Notice to all Park District Administrators:
Do not hire any coaches with two distinct,
different half-faces. Or Brad Childress.
From: Doug McAllister
RE: 4th / 5th Grade Boys Basketball Team – Washington Bulls
My name is Doug McAllister and I will be coaching the Park District 4th / 5th grade Washington School boys basketball team - the Washington Bulls.
This is my first time volunteer coaching, but with my son Edwin on the team (and with him being the only one of my children who isn't mortified to have his dad be his coach!), it seemed like a great time to give this a go. My priorities as coach will be to have fun, and teach the boys to be better basketball players. Winning, while nice and hoped for, will be secondary. When our season is done, I hope to have shown the boys a few things about how to be better / more skilled players, and to leave them wanting to continue playing basketball because they've had a positive experience in the league. The league's "mission" is 1.) safety and 2.) everyone plays and everyone has fun. I plan to stick to that mission, and hope all of you will fully support me in it!
I will contact you with further information about uniforms and practice / game schedules.
Wow. I sound very reasonable and pleasant, don’t I? Hey, I meant all that stuff when I wrote it. How was I to know the games would get so intense, with parents screaming from the sidelines, and other coaches yelling for blood? I mean, yeah, I observed all that last year, but I was planning to be the voice of reason
. I was going to be the one who kept calm in the face of adversity and chaos.
Cut to me on the sideline of a particularly brutal game, sweating like the engine room operator in a submarine movie, telling my own son to hard foul the other team’s best player.
“What, dad?” Edwin asks. He looks confused, which is understandable. At practice, we never covered playing dirty.
“Just foul him hard,” I say in my best Karate-Kid-villain voice. “We need to make him think twice when he comes into the lane. You know what I mean?”
Edwin nods and returns to the court in a stupor. A word of advice – never say “You know what I mean?” to a 9-year-old unless you are absolutely certain that you
know what you mean.
Long story short, my volunteer coaching career began with an e-mail, and ended with another two weeks later:
RE: Park District Code of Conduct Violation
Dear Mr. McAllister,
I was present at the Washington Bulls / Irving Heat game this past Saturday, and was disturbed by the flagrant foul involving your son Edwin and the Heat’s David Flanigan. While I was initially satisfied with your handling of the situation, I have since been informed by other children on your team that they heard you instructing your son to be physical with the Flanigan boy.
This behavior is not acceptable by our league’s code of conduct. Please return your basketballs, first aid kit, and clipboard to the Park District office as soon as possible, so that a replacement coach can pick them up before next practice.
While I am obliged to remove you from your duties, I will not punish Edwin. In my experience with him, he has always been a pleasant, sensitive, non-violent child, and will be allowed to remain on the team despite this incident.
Thank you for your attempt to get involved in youth sports. I am sorry things could not work out.
Park District Athletic Director
Somebody once said if you’re going to be bad at something, be the worst at it. Even that person probably didn’t get fired two weeks into a volunteer kids’ basketball coaching gig. So, in some respect, I suppose I deserve congratulations.
Links: Travelling: Intro / Book JacketChapter 1: CribbagegateChapter 2: Two e-mailsChapter 3: PatternChapter 4: Shattered
, Chapter 5: Hilarious PeeChapter 6: SuicideChapter 7/8: Coaching High school, Shark attacks and appetizers
Labels: chapter 2, Evil Ted, traveling