Then again, he's had a couple of these volunteer dad coaches who took things a bit too seriously and made the kids, and, especially their own sons, miserable.
In each season of each sport, there also was usually one father, or maybe two, who, on the sidelines at practices or at games, likewise took things too seriously.
When I say they took things too seriously, I mean that it was clear that the father was not all that interested in encouraging his son to improve for the boy's own sense of pride, accomplishment, and pleasure in the sport. The father's own ego was wrapped up in how his son was playing, or in how his son's team was playing. Despite etiquette laid down by the Walnut Creek Soccer Club on parent behavior on the sidelines, these dads would still yell at the kids, and not just their own. They would use a very aggrieved tone as they shouted be "aggressive," "pay attention," "move there," or even "kill 'em." And if a kid missed a shot or lost the ball, these dads would be the first to yell something negative, like "come on!" "why did you do that?"
This happened on teams, starting when the kids were 7, 8, and these teams were not designed to be hyper-competitive. These leagues were designed to get kids out and let them play a sport.
Today I read that things got really bad in a Pleasanton junior football league, on a team of 10, 11 year old boys. This team, the Cowboys, is being coached by a former Oakland Raiders tight end, Jeremy Brigham. Pleasanton police are investigating Brigham's alleged attack on the assistant coach he recently fired. This coach happens to be Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty.
According to the Matier and Ross report in the San Francisco Chronicle, Brigham believed that Haggerty had leaked plays to an opposing team, whom, inexplicably, Brigham's team just whipped. So, when Haggerty showed up to pick his son up from a practice, Brigham confronted Haggerty, "screaming." According to Haggerty, Brigham knocked his BlackBerry from his hand, pulled him over a 4-foot-fence and punched him in the back of the head.
Haggerty wound up in a neck brace, police are investigating, and the Pleasanton Junior Football League is conducting its own internal investigation. My view: if guilty, Brigham should get his own ass fired from coaching, and should not be allowed to coach a kids' sports team again.
The philosophy of the Pleasanton Junior Football League, after all, "is to teach the fundamentals of football in a safe and positive environment. All participants in our league play, regardless of talent level or ability. We strive to instill the ideals of good sportsmanship and respect for authority in all of our players."
Before firing Haggerty, Brigham would tell Haggerty to "shut up and sit down" after Haggerty complained about the team's exercise regimen. I wouldn't be surprised if Brigham had his ego wrapped up in the boys' performance and was training these boys too hard for what is safe for kids at that age.
What is it about some of these former pro players thinking they have the adult-like patience to coach kids' sports teams? Remember the big dustup involving former Raiders and 49ers playing Bill Romanowski in 2006? While coaching a Piedmont middle school team, he charged onto a field during a game in Lafayette to confront--not another adult--but a middle schooler from the opposing team, whom he thought was playing dirty.
Oh, and speaking of those Raiders and their off-field conduct, head coach Tom Cable is facing more allegations of violent, bullying behavior, this time against his former wife and girlfriend. Soon after being told he wouldn't have to face criminal charges of assaulting an assistant coach, Cable now faces accusations, made by the women on ESPN, that he hit them.