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to be cross with this cricket coach?

30 replies

joshandjamie · 04/06/2013 22:49

My boys aged 9 and 7 played in their second cricket match for the local cricket club tonight. The under 9s age group includes kids from 6 through to 9. So they played their match and they won by 1 run. There was some dodgy bowling and batting and fielding as is normal with a mixed bag of kids this age who have hardly ever played together.

My kids have complained since joining the club that they don't like the coach but I'm a bit of a tough love type of mum and say, well he's the coach so listen to him.

But tonight after the match, he took them into the changeroom (parents stay outside) and sat for 15 minutes giving them a lecture (it was after 9pm). My children came out looking utterly dejected and given they won I asked why. According to my children he said nothing positive.

Here are some of the things he said to the kids:

  • He said that they didn?t deserve to have won.
  • He found something bad to say to every child.
  • To one child he apparently said that his bowling was the most horrifying he had ever seen and that he wishes he could turn back time so that he didn?t have to see it.
  • Despite my 9 year old hitting four 4s, he was told that he needed to improve his batting because it was poor.
  • My 7 year old was told off as he lost a wicket and the coach apparently said that if it hadn?t been for him, they would have been much further ahead.
  • To another child, apparently he just looked at him and sighed.

As a result neither of my boys want to play anymore (now that I have just payed the fees....) But I don't want them to give up. They enjoy playing and I don't want their confidence squashed by a man who obviously isn't suited to coaching this age group. (Incidentally he also stood on the pitch and repeatedly swore - bloody hell - in earshot of the kids saying it 'was the worst bloody bowling he'd ever seen')

I am taking a lot of what my kids say with a pinch of salt but they were so downbeat after winning a match that there must be some truth in what they are saying.

Am I being unreasonable in writing a letter of complaint to the club? Because I have. I feel bad because he probably coaches on a voluntary basis but it's wrong to demoralise kids at this age.
OP posts:

LadybirdsEverywhere · 04/06/2013 22:54

Oh wow. He needs to lighten up. Why don't you just tell him this? Is a formal letter necessary?


joshandjamie · 04/06/2013 22:55

He's not an approachable kinda guy. I have a feeling that if I told him/asked him to be more motivational, he'd just make my kids' lives even harder

OP posts:

Nokidshere · 04/06/2013 22:55

Which club is it joshandjamie?


Helpyourself · 04/06/2013 22:56

Pull them out and tell him why.


joshandjamie · 04/06/2013 22:57

I don't want to say Nokidshere.

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Feelslikea1sttimer · 04/06/2013 23:00

I had this when my son played football for our region, but they were told they were not allowed to tell their parents what was said in the changing rooms as it was none of our business... I was livid! I did speak to the coach concerned and it made it worse for my son, he seemed to be singled out to the point where other parents said they were sick of hearing my sons name whilst they were playing!

He ended up leaving (my child not the coach) and is now just playing at Sunday league level, it really dented his confidence.... So what I am trying to say is, be careful about speaking to the coach directly as he will (if he is not a people person) take it as a personal insult and not be able to deal with it in an adult way. I would maybe speak to a coach at a different age group and ask for their advice as they will know how the club will respond.

Sorry for waffling, hope this helps :-/


McNewPants2013 · 04/06/2013 23:06

I would find another club and sod the money, my children happiness is most important.


joshandjamie · 04/06/2013 23:06

that's what I am afraid of feelslikea1sttimer. I have sent a letter to the club - the guys who look after junior cricket. I am hoping they can have a word without mentioning my name.

OP posts:

Feelslikea1sttimer · 04/06/2013 23:22

That's good... They should be able to sort it, if not is there another club they could join, it would be a shame for them to give up completely.

Let me know how you get on :)


cricketballs · 05/06/2013 00:11

You need to speak to the welfare officer (every club has to have one and their name/contact have to be clearly displayed) and voice your concerns.

As a supporter, club official and fellow junior parent this is not what should be happening at any age/level


HollyBerryBush · 05/06/2013 07:28

DS2 had a football coach like this. He just looked at me one Sunday morning and said "I don't have to get out of bed and be sworn at" and he stopped playing.

The team folded the following season.

I agree with contacting the clubs nominated welfare officer. People like this coach are demoralising and absolutely no good for a childs self esteem


GoblinGranny · 05/06/2013 08:09

One of the knock-on effects that you see in school sports is that those who attend clubs out of school with bullying, dominant and critical coaches become that sort of player.
Arrogant, critical and mocking others whom they feel are less skilled/
I always have a time out bench running for them to reconsider their attitude, but with many it just gets worse as they get older.
Teaching children how to be nasty in order to be dominant.


3monkeys · 05/06/2013 08:14

I would move club. My 2 boys moved from a club that was very competitive and the coach didn't even notice them, to a club where they don't win every week, but they are much more valued.


xylem8 · 05/06/2013 09:45

Well on the one hand it is a coaches job to correct.I am a gymnastics coach and you are supposed to give one thing to correct each time you watch them do a move , but on the other hand it is important to balance that with praise.Did he not praise as well as correct and your boys haven't relayed that


TheBigJessie · 05/06/2013 10:31

If he praised and corrected, then obviously it was only in letter, not in spirit! He might claim or delude himself that he praised, but obviously that bit of the message is so little emphasised that it's not felt as praise.

I bet it wasn't actually balanced.


MNBlackpoolandFylde · 05/06/2013 10:33

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

iseenodust · 05/06/2013 10:49

DS plays for under 9's and I would not expect that type of coaching attitude. At the end of a match they have a quick talk but it is out in the open and general in terms; 'you all tried hard but we need to get the number of wides down next time. there was some great batting and X is man of the match for his fab catch.' One time when they were completely trounced he told them 'The other team were just great tonight, it's only a game and there's another one next week. So cheer up and go home now.' Comments on individual performance/improvement come in training.


joshandjamie · 05/06/2013 10:57

Xylem, I asked them if he said anything positive. He apparently said that their bowling was 'ok'. My 9 year old said, 'The problem with him is that he thinks he's being positive, but he's not. He just says horrid things.'

That's quite an insight from a 9 year old.

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DreamingofSummer · 05/06/2013 11:03

Everything you have said runs counter to what the coach will have been taught on every junior coaching course and the child protection courses that go alongside it. This makes me think he may not be a qualified coach. For example the "closed door" approach is an absolute no no.

Assuming you want to make a complaint, your first port of call is the club's welfare officer. If they don't have one (and this would be a major red flag) complain to the committe via the secretary and ask for a copy of the coach's qualifications.

The better clubs all have Club Mark accreditation which ensures that proper systems are in place and that nothing like this nonsense ever takes place. If this club has Club Mark, they are not meeting its requirements - make a complaint to the county development officer. If they do not have Club Mark, I'd move to a club that does


joshandjamie · 05/06/2013 11:05

I have written to the child welfare officers. Waiting a reply.

OP posts:

DreamingofSummer · 05/06/2013 11:09

Josh That reply will be interesting to read


joshandjamie · 05/06/2013 11:09

I have just googled the man and discovered that he was awarded a local award for his commitment to junior cricket. He is held in very high regard. Admittedly the award was a few years back. But I think he is a proper coach - possibly just jaded and tired out by it all.

OP posts:

RocknRollNerd · 05/06/2013 12:42

I'm a 'proper' cricket coach with UKCC qualifications, I focus on coaching up to U9's and I'm appalled at some of what you've said happened. Some of it could be down to context/being misinterpreted by the kids eg not deserving to win, he may have said that they were lucky to win - even so if the kids took the message away that they didn't deserve then he's clearly not handling it right. I do agree with what others have said that you do need to point out areas for improvement - could this be the 'something bad about every child'? Again though, if it's being taken as the kids that these are bad things then he's not talking in an appropriate way for small folk. Doing too much at 9pm is also crazy with kids that young, they will all have been shattered; he should have planned to do most of the learning points at the start of the next coaching lesson.

If he had a good rapport with the kids then some of the stuff eg the sighing might be ok but it does sound as if it came over as despairing and very negative rather than a jokey/lighthearted 'oh my goodness what was that!' which is the kind of thing I've said on occasion after a wild and crazy throw/shot but only to a child I know will take it in the lighthearted way.

Telling a child off for losing a wicket at aged 7 is not acceptable in my view - it sends utterly the wrong message about team sports and is a sure fire way to put kids off sports for a long time.

There is much more to being a good cricket coach than just having awards/qualifications. In particular the younger end of primary (8s and unders and sometimes U9s) can be a real challenge - you're coaching a huge mix of skills and maturity and fundamentally it's all about giving them a good time and helping them develop the skills to become decent cricketers/reach their potential as they move towards the top end of primary school/into secondary school.

Just having high level coaching certificates/awards doesn't automatically make you a great coach for that age group, especially as the qualifications focus more and more on technique the higher up you go. I would take a lower level coach/competent helper with great rapport and understanding of kids that age every time over a more highly qualified one who really doesn't get small kids and just ends up putting them off.


joshandjamie · 05/06/2013 12:57

Thanks for that rocknrollnerd.

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KurriKurri · 05/06/2013 14:04

Is he possibly used to coaching older children? (not sure what age range junior cricket covers) because with teenagers, I have seen a few coaches go for this kind of 'tough talk' style thinking it brings better results. (Completely deluded thinking IMO, but that's by the by).
Anyhow maybe he has simply transferred his coaching style, and needs to have it pointed out that it is entirely age inappropriate to talk to under nines like this.

Do any other parents feel the same as you?, if enough people mentioned that there was a problem, then perhaps a quiet word could be had. (at the very least he needs to cut out the swearing - what an idiot!)

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