I went on a week long vacation with my family over the Easter break. The end of March is usually a decent time for me to get out of the office since we’re getting closer to closing the book on all winter sports paperwork, and North Dakota weather usually doesn’t allow spring sports to be outside yet. Of course, the weather cooperated well this year, so my time away was still full of coordinating practice fields for our teams. If given a list of problems to deal with on vacation, though, I have no problems with that one!
However, one other problem arose while I was gone that wasn’t nearly as enjoyable to learn about when I got home. As I was sorting through emails, texts, and voice mails, I found several from my secretary, a school principal, and a coach that started very vague (“Call me when you get a chance”) and eventually progressed to very detailed (“I have a parent meeting tonight to talk about her kids that were cut”).
I finally had a chance to send some quick messages to our coach before his meeting just to remind him that the process isn’t personal, it’s necessary, and that his stance is strong as long as he was open and honest with the kid. (I also reminded him that this parent meeting shouldn’t be happening in the first place per our Communication Guidelines, but that ship had already sailed.) Whenever a parent comes storming in to defend his/her kid after cuts, I always expect two things to happen: (1) the parent will claim it’s just because the coach doesn’t like the kid, and (2) the parent will tell the coach who should have been cut instead. To my understanding, this parent was true to form on both accounts during the meeting with the coach and even threw in a “You haven’t heard the last of this” for good measure.
As I received summaries of each conversation along the way, I continually thought of something I had posted last spring at about this time (linked below at the end of this post).
Parents, I get it; it’s not fun. It’s not fun for you, and it’s not fun for your kids…but it’s also not personal. Our coaches have a set of criteria when it comes to selecting their teams, and whether it’s based on skill, potential, behavior, attitude, or a combination of all of those, our coaches will do what they feel is best for the team as a whole. Most of the coaches I’ve worked with would like to keep every kid who loves the sport on the team, but we can’t be productive by doing that.
Rather than re-summarizing, I’ll just share my first post here. Cutting is unfortunately necessary for some teams, but it certainly isn’t fun for anyone.