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.