids, self-esteem, and the importance of kids learning to surround themselves with "healthy" people. Resist the urge to call the offending coach names. (no typos containing the word "douchebag") Submit to the op-ed department and wait patiently for either A) an apology from those who have offended...B) the resignation of the aforementioned douchebag...C) both A and B.. or D) none of the above. No matter the outcome, you'll both have the opportunity to say what you'd like, (well, MOST of what you'd like, minus the offensive stuff) and you get bonus points for bettering your child's writing and critical thinking skills. If your neighborhood is anything like mine, there is no national or world news, there's only that little local paper that I tuck under the litterbox....

Baseball Fan said...

I'm sorry your son had to go through that. Kids should be allowed to be kids and not have to deal with that "adult stuff" until they get older.

Shame on the adults for their gossiping about a child! That just takes the cake.
(Er, cupcakes? LOL...just injecting a little humor.)

It's also a shame that people who act like that are allowed to coach children.

I agree...Little League isn't 'real' baseball....it's more like learning/training/practice. And really, it's supposed to be something FUN for kids to play. Not all serious like MLB. Y'know?

A coach here asks the kids at the last game if they want to play to win or to play for fun. What do you think the kids choose? They chose to play for FUN. The kids get to be the coaches. They're the base coaches. They get to play positions they want to play, that they haven't played during the season. And they have FUN.
I think that's cool. :)

judy in ky said...

Some people become coaches because they love the game and truly care about the kids. Others become coaches so they can flaunt their authority and act like big macho idiots. The big macho idiots need to be weeded out.