Wednesday, January 11, 2017


I was raised to stick by my choices.  If I say I will do something, it is incredibly rare for me to not follow through.  I am sticking by my friend when even now that I am not her Maid Of Honor, I am still planning her wedding, and paying for my third of her shower.  I stayed in every job I ever had even after knowing how under paid and over worked I was until I could no longer stay.  I stayed in my first marriage, some would say, much longer than I should have. It's what I do.

It's what my husband does as well.  He gives the people he loves more chances than he should, stayed longer than he should have in his marriage, and often finds himself deep, deep in holes he could have easily stepped out of years ago.

It's not a surprise then, that it's what we try to teach our boys.  You make your choices and stick with them.  Right?

Oldest tried out and made the Freshman basketball team last year, and while he spent a fair amount of time on the bench, we figured he was paying his dues and would eventually develop into a strong member of the team.  The regular coach was out due to personal issues, and the new coach was, well, less than supportive.  They hardly rotated the line, and it became quickly apparent that they had no interest in developing anyone other than the star Senior on Varsity. Unfazed, he finished out the season, did an independent spring league, two leagues in the summer, and worked out in the fall so he'd be ready for this year.

This year, he tried out again and made the JV team. While he was excited, some of his friends had fallen away, some by choice and others by the coach's hand.  This coach is much tougher, and lacks appropriateness.  There are 4 weeks left in the season.  He averages only 4-6 minutes a game, usually in 2 or 3 minute intervals, with last night being only 52 seconds.  In that small amount of time he has scored ten points for the team thus far this season.  There are other players that have played 16 or more per game and have scored none. Zero. the entire season.

He has asked the coach what he can do for more time on the court.  He gets the same answer each time.  He shows early at every practice.  He is not the fastest, but not slowest player either, and does whatever is asked.  And... nothing.

The more I'm talking to other parents the more I'm hearing how abusive the program is.  Kids are told they will never amount to anything, or that they will always be average. The best comment though, was the game before last when he told them all "This team has made me hate the sport of basketball.". And while the program is lead by the head coach, who is notorious for his abusive behavior towards players, in the past the coaches would at least find something positive to point out after trashing the team.  This year, however, that seems not the case.  It's no wonder they have lost every game this season.

He has long be debating quitting.  Last night seemed to be the breaking point.  His grades are faltering because of the schedule. His attitude is wavering.  And more important, he is miserable. This is the last year he can play on the rec leagues, and without the option of Varsity, he will ultimately have to stop playing.  And while I can see that he's torn about it, he seems okay, and is looking at other sports to try.

I hate seeing him go through this and we have left it up to him.  I have asked that he respectfully quit if that what he chooses to do.  He's not happy I asked that.  He doesn't understand about burning bridges just yet... particularly since this coach works all year long, in nearly every sport.  And if he stays through the next 4 weeks, will he look back and think the stayed too long, just like I have so many times in my life? Funny, even at 42 I am still trying to determine at what point it's okay to let go of your commitment, before you end up needing to be committed.

Maybe it's unrealistic for him to know at 16...


  1. I have no answer for you except to kill the coach!!

    1. :) I know... thing is Youngest is part of another team, with an equally difficult coach except he is extremely positive in his critique. It's not a wonder that the kids LOVE him and that the team is one of the best in the state. I think this is the first time Oldest is seeing that coaches can be tough and respectful, and now he's looking for something more. *sigh* It's his decision, but the whole thing makes me sad. Not just for him, but for all the kids on the team.

  2. I too would want to kill the coach. Terrible attitude for a coach to have when coaching players this young. Four weeks can be a short period of time unless you are miserable doing something, than it can stretch forever! Let us know what oldest decides to do!


  3. Oh what a dilemma. I agree with you about respectfully quitting - especially in light of the fact that this coach is involved in all the sports.

  4. Wow. And I quit in grade school when they told me you had to show up for the games in suit and tie...

    It is unfortunate that coaches at lower levels aren't made as responsible as their pro counterparts. That coach would be out bouncing on his ass, but he prolly has a buddy in the system somewhere that sweeps his stupidity under the rug.

  5. Sometimes throwing in the towel is the best option but for many it is a really had decision myself included

  6. I wonder why, as a society, we have such a problem with stopping an activity that is causing harm... calling people quitters or even suggesting that the crap they're going through is normal and acceptable and will make 'em stronger when by quitting, they're really doing something that's good for them by walking away from a horrible situation?

    Is it really better to endure all kinds of shit from people than to say "No. Enough." to it? Why is the ability to put up with all kinds of crap considered an asset?

    Why not celebrate the strength it takes to walk away when something isn't working? It can be really hard, especially if someone is calling you stupid names like quitter.

    And yes, my mind is quite capable of making the distinction between stopping an activity that's hard just out of laziness and deciding that no one has the right to be disrespectful to you and walking away from crappy situations.

    Can you imagine how much happier we'd be if all of us could walk away as needed and continue walking until we find what's best for us?

    1. I should add that I wrote that ages ago and didn't mean that anyone is calling anyone names or anything like that. But I've wondered so many times why quitting is a negative thing when it takes SO much more strength to walk away. And leaving respectfully is even more difficult.


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