TEENAGERS: You just never know …

Much is being posted about coaches who do or don’t care about, and/or
who can or can’t motivate their teams.
To assume a high school coach at any level does not care about his
job or his players’ performance is foolishness.
Every coach is aware that, whether it is a legitimate evaluation, the
success or failure of his or her team is a reflection of his abilities
to coach.
There is little doubt that today’s young coaches are probably better
prepared with the Xs and Os in their sport, but much less prepared
psychologically to deal with today’s young student/athletes.
In the ‘old days’ a coach’s word was law. It wasn’t to be questioned,
and parents supported this approach.
Today’s young student/athletes have more questions and the courage to
ask them, they have more opinions and they get more advice, whether it
be from parents, peer group or television that empowers them to
challenge authority with more aggressiveness.
Dealing with these challenges is not as easy or as simple as it might
appear, hence it is necessary when passing judgment on a coach’s
performance to do so with more logic and sensitivity and not with merely
one’s heart and/or bias.
Granted, this reduces much of the potential for the distribution of
misinformation and rumor and experiencing what becomes perhaps tainted
enjoyment, but then, isn’t that how it should be?
Hopefully, with this consideration …
Blog on!

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  • just a mom

    I think it is time for parents to back off a little and give coaches a chance to coach. I think parents need to back up their coaches (except, of course, in extreme instances) and teach their children to become team players and to listen once again to authority figures. There are so many life lessons to learn from sports and being part of a team. Very few of our children will have a chance to play after high school, let alone make a living out of it. Let’s let our kids learn self-discipline, following directions, and being part of a team working towards one objective.

  • Poet83alum

    Wow Roger; now that’s a deep conversation starter!

    I think that you are right about young athletes today: they have more opinions and get more feedback from multiple sources than ever before. Parents(myself included) are more obsessed with doing all we can for our kids to help them get better, and we spend more money on it as well. Travel ball. Personal coaches. Strength and agility training. Hi tech and high quality gear; I just spent $360 on a new TPX bat for my son. Kids now play a hundred games or more in baseball per year if they are travel ball and high school or Little League/PONY players. All of this makes them more knowledgeable and experienced, and probably playing at a higher level than kids of a generation or two ago at the same age.

    I played college and semi-pro ball and threw “hard” for a young man of that era- maybe 85 MPH. Now, many kids as young as 14 or 15 throw in the 80’s, and I’ve seen kids that age hit legitimate 350 -400′ shots. The talent level is amazing in all competitive sports today- boys, girls, all sports. I’d bet that a decent high school squad today is about the equivalent of a college team from 20-30 years ago.

    Coaches benefit from the skills of these kids, but by the time a player reaches the varsity level, many have learned more, and better, technique and skills than the coach is able to teach them. So they may tune them out. Or display a level of disrespect. (there are many other reasons for this of course- family, societal mores, etc) Coaches have it tough due to the parents expectations and experiences as well, making their jobs doubly tough. I know that I have been aware, as has my son, that his current coach has told him things that are flat out wrong technically, but what is a kid to do?

    Good coaches build programs by instituting discipline, consistent and correct techincal skill development, good marketing of older prep players to colleges, developing year ’round programs, etc. Players will respect and learn from coaches who do so. But how many coaches, really, build such programs and earn such respect?

  • Baseball fan

    Murray do you know the rosters for the annual Rotary baseball games scheduled for next wednesday

  • AM

    This is definitely a good topic and I don’t know why more people aren’t commenting. I guess it’s because this isn’t a topic that involves gossip or one that allows adults to knock kids.
    Poet83alum makes a valid point when he says that kids today are much more equipped to play sports. Roger also makes a valid point when he says that coaches these days are more prepared for the game when it comes to Xs and Os than the psychological aspect of dealing with kids.
    The problem with this is that nowadays the coach has to earn respect from the players, parents, community etc. when before it was vice versa.
    Also parents are constantly questioning the coach. For example, how many times does a parent have to yell at a coach and call him an idiot from the stands.
    The bottom line is that the parents shoudl simply support the kids and not try to coach them themselves because, when it comes to football, parents have no clue what goes on at practice and what these coaches are implementing.
    Coaches install things from April to November and the team works on various plays and schemes.
    For a parent to call a coach an idiot when this parent has NO CLUE what is going on is absolutely ridiculous.
    Bob Ladoucer from De La Salle Hgh School has a meeting with his parents every year and tells them not to come and talk to him about kids playing time and what kind of plays he’s running. I like this attitude, but at the same time he has established the most storied winning streak in high school sports so I guess he has the right to do something like this. I can’t imagine a Del Rio League coach saying something like this and it flying.

  • hsbaseballfan

    does anyone know anything about the coaching situation at LS? – I understand that the parents are pushing for a coaching change-Coach Manzo has dona a good job-he won the league a year ago-come on LS-back your coach and dont listen to your parents!-asny inside info?

  • anonymous

    Strange season up at LS this year. 15-11 overall record- better than Cal (who they beat twice and lost a one-run game to). A tournament win against D1 Arcadia. 5 league losses by one run, several in late innings, including two to Whittier (?!). Tough losses to La Quinta (2-0), two to a very good D2 team in Yucaipa, etc. Many more runs scored than allowed, etc. The team, with only a few breaks and more little ball, could have easily been a 20 win team.

    Manzo is not a great coach, and doesn’t communicate very well. A very cautious, tentative offensive approach. Only one assistant coach. No pitching coach. But, thanks to good players, he is 35-20 in his first two years, if I’m not mistaken. LS is blessed with several good youth leagues which feed it, so the teams should always be strong.

    The expectations were very high this year following last year’s magic season, and he had 4 sophomores up from last year’s freshman team that demolished the league and went 21-0. Playing 4 sophomores, often over seniors, and carrying only 3 juniors upset many parents. A few seniors quit when they didn’t like being benched or DH’d for. So yes, many want him out, and some parents up at LS, when unhappy, let the administration know about it.

    Will LS admin make a bold move and go for a fresh, young aggressive new coach and coaching staff? They could do it and go for a guy who will develop a perennial power. Many parents would like to see that happen. We’ll see.

    Regardless, look for LS to bounce back next year with a new group of kids (JV won league) to join the 7 returning players, who are a strong group. Last year’s team showed that a team with heart can win with Manzo at he helm, despite his limitations. The kids may not learn a lot under his coaching, but they can still play, compete, and win.

    Del Rio was better than I’d heard and expected. Cal, a well-coached but pretty average team in my opinion (weak schedule and so-so record- check MaxPreps), got hot and did well in CIF; good for them. Santa Fe and El Rancho were decent teams and will be competitive next year with several returning players.

    Del Rio deserves more respect than it gets; it has produced several curent and recent major leaguers. Most leagues cannot say that.

    Whatever happens with the coaching situation up at LS, expect another dogfight between LS, Cal, Santa Fe and El Rancho next year.

  • LS Parent

    Yes, this past baseball season at La Serna was a strange and upsetting one compared to last year. It just goes to show everyone that in sports it is a combination of talent, coaching and attitudes that will win games.
    The gentlemen that stuck to it day in and day out, did a great job. The kids that quit just showed what they were made of.

  • StealthBaseball

    to anonymous, this is directed at you for writing the following:

    The expectations were very high this year following last year’s magic season, and he had 4 sophomores up from last year’s freshman team that demolished the league and went 21-0. Playing 4 sophomores, often over seniors, and carrying only 3 juniors upset many parents. A few seniors quit when they didn’t like being benched or DH’d for.


    First off, there was only one sophomore that deserved to be up on varsity and that was the catcher

    second of all, just because they demolish freshman year doesnt mean they will tear up the varisty level. which was obviously shown this year. If i remember correctly one of the “super sophomores” blew the last game of the season against el rancho with a mental lapse thus causing an error. but its ok, he demolished freshman year.

    the seniors that did leave did not quit because of the sophomores. one senior left the team because of playing time that was promised to him by a coach. Something a coach should never do. The second senior left because of problems he had since last year. He was not given a chance and not given a reason why he was not being given a chance. Whats ironic is that both were shortstops, that were the best in the league and possibly the area.

  • anonymous

    Hey Stealth: I saw the entire season. It is your opinion that only the catcher was worthy. I beg to differ. They were better than anyone on the JV and they deserved to be there. None were overmatched by any of the upper classmen in the league. All four of the sophomores did well, if not as well as they were capable of, and I only referenced their incredible freshman year to say that a season on JV would have been a waste for these four sophomores.

    Why the attitude about a great freshman year? It was a fact. They beat second place Cal 20-1 the last game of the season, and scored 220 runs, while giving up only 35 in 21 games. You can mock my referencing it, but it was a completely dominating season.

    My comments about the seniors quitting stand. One was given a chance, did not hit and made numerous errors at the shrtstop position, so he ended up being DH’d for before he quit. The other one who quit was, indeed, a good player and should have stuck it out. But he chose to quit. In each case, it was a CHOICE they made.

    And as for the El Rancho game, there were some mistakes made by both sophomores and upper classmen in that game. Errors happen, and the sophs made no more than the upper classmen. It was lost, though, because the team did not hit that game, pure an simple, just as in most of the losses LS had in league. Games are lost or won as a team, in case you forgot.