Coach Farter.

When my son tried out for the freshman basketball team and made it, I was thrilled beyond words.
And proud. So very proud.
It’s one of Those Things that I had always wondered about when he was a little guy playing pee wee basketball at the darling age of three years old. Would that adorable boy who didn’t have a clue how to dribble a basketball grow up and play on his high school team?
I had always hoped the answer would be yes, but decided that it would always be his choice. I didn’t want to be one of Those Moms who force their hopes and dreams on their children.
When I first found out that he made the team, I called everyone that I knew to tell them. “The Teenager made the freshman basketball team!”
Dreams of sitting in the stands, cheering on my son danced in my head. I made promises to not embarrass him by talking smack to the refs or fighting with Asshole Parents in the stands.
I had no idea when I gave him permission to be on the team how many hours my son would spend after school for practice. My son became a stranger in this house. I’d drop him off at 7 in the morning and not see him again until 8pm every night.
My son’s dedication and enthusiasm surprised me a great deal. He didn’t miss a single practice nor did he complain. He lost 6 pounds in the first few weeks. He started saying things like “yes, ma’am” the first time that I asked him to do something around the house. He began making healthier food choices.
I was impressed.
Then the games started.
I had no idea how greatly I’d be tested as a mother.
I watched my son, the kid who was working his ass off in practice. The kid who did everything the coach asked of him. The kid who was dedicated 100% to his teammates sit on the bench for all but 1 minute of the entire game.
I could have understood if the players he had used were good, but the team got beat by over 50 points.
The second game it was the same story.
The team got crushed while my son sat on the bench until the last minute of the game.
“That’s it!” I shouted to my husband. “I will not allow this. My son is a good player. He’s been working really hard and he deserves more playing time! If the coach doesn’t start playing him, I’m pulling him off of the team!”
I meant it. It broke my heart to watch my son be treated like that.
I talked to my son after the second game. I told him I was going to talk to his coach.
“You can’t do that, Mom.” He said. “If you bring up play time to Coach, he’ll make us sit out for an entire game.”
“It won’t be much different than what’s happening now.”
“Mom, don’t say anything.”
It was in that moment that I realized I had a choice. I could speak up for my son, I could tell the coach to stop being a jerk to my son and have a little faith in him. OR… I could use this as a lesson to my son.
I had a long talk with my son about “proving himself.” I told him that if he wanted more playing time, he’d have to work really hard during whatever time he got on the court. He’d have to talk to his coach to ask what he could do to improve his game. I told him that if he really wanted more time on the court, he’d have to work for it and earn it.
I kept my mouth shut and watched as game after game my son sat on the bench while the other teammates took a beating on the court game after game.
My son would get no more than 2 minutes playing time each game and sometimes? Not even that. Sometimes, he’d sit the entire game.
And yet, he got up at 6:30 every morning to go to practice without complaining. Even the night that our garage flooded and he wasn’t able to go to sleep until 2 in the morning– he got up and went.
It’s been a huge learning experience for me as a parent of a teen boy. I’ve wanted so bad to go tell that coach to fuck himself. My son is not the best player, but my son is a SOLID player who knows the fundamentals. He has a GREAT shot and will make key defensive plays. His ONLY downfall is that he lacks confidence. If only that coach would show a little faith in my son, he’d be a huge asset to the team.
But I’ve kept my mouth shut thus far because I thought it was the right thing to do. I thought it a golden opportunity for my son to learn that things won’t always come easy to him. That he’ll have to work hard in life and fight for what he wants.
I don’t know if I can keep my mouth shut any longer.
You see, my son missed practice all of last week. First time he’s missed a practice. I called and left 2 messages for his coach.
The first one I told him that my son might have chicken pox and so he may be out all week.
He didn’t call back.
I called again to tell him that he had a staph infection and I had no idea when he’d be back.
That was Monday.
I have yet to hear from the coach.
Not once did he call to check on my son. Not once did he call to see if my son was okay. And as a mom, that pisses me off.
I had learned to accept seeing my son sit on the bench game after game. Even though I wanted to cry most times, I would tell myself “This is a great learning experience! He’ll grow from this and be a stronger person!”
However, now I think it’s been made crystal clear that his coach doesn’t value my son at all. Not one phone call to ask how he’s doing, or when he’ll be back playing with his team.
My son asked if coach had called and when I told him that he hadn’t, he just shrugged his shoulders. “Does it hurt your feelings that he didn’t call?” I asked. “I don’t care.” He mumbled. But here’s the thing, he does care or he wouldn’t have asked. He just doesn’t express his emotions. (He is his father’s son.) I’ll tell you what. I’m hurt for him.
I plan on calling his coach tomorrow morning and leaving the following message.
“I was going to call you to tell you that I don’t know when Andrew will be back, but obviously, you couldn’t care less. It would have been nice if you had called to check on my son, to let him know that all of the time and hard work that he put into your practices meant something to you and to the team. But you didn’t and your silence spoke volumes. You have made it crystal clear with your silence that my son is of no value to your team. You don’t deserve to have my son on your team. I’ll be dropping the uniforms off in the office this afternoon**. GOOD DAY, SIR.”
I keep asking myself… Am I being too emotional about this? Should have called me back to check up on my son, even if it was only to find out when he’d be back at practice?
I mean, if that’s not something they do in high school because, you know, they’re not babies anymore and all that jazz, I’ll leave it alone. But I feel like he was wrong to not call me back. I feel like in not calling me back he was saying “WE DON’T NEED YOUR SON ON OUR TEAM, LADY.”
Everything in my gut is telling me to yank my son off the team and tell this loser to kiss my ass, but I don’t know anymore. I could be confusing my “gut” with my “thyroid” (because my thyroid is A TOTAL INSANE BITCH) and there’s a very good chance I should take a deep breath and let it go. And for the love of Bobs, I really should stop crying every time I think about it.
**updated to add: I really had no intention of pulling my son of the team. I was just being dramatic (shocking! I know!) when I wrote that. I don’t want to teach my son to be a quitter, nor do I want to scar him for life. However, I’m not above talking to his superior about how he’s treated my son. I do think there’s a healthy balance between letting my son learn from this experience without my interference, but also being an advocate on his behalf when I feel its warranted.
Dear God, parenting a teen is complicated as hell.
*UPDATE*
After reading through all of your comments and realizing that, while it would have been nice to have a phone call from the coach to let my son know he’s missed, I WAS being over emotional about it and quite possibly projecting MY issues onto my son and SO… this is what I did.
I called the coach. BUT! Not to bitch him out. I held my tongue and only told him what he absolutely needed to know.
“Hi Coach Farter. Just wanted to let you know Andrew is still not doing well so he won’t be at practice today. I’ll call you after we talk to the doctor today if there’s anything else you need to know. Hope you have a great day and if you have any questions, you can call me on my cell phone.”
And guess what? He called back within 5 minutes to let me know he got my message. He didn’t ask how Andrew was doing, but he did say it wasn’t a problem and he understood he needs to get better.
(Oh noes! Does Coach read my blog? Ha.)
I do want to say that I love that you are honest with me and not afraid to tell me when you think I’m over reacting. Sure, it’s not always pleasant to read, BUT, I am grateful to not be surrounded by a bunch of Yes Men. While we all love the “You Go Girl!” type comments, I think sometimes what we really need is someone to say “YOU’RE OVER REACTING! FOR GODS SAKE! DO NOT CALL THE COACH!”

81 thoughts on “Coach Farter.

  1. Anna

    I totally agree with you but… wouldn’t your be completely gutted? Its a hard one and I am glad I won’t have to make such a decision for a long time. Maybe tlak to your son? Lame advice but its all I got

  2. Fold My Laundry Please

    I think pulling your son off the team might be kind of a rash decision, but the rest of that message is spot on. I would also suggest speaking with the principal about the coach’s attitude toward your son. After all, if he doesn’t listen to you, he WILL listen to his boss! I had problems in high school with our soccer coach not wanting to play me because I was a girl – we didn’t have a girls’ team so I had to play on the boys’ team. After my mom had a conference with the principal, his attitude changed immensely and I was finally given a chance to prove myself, which I did, thankyouverymuch!

  3. Heather

    What kind of idiot lets such an inconsiderate jerkface anywhere near teenage kids, anyway? I don’t know about pulling him, but what Fold My Laundry said about going over his head might not be a bad idea?

  4. Mama DB

    Yanking your son off of the team will only hurt your son. He may become the boy who’s mom didn’t let him play. That’s a tough person to be in high school.
    I think you should schedule a meeting face to face with the coach. If you aren’t able to schedule that meeting or don’t feel like the coach is listening or explains his past actions to your satisfaction then take it up with the higher-ups. You don’t want to make life for your son harder in high school. High school is hard enough.
    Just my two cents. I hope his infections is clearing up.
    Danielle

  5. Jen in Jakarta

    I find sometimes men can be incredibly stupid, the coach probably has absolutely no idea he has crushed your son and that you are furious.
    Things like this can stay in the mind of kids for years and YEARS!
    I agree with previous commenter, go to the principle, explain rationally whats going on and ask him to carefully deal with it.
    If that doesn’t work or the coach gets uppity tell him exactly what you think, oh and blog it! (I would be cheering you on!)

  6. leyla

    longtime reader. my husband and i both teach middle school. my husband grew up playing basketball and it’s still his passion. i read him your blog entry and he said:
    the first thing to do would be to talk to your son & ask him what he thinks. he also said that being on a team is a privilege and that only a very small percentage of students at a high school get to do that. my husband, alex, also said that he completely understands your reaction, as a mother, but the the worst thing to do is to “coddle your son.”
    did you ask for a call back? if not, it might not be so terrible b/c coaches see, over a course of a career, dozens and dozens of kids who get sick, miss school, and come back, etc.. they know that it usually isn’t that serious. meaning, you don’t have to interpet the lack of a call back as a lack of concern.
    he would probably call if you hadn’t called. but maybe the coach figures “oh, ok, that is what is happening.”
    i don’t know.. that’s all alex’s advice. i don’t have kids, but i’d be writing letters to the school board and protesting outside the coach’s office, so i guess there are different approaches.. haha

  7. emily

    Coach Farter is a toothfaced stinky-butt!
    I didn’t play sports in high school because ALL the coaches at my high school were the exactly same way. I didn’t have the courage to speak up for myself but I felt like crap because I never got to DO anything. At least your son is persevering – he seems like a really great guy.
    In other news, I hope the infection is clearing up FAST so he can get out there and play.

  8. leyla

    longtime reader. my husband and i both teach middle school. my husband grew up playing basketball and it’s still his passion. i read him your blog entry and he said:
    the first thing to do would be to talk to your son & ask him what he thinks. he also said that being on a team is a privilege and that only a very small percentage of students at a high school get to do that. my husband, alex, also said that he completely understands your reaction, as a mother, but the the worst thing to do is to “coddle your son.”
    did you ask for a call back? if not, it might not be so terrible b/c coaches see, over a course of a career, dozens and dozens of kids who get sick, miss school, and come back, etc.. they know that it usually isn’t that serious. meaning, you don’t have to interpet the lack of a call back as a lack of concern.
    he would probably call if you hadn’t called. but maybe the coach figures “oh, ok, that is what is happening.”
    i don’t know.. that’s all alex’s advice. i don’t have kids, but i’d be writing letters to the school board and protesting outside the coach’s office, so i guess there are different approaches.. haha

  9. Schnozz

    I think that coming out swinging like that, even if you’re right, is more likely to cause the coach to just roll his eyes and see you as the histrionic, irrational parent you’ve worked to hard not to be. Worst of all, it might take something really valuable away from your son, if he enjoys being on the team.
    The truth is that you can’t control what someone else does, and if this coach is the sort of person you’re describing, you’re pretty much banging your head against the wall. Your best option, even if your son hates it, is to request a meeting with the coach in which you can discuss this stuff a little more cordially. Your son might protest something like that, but it seems like he’d protest being pulled off the team a whole lot more. And I have to agree that if I were him, being pulled off the team by my mom would be pretty embarrassing.
    All the same, I feel for your son and for you. I hope you can get it through the coach’s thick head that it’s high school basketball, not the Olympics, and there’s not a lot of harm in giving your son a chance to prove himself when the team is already fifty points behind!

  10. rose

    I’m coming at this from several perspectives, parent of great player who got little time when he first started, and parent of a younger brother who frankly is not all that but plays most of the game-2 different coaches. In addition, I saw a lot of what coaches deal with because my DH coached both of their travel teams for 7 years.
    If your son is willing to get up and go to practice and isn’t complaining about it, let it be. He is getting something out of the experience. This is a life lesson, one not all of us get a chance to have so young. To work hard for something you want, and not get recognized. Please don’t call his coach. It is going to make your son self concious for the rest of the season, and won’t accomplish what you want it to.
    My DH is one of the nicest, most compassionate people I know. One of his players left a game with a foot injury, and the next practice someone told him that this kid had broken his foot. He seemed surprised when I told him to call the poor kid. It just never crossed his mind and I really had to convince him how much the parents would appreciate it if he expressed some concern/interest in the kid who broke a bone playing a game he was coaching.
    When coaches get to the high school level, they don’t want to deal with parents. Basically, unless there is real damage going on, your son will either brush this off and try harder, or go because he likes being with his friends. If he survives freshman year, he’ll have a new coach, and you don’t want this to carry over to the next experience, which it will if you react strongly. Not only that, but be prepared for zero playing time since he missed a lot of practice and will take time to get back up to speed.
    Last thing- most coaches feel it very important for the kids to take responsibility for their own “sick calls” when they are going to miss practice. he may even have told the kids this, and that is why he hasn’t called back.
    The hardest part of this teen boy stuff is when they would rather struggle and be miserable than ask for your help. If you respect his wishes now, he is more likely to confide in you in the future. Give him sympathy, and let him know you recognize his effort and the fact that the coach doesn’t see everything you do. But let this play itself out.
    If you think this stuff is bad, wait until all of the Jr High girl bullshit starts with Gabby!

  11. blairzoo

    That is really hard to watch. I’m going through the same thing with my teen daughter who is now sitting the bench for most volleyball games, even when they are winning by 15 points. She’s a good player and was a starter in the beginning of the season. I still don’t know whether to talk to the coach or not. But I do know that it is a rare coach that would call to check in on a player. Not done much that I’ve ever seen. Also, if he does stick it out, most likely he’ll get to play more and more each year. If not, that is when you call the coach!
    I also think that if parents meddle in things it can totally be used against our kids. Coaches hate to be told who to play.
    That being said, it is incredibly painful to watch your kid sit. Basically, I think watching your child go through the high school years is torture. I was never unhappier (and suicidal) than when in high school, and yet, I find it even more painful to watch my kids struggle though these years. Believe me, you lose way more sleep as they get older than you did when they were babes. Hugs to you, Y. It just plain sucks.

  12. amber

    ooo! If it were my baby, I’d be livid! Meanwhile, congrats on raising a young man with so much upstanding character! (Um… I’m only 25. Should I be saying things like that?!)

  13. Andrea

    Tough one…I do not envy you. Remember through this all that you have raised a hard-working, upstanding son. I hope my 7-yr-old is that dedicated when he gets older too!
    I agree with blairzoo: “Coaches hate to be told who to play. ” I would say meet with the coach to find out his policies. He doesn’t know how you feel, so I think you need to convey this to him. Even better, see if the principal could be present at the meeting as a third party of sorts. Be calm and non-defensive. Your son was selected to PLAY on this team for a reason, and you are not being unreasonable to hope for him to actually play!
    Best wishes!
    PS Y–How did things turn out with the uninsured motorist situation? I was rear-ended by a drunk driver 3 days ago and as a bonus, she may be uninsured as well. :( Any advice? Sorry, I couldn’t find your email address on your site.

  14. grammice

    Being a soccer mom from 5yo to 18 w/son you HAVE to keep your mouth shut with coaches! I can’t tell you how many times husband pulled me back by the belt loops (really). They do survive trust me!

  15. Busy Mom

    I could have written the part about the playing time. We’re going through that here, too.
    No advice, but, it looks like there’s some good perspectives in the comments.
    Your tag line is cracking me up, by the way.

  16. Mrs. E

    I have no advice on how to deal with the coach regarding getting your son to play. But what I do want to say is that I’m-sorry-and-please-don’t-hate-me but I feel that you might be overreacting a “tad bit” about the coach not calling you back. He’s got a lot of students. You’ve left messages. He knows what’s going on since you’ve kept him in the loop. He probably doesn’t see any reason to check in. If your son doesn’t show up for a very long time or has something very serious, then he should, and probably would, but he might be thinking in the short term. Could it be that this feeling you have is due to the fact that you are already pretty peeved off with the situation?

  17. LTG

    Hi, Long Time Reader/Lurker, parent of 11 year old boy here. I think this is the time in your son’s life where you start letting him stand on his own. Sometimes being part of a sports team means being dedicated and sitting on the bench. You may be sure your son should be out on the court, but you are not the coach. It is not the coach’s job to give every kid on the team equal time on the court, it is the coach’s job to win games. Your son is not a little boy in elementary school any more. He is growing into a young man and part of that is learning to take life’s lumps. By all means be supportive of him yourself, encourage him and tell him you think he should get more playing time. But whether his coach really is a jerk or you are just being an over protective, overly sensitive Mom, it doesn’t really matter. The LAST thing a high school boy wants is his Mom charging in and “sticking up for him”. He won’t be grateful to you, instead he will resent you for it, believe me. You are making this about YOU or confusing your son with yourself. This is not about you, it is about him and his team and his coach. Taking him off the team would just be incredibly stupid because he’s not going to be in the NBA no matter what and the whole point of being on a team in High School is to have something good on your college application, to learn discipline, hard work and team work and it is pretty clear that your son is learning all those things. He’s never going to play for the Lakers even if this coach puts him in the whole game, every game. So chill out, encourage him at home and cheer him like crazy those 2 minutes he is on the court. Otherwise, chill out and STAY OUT of it.
    Just my five cents – you are a good Mom but part of being a good Mom is letting your kids grow up.

  18. Candi

    I have an older son who has gone through this as well. There isn’t anything you can do. If you speak up and more or less complain your son will probably lose any chance of proving himself and getting played more. Coaches do not like being told what to do.
    My husband has coached sports and honestly he would not call you back either. They are there to coach a team and WIN GAMES, period. They aren’t hired by the school to be caring and all that. Plus, they are men, remember?
    Your son is old enough know that if he feels he deserves more playing time he needs to be the one to talk to his coach. He could ask his coach what can he do to ensure he gets more playing time. Maybe he will tell him where he needs to improve.
    I think this is the first time you may need to stay out of it :) Just my advice!

  19. Michelle

    My thought? (And really, what the hell do I know?) Don’t intervene unless your son asks for your help. Let me deal with the situation, as hard as it is to watch him deal with this inconsiderate jerk, and only step in if he feels like he has done what he can to address the lack of concern and lack of playing time and he thinks it is unfair.
    I really think that is one favor my parents did for me when I was a kid. They let me complain, told me if my expectations were reasonable, and then let me handle it myself unless I asked for help.

  20. Michelle

    My thought? (And really, what the hell do I know?) Don’t intervene unless your son asks for your help. Let him deal with the situation, as hard as it is to watch him deal with this inconsiderate jerk, and only step in if he feels like he has done what he can to address the lack of concern and lack of playing time and he thinks it is unfair.
    I really think that is one favor my parents did for me when I was a kid. They let me complain, told me if my expectations were reasonable, and then let me handle it myself unless I asked for help.

  21. Michelle

    My thought? (And really, what the hell do I know?) Don’t intervene unless your son asks for your help. Let him deal with the situation, as hard as it is to watch him deal with this inconsiderate jerk, and only step in if he feels like he has done what he can to address the lack of concern and lack of playing time and he thinks it is unfair.
    I really think that is one favor my parents did for me when I was a kid. They let me complain, told me if my expectations were reasonable, and then let me handle it myself unless I asked for help.

  22. Leticia

    I know this is tough…but you have to let him deal with this on his own. If your son isn’t bothered…let it be. I’m glad you edited to say you were just being dramatic…because you cannot pull him off the team. I’m not trying to be rude when I say this, but its his decision to be on the team. I really think if he doesn’t have a problem with it… its ok.
    The coach is a MAN. Have you asked PigHunter what he thinks? Sometimes us mothers tend to get a little too emotional about these things.
    I wouldn’t over-react, especially around your son. He may be perfectly ok with him not calling but as soon as you start mentioning things like “I can’t believe your coach hasn’t called, etc” it will make him feel bad.
    Just my 2 cents. Its tough…and honestly, it only gets tougher. But trust me, you WANT him in sports. You WANT him in something. If he’s not in SOMETHING, its bad business. Trust me.

  23. Y

    I really appreciate your input here. I needed some perspective.
    I do want to make clear though, I had no intention on saying anything about his playtime. I already made peace with that, as painful as it is to watch as his mom.
    I guess I just thought that it would have been nice if the coach had called to let my son know that “hey, even though I don’t play you much, you ARE a part of this team and we do miss you.”
    You know?
    But see, I am glad I wrote it here first because I KNEW I could count on you to tell me if I was overreacting.
    I love it when the internet tells me to take a chill pill. (ANd I mean that in the nicest way. I NEED YOU, INTERNET.)

  24. Y

    Yes, Leticia, I DO want him in sports. It’s been so great for him.
    And, I think, great for me. I’m learning so much about letting go and letting my son become a man.

  25. Nicki Bradley

    I went through this identical thing this past fall with my son’s soccer team. I pretty much did exactly what you did – wait it out, let him fight his own battles, etc. But I finally broke in the end and had to send off The Email. I’m not sure it helped either way but damn, I felt better for having protected my young! And I sent the boy back into the wolf pack and he still had to fight his own fights. But as a kid whose parents NEVER advocated for me, I am always trying to find a balance between fighting their fights and doing nothing. It is super hard. Trust your Thyroid :-)

  26. shokufeh

    The struggles of parenthood – holding on and protecting, while letting them grow and learn to protect themselves.
    I have no idea of the size of your son’s school, or the size of the team, but unless it’s really small, I don’t know if I would expect a call from the coach. I expect from coaches the same type of personalized attention I would expect from teachers. In fact, maybe less, since coaches generally look at things from a team perspective.
    Having said all that, I think that any coach who gets a message about a staph infection and doesn’t follow up is pretty irresponsible. Given the physical contact in most sports – both among the players and the equipment – he should be making sure none of the other players have suspicous bumps.

  27. SassyPants

    You are a Rock Star Momma! I am so impressed with your restraint and how you used the situation to teach your son a lesson. I’m also very impressed with the dedication your son is showing, which he undoubtedly learned from you.
    My oldest is 12 so keep the stories coming. I need all the advice and examples that I can get!

  28. Amy the Mom

    This is the kind of situation where I have to step back and let my husband’s man brain guide me. Too often, I let my uterus do the thinking and it leads to decisions based on emotion rather than logic or consideration for consequences.

  29. Pam

    If he’s not the only player sitting, talk to the other parents about it. Then, as a group address the issue with the principal of the school. This isn’t college ball for god’s sake, he should get more playing time that 1 friggin minute.
    As a Mom of boys, who play sports, my heart goes out to your internal struggle. My husband is my son’s team manager and when he sits my son? I feel like kicking him right in the nuts.

  30. Kyla

    Dude. We’re just in Kindegarten, I don’t even want to ponder the Teen Years.
    Good luck, and for the record, I do think he should have called back.

  31. Melissa

    My husband coaches our son’s football. He makes EVERYONE of his players fell important to the team. It takes all the players to make the team. He has had more parents praise him for how he treats their kids and tell his superiors how much they appreciate him. That their children just love playing for him. As your sons coach, he needs to hear how much the players want to please him and how disappointing it is when he doesn’t even make a quick call to see how one of his team is doing. I think if you call him and approach it as a concerned parent, without anger, but in a nice way – your son will get the call. But if you attack him, he may react in a nasty way. My father has always told me that the way I approach someone is how they will respond back to me. I hope, since he is a coach to children, he handles this in a caring ” I feel terrible and was planning on calling today” kind of way.
    My heart goes out to your son. I hope he has a quick recovery and good outcome.

  32. Miss Britt

    This is NOT just “high school” stuff.
    Good coaches are more than just coaches. They use the influence they have over those kids (and they are still kids) to make a positive impact.
    I know this because I’ve been fortunate enough to see what really great coaches can do.
    I’d be fighting every instinct I had to yank my son so as not to have his freaking feelings hurt. And I sure as HELL would be making a call to the coach to let him know he’d fallen short.

  33. Vicky

    My Uncle was required to play all sports (baseball, basketball and football) all 4 years of High School.
    I think the coach should have called. IMO they are not just a coach, they are also a mentor at that age. The coach needs to pull his head out his ass and realize that.

  34. Olivia

    I played basketball in high school and I’ve been in your son’s shoes. Freshman year I made varsity and because it was a small team I had a lot of playing time. We lost most games, but it was fun. Sophomore year I made varsity again with new coaches and it was a larger team so I didn’t expect as much playting time, but damn! There were games where I only got 1 min, and sat the bench while JUNIOR Varsity players went into a varsity game (it would take too long to explain, but small school & and coaches did whatever the fuck they wanted). There was obvious favoritism going on. Even when we were down by 40 points I & a few other unfortunate teammates would sit on that bench. There were times I made a couple of baskets and was still taken out of the game.
    This is a tough situation. As you can probably tell, I’m still quite bitter about how those coaches took away the fun of playing basketball and it’s been 15 years. Talking to the coach probably won’t yield good results. The coach might sit him out more and other kids might make fun of him for having “mommy” come to his rescue. Perhaps the best that can be done is to talk to your son more. Tell him if he isn’t happy he doesn’t have to continue. Maybe he can find an intramural game to play or another sport. When I look back on my years playing I just wanted to have fun, and it wasn’t worth the misery of truly unfair coaches.
    I didn’t play basketball the last two years of high school. It was sad for me at first, but then I would hear about the drama that went on in the team and I was happy to not have to deal with that.

  35. NotAMeanGirl

    Y-
    I lurk here…. a lot. Basically I’m your intarnetz stalker! I had to step up and applaude you for both your protective instinct AND your ability to squelch the hell out of it. My Shecky is 7. He’s playing basket ball for little league this year. I’ve made more faux pas than you can shake a stick at this year… and we’re only a couple of weeks into the season heh. (I actually called him off the court in the middle of practice to fuss at him for picking on someone on the team. The coach was all “Where do you think you’re going?” and he replied “MY MOM CALLED ME!” Yikes… everyone cracked up. After reading this post and the comments Imma work a LOT harder to shut my yap at practice. Heh.

  36. Dawn

    I was the athlete in the family and I could not wait for my son to be old enough to play soccer!!! I was so excited to buy his first cleats and his first ball and I was absolutely heart broken when he played one year and said he was done.
    I let him choose his own path and we’re now enjoying his senior year on the high school team. I tease him now because he LOVES it. Sheesh boy, I could’ve told you it was fun when you were little.
    Anyway… he has a great coach. He plays all the time. He’s currently the goalie and they don’t really have someone to replace him with… AND still the coach has never responded to my emails. He has never called to check on Josh when there have been problems (like the stomach flu!!). We are required to email and let him know if there is a problem…and yet he doesn’t respond.
    I know the coach values my son as a player and he is one of the seniors that carries the team. Sooo….the lack of contact could mean nothing. Just sayin….
    Dawn

  37. Shaken Fruit

    Hi! Kudos to you for writing about your outrage on your son’s behalf. I’ve heard many horror stories about high school coaches (especially male coaches) favoritism, lousy behavior, etc.
    As a non-parent type person, though, I have a different perspective. In my experience, usually when I feel something SUPER strongly, it goes back to ye olde days of yore (read: childhood.) By digging through my refuse pile and finding the stinky cheese at the bottom, my present life is usually a little more manageable and pleasant.
    At the risk of blathering on too long, how about an example? One time I worked for a real asshole. Just your run of the mill, micromanaging, mean, abusive asshole. This guy REALLY got to me. I mean REALLY, like, crying every night and getting queasy on Sunday nights because I had to go to work the next day.
    Everyone knew this guy was an asshole, but most people? They lived their lives without getting queasy on Sunday nights.
    Well, I started to dig into the pile (with some professional help.) Once I went back to the source of my drama (issues with wanting approval, BADLY) and worked through some stuff, it made Sunday nights a lot better.

  38. Candy

    I seldom comment on your blog (I hate getting lost in the shuffle).
    But…yes…you are taking it too personally. Not too seriously, because he’s your boy, but you can’t view it so personally. It isn’t like he said…wow that Andrew, I must do all in my power to thwart him and destroy his self-esteem. Rather, the coach is thinking, “I need to coach this team and get as many wins as possible, so I don’t lose my job.” No, he probably isn’t thinking about Andrew as much as you’d like him to. But the good news is, he’s not thinking about Andrew in the ways you think he is.
    The only case in point I can give you is this. My stepson decided to play high school football as a freshman. My husband had played in college, he was that good. The boy sat the bench the entire year, and it KILLED my husband. But, because he’s a man, he didn’t say anything to the coach, especially since his son begged him not to. The next year, he got a shot at playing a bit more. And Junior year, he played a ton. He ended up All-County, All-State and played college football.
    So sometimes, even though we as moms are well-meaning, we don’t always help by getting involved. We certainly don’t help the growing-up process by doing so.
    Good luck. I’m going through a similar thing with my 15 year old now. It’s hard, but necessary, to bite your tongue.

  39. Wacky Mommy

    You’re not taking it too personally. Being benched sucks. It is, however, just about an impossible situation to deal with, cuz Coach is in Charge. That’s why most coaches like *being* coaches — power-trippin.’
    Good luck, and I wish good health to all of you this year.

  40. Kristy

    As the parent of a 15 year old child who’s struggling with his sexual identity and preferences while having a strict Christiam father, I wish I could trade problems with you. I agree with everything you state here and understand your frustrations. However, this is a tame parenting issue compared to the one’s I’m coping with and dealing with on the daily. You have a great kid doing the dedicated thing. His coach is an ass that’s all. So long as Andrew’s the kid that he is…this is just a blip on the map. Complain, bitch, tell that coach off…but remember, it could be far far far worse.

  41. Kristy

    Christian not Christiam. He keeps telling my son he is a sinner for being sexually confused. He’s not helping matters. My son want’s his father’s approval and the ability to be whomever he is, whatever that means for him.

  42. Helen

    Oh the big kids thing, I got me a gay one ( who just told me he is in love with a woman, just as I got used to him being in love with a man, an unmarried about to be a daddy one and a girl one that is sharing a house with a man in his 40s who has a pitt bull terrier and half his face tattooed, now my advise…..HA! You think I have advise? Other than bean dip and swearing a lot? Nope, not a word.
    I can’t hardly wait til my 3 young ‘uns grow up, get hormones and show me what THEY can do to my heart and soul.

  43. Jan

    Please don’t call the coach or, oh my god, call the principal. You will not help your son one bit by making the coach defensive and angry, especially if you talk to his boss about him. Just let it all go. Let your son keep doing his best and things will work out. There are kids at that school who would LOVE to be on the team, even if it meant sitting on the bench. Eventually, he will play more. And forget the calling back – the coach never even thought of that. And next time, have your son make his own call. I think that’s probably what the coach expects and it will show your son’s maturity. Good luck.

  44. oliveoyl64

    I have to agree with most of the comments and DO NOT CALL the coach. You can file a complaint with the principal, but most likely nothing will be done.
    I have a teen ds and we went through a rough patch with the coach at the end of football with an injured foot that was ignored during the game. I DID email the coach with my frustration and concern, and he has since treated my ds like CRAP. Right b/f Christmas break, ds made the decision ON HIS own to get out of athletics until next yr.(9th gr.).
    I think if your ds felt he was being disrepected, he would do something about it. He obviously feels okay with his choices.
    Tough call as a parent, but you will do the right thing.:)

  45. abi

    Some people have pointed out that coaches at this age are mentors, and that’s true – of some of them. However, you’ve already seen the kind of character Coach Farter has – and so has your son. Obviously, Coach isn’t the mentoring type; and Ethan is wise enough to choose whether he wants to emulate this insensitive clod.
    This is one of those “teachable moment” thingies that make parenting so hard. I think the best thing you can do here is to be supportive of Ethan – praise him for how dedicated he’s being to the team, tell him how you’ve watched him grow as a player this season, make sure he knows how proud you are of him for the man he’s becoming. He’s perceptive enough to know if he’s getting the short end of the stick – but it sounds like he also understands that Coach Is The Boss; and he’s learning the valuable lesson of submitting to authority that he doesn’t necessarily agree with. Seeing his mom reacting to the situation is only going to rub salt in his wounds.

  46. baseballmom

    Y, it’s SO hard to watch these things as a mom, but you’re doing the right thing by holding back. As a coach’s wife, I know that Husband HATES parents questioning him about playing time, and while I agree that he could have at least expressed concern for your boy’s illness, he is dealing with a lot just BEING a coach. We usually call, but that’s ME as a team mom, not Husband…he hates calling about anything, that man communication thing, ya know. My son has struggled with being so dedicated to baseball, and not getting the playing time, and his dad’s the COACH, yet, he still loves it. If they have a passion for the game, they’re gonna play. Good luck, girl.

  47. angie

    Y, I feel your pain, heartbreak, indecision, torment, and anger. I just dealt with a similar situation – no sickness on son’s part, thank goodness – this past summer/fall with freshman football. My son got up at 6a every single morning from mid-July until school started in August, and practiced until noon in the blazing Illinois heat. He stayed after school for 2 hours to practice. He missed only 1 practice the entire time and very seldom got to play – even when we were getting our asses handed to us. There were other kids who didn’t even bother with the summer practices, just showed up 2 days before the first game, and they were out on the field. My son served as waterboy for the varsity team, just to be close to the field and to watch them to learn. He isn’t the greatest player, but he is by far not the worst either.
    It broke my heart to watch him give his all for nothing. As I got madder and madder, I gave him 3 choices: a) he could quit playing (not even an option for him for he lurves this game); b) I could rip the coach a new one (pick me, pick me, Mom sooooo wants to kill da coach); or c) learn from this, apply himself during the offseason and wow them next year. Son chose C, of course.
    So far, he’s been lifting weights 4 nights a week after school and has gained 12 lbs of muscle! Like your son, he doesn’t complain at all either, and I think that breaks my heart more than anything. Maybe because it shows me that he’s growing up and becoming a mature man?
    *sniffle*
    His mommy isn’t ready for that though.
    I wish you the best with YOUR situation. Just know you aren’t alone!

  48. kheatherg

    Comming out of lurkdom to say….
    Its ok hon, Dont worry about a thing, you just give me that coaches home address and make/model of vehicle and i will take care of it for you.
    (wink-wink)
    My only boy is 4, and Saturday is the day i go sign him up for his first time on a sports team, i literally cry softly everytime i think of this…… i’m so proud, and oh, my little boy is gonna be on a big boy baseball team with other big boy 4 year olds.
    I’m such a sappy ass, i know.
    Now, that address?

  49. BOSSY

    Bossy was going to comment but according to your updates you’ve already come down on every side of the argument. Oh well, Bossy will have to set her alarm earlier to comment anything original over here.

  50. Jason

    I think you made a wise choice in biting your tongue. A teenage son could never benefit from a mother fighting his battles, no matter how tough they may be. He’s going to grow up to be a man and every challenge he faces today will determine what kind of man he will be.

  51. PeetsMom

    Well I think you worked it all out right here on your blog! You talked yourself right through it and I think you handled yourself magnificantly!
    The problem lies more with the kind of person the coach is anyway, not with your son’s “value” to him or the team. If the coach is a jerk – he’s a jerk. And no amount of your bitching was gonna change that!
    You hang in there – you’re doin’ fine!

  52. Redneck Mommy

    If the shoe was on my foot, I know I’d have phoned him up, screamed at him and then had to eat crow when my son threatened to run away from home.
    So I’m glad you are way more mature than me. And I’m glad that coach finally got his head out of his ass and called you.

  53. Jen

    Hi
    I read the title of this post wrong and thought it was about a “couch” Farter. As in farting on the couch. And I thought- ooo! this one will be funny! And I kept waiting to get to the funny part, and the couch part, and the Farting part. Imagine my surprise that it wasn’t about couch farters at all.
    Oh well. Maybe next time?

  54. Jerri Ann

    I came here to look for the links on thyroid again and I realized you had this new post up and I JUST HAD TO READ. I am a former athlete (college) and a former coach, both junior high and high school. So, here’s my thoughts…in no particular order…with a story for added emphasis…
    1. high school coaches generally don’t expect mom to call…..not because they shouldn’t but because most don’t….that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have called you back…just means he might have been shocked that you even bothered to call him when most don’t
    2. it is hard as a coach to make decisions and playing someone to give them the confidence they need is probably the hardest because…..coach don’t know your son as well as you do except for his physical skills….and if you could have been rational and talked to him, alone, away from everyone (and I can’t do that kind of thing without crying…so who am I to talk), it probably would have been helpful to him…but again, he would have been surprised because by that age, most parents don’t get as involved, not because they shouldn’t, they just don’t
    3. When I was a 10th grader I made the varsity softball team. I sat on the bench game after game, never never even seeing one out on the field. I got up at 6 am on Saturday’s to go to tournaments and never played one single out. All the other sophomores quit because they too were sitting, game after game. They quit getting up at 6 AM to travel 2 or 3 hours away to play in tournaments and then sit and watch all day. I stuck with it. Finally, the last tournament of the season was the county tournament and the second basemen got hurt in a white water rafting accident. I played four games, four whole games out of like 35 or 40, I was an undefeated second basement on a team that won the county championship from a team who had won it 23, yes 23 years in a row. I have a county championship trophy and I have my pride. There was at least 2 sophomores that were better infielders than me that quit because they weren’t getting to play. Both of them would have played before me if they had stuck it out. They didn’t. I did. I have my pride of not quitting as well as the pride of being on that team……..for the next 14 years that school that had won for 23 years in a row took the title back. So, you can see, that one championship was monumental for our school………and me! I was a part of it when the others my age quit.
    Ok, enough, I don’t know what I would do in your place. I’ve been approached by many parents because of playing time regarding their children and I’ve probably had many who didn’t say a word. The only one who I feel did it wrong was the woman who came at me with a baseball bat and I had to lock myself in my office until the police could arrive. The ones who were teary-eyed or full fledge crying, those didn’t bother me, I was glad to know they were concerned. And, I figure all of the athletes involved begged their parents not to intervene but then felt a sense of love because mom or dad did stick up for them. So, you do what your gut tells you as long as you can do it without wielding a baseball bat.
    Now, back to those thyroid posts. I was diagnosed about 6 months ago but they can’t get my meds right. I dropped 1500 calories (yes that’s not a typo either) from my diet by eliminating soda’s and I’ve lost…..no pounds, in fact, I’ve gained 2 more. I gained almost 30 pounds in the last 10 months and really only 2 in the last 4 so the first 28 were in about 5 months…..my general practitioner has been about as helpful as my own doctoring (which is not at all), I didn’t get help until I saw m endocrinologist. And, even still, there are issues that I need to have seen about further. I have every symptom of thyroid and have had for quite sometime except I am habitually burning up. Everything says that Hoshimoto’s and over-active thyroid will cause a sensitivity to cold, for me, I burn up. One afternoon it was 40 degrees outside, I had on a short sleeve shirt and long pants..no jacket. I was unloading groceries and not a lot of them and my hair was soaking wet with sweat. I freeze my workers in the daycare out. They wear 2 shirts and a jacket or sweater all the time while I am in my office in short sleeves with a fan blowing on me.
    Anyway, I guess I should have emailed this post since the ending was off topic but anyway….I didn’t, I’m stubborn like that!

  55. sugarplumsmom

    I haven’t read through all the comments.. but I’m glad to read you calmed down and left a reasonable message and that the coach did call you back. Probably because that was, what, the 3rd message you’d left? He probably appreciates the updates.
    I think you were spot on telling your son that if he wants more game time, he’s going to have to talk to the coach and find out what he needs to work on and improve on to get more game time. The great lesson that can be learned here is that there are people in the world who are assholes. We all have to learn how to deal with them.. which he won’t be able to do if you step in for him. Which isn’t to say don’t support him, but don’t take over and fight the battle yourself.

  56. Y

    Um, because I felt like I needed to call to let him know he had a staph infection since, you know, they’re contagious and my son was in contact with the other players.
    That’s why I called.

  57. amanda

    Oh man. Did THIS bring back memories. Not to get all “look at me” on your ass, but this was me in high school. I tried out for JV and Varsity and was placed on the team. I was hypothyroid and had exercise induced asthma to the point that running suicides would leave me vomiting in a corner and unable to breath. (Once, during PE, I was told I was simply hyperventilating and needed to get a paper bag.) Out of my years on the team and practicing every day as HARD as I physically could, one of my crowning achievements was the one, single, solitary day that I did not finish last in laps. I always finished. And I always finished last. Like your son, I was never put into an actual game. I sat the bench every game with the humiliating exceptions wherein the coach would grab my arm and hurl me out onto the court with 14 seconds left and a 38 point lead.
    During summers coach began having unofficial practices. Only those players who bothered to show up were given any “cred” as being loyal and faithful enough to get court time once the season started.
    The coach never told me about the summer practices. I found out when, back at school, a teammate asked why I hadn’t bothered to come to a single summer practice.
    My junior year was just more of the same. The team won the state championship, which I felt I had no part of because I didn’t play a single second.
    But. At the end of that season we gathered for the annual all-school awards banquet for various sports. When the Varsity girls basketball team came up a couple of friends suggested that I should get the “Most Hustle” award. I knew that was ridiculous. Coach gave his presentations and left the platform. Then, the three senior girl captains walked to the stage and announced that they had an award to present. Everyone thought this would be for coach, who had just won his third straight state championship. But then they started talking about a player. A player who worked hard and showed up every day and inspired them to keep fighting. And they presented me with the most beautiful plaque for the “senior award” given to Amanda B for inspiring us all.
    ALL OF THAT TO SAY. What your son is going through is hard. What you are going through is hard. It will remain hard. But I am glad you didn’t call that coach. God knows that my own mother would’ve liked to, but I talked her out of it because I knew the consequences. It would make things worse with the coach, worse with the team, worse with my reputation. So we all stuck it out. And somebody noticed. That award means all the more to me for not having come from some asshole, but from others who noticed not just how hard I was working, but also how much that work went unnoticed. People will notice your son. And he’ll be amazing in the end.

  58. erinn

    Y~ I was very touched by every word you wrote today, I also have a 15 year old, He is a freshman in football on the jv team. He honestly played a total of 5 min max game time. It did hurt, ME.. But I think I wanted my son Brandon to complian and be mad like I was, He never did. You know why I think that was? (besides he isn’t a raging lunatic like me) He was there… every damn practice, and by god he was on the side lines, strong, waiting, I know praying for his coach that he so looked up to, to say his name, just to call him… He would have known what to do… He as well as your son were playing in the games, as those games were happeing, they were right there dreaming, feeling like they were in it. They will get the play time, I hope your son sticks with it. Brandon is, I know he doesn’t get it from me. I would have been out the first day.. pissed, let down, upset, more than I hope my son ever even has a clue to feel, Our boys are not quitters, they are ready and patient. It just wasn’t time for them yet.. Why I don’t know, It just wasn’t… I want you to know I do understand exactacly what your feeling…
    ~Erinn

  59. jesseeezmom

    Our daughter has played softball since she was 7. When she got to high school she made the freshman team and was played all the time, their team was 1st place in our county. When she got to the JV team with a different coach the picture changed, the team would practice all positions but yet when they played games they did not play the positions they practiced- they lost and by her JR year we were experiencing the same thing you talked about and she told me DO NOT call the coach- I respected her request as well as her decision to not play on the varsity team when she was a Sr. I can honestly say that her participation in sports has made her a better person being accountable to the group. She has made many friends by being on the teams that she might not have had otherwise. I think that your son benefits mostly from not just by playing in the games(or not) but by being apart of the team. It is so hard being a mom and sometimes respecting our kids and holding our tongues. Love your blog and know that you will do the right thing! Praying that his infection gets better. A healthy boy is the most important thing!

  60. Vanessa

    Wow! I don’t know how these things work? My first thought was to try to get more face time w/ the coach? Are there helicopter parents? Is is there an opportunity to talk to him after a game? School open house? I think it was wise to talk to your son about proving himself.

  61. mothergoosemouse

    This story reminded me of a guy I knew in high school who went to West Point. He spent a year at the prep school (getting his academics in order) so that he could go on to the academy and play football.
    He attended every single practice through four years at West Point, and never ever played in a game.
    I think you did the right thing. You’re such a loving and proud mom! And I hope your son feels better soon.

  62. The Over-Thinker

    Just now read the post and the update.
    I’m glad (I accidentally typed gland! I’m still thinking THYROID!) that you didn’t tell the coach off and pull your son off the team.
    I can speak from second-hand experience that doing so would’ve sucked donkey balls for your son. A friend in HS was going through a similar situation on the girls’ BB team. Her mom did what you were thinking about doing and to this day (we’re 30), she still gets crap about it from a lot of people. She was so embarrassed about the whole thing that she missed a week of school and didn’t even attend a BB game for the rest of the year.

  63. AreWeThereYetMom

    As a mom of a teen, and the mother of a son who will be hopefully play on a basketball team when he’s a freshman, I know how difficult parenting a teen is, and I just had to say, “Way to go, for not telling the Coach off, I would have most likely felt the same way! Watching your child work his @ss off, and not get the game time in would have p@ssed me off too. What I especially liked is how you pointed out to your son, about how he could ask the Coach what he needs to do to prove himself, to gain more game time. It does make for one of Life’s REAL lessons.

  64. My Semblance of Sanity

    Ain’t it a blessing to have such GREAT Mama Bloggin’ friends? Instant advice and blatant truths!
    I am so happy you worked this out. My oldest boy is 10 and HIS face was in my mind while reading your blog – my heart would break.
    You handled this beautifully! Who learned the biggest lesson here- you or him? :)

  65. M

    …I hate when people say, “BEEN THERE DONE THAT,” but in this case we have. With 3 kids in sports we have seen it all and here is how we solve it- the coach’s name becomes our household swear word. “OH FARTER! I JUST HIT BROKE A GLASS!”
    …and when someone cuts you off in traffic you say, “FARTER!” And when you get mad at your kid you say, “FARTER,” and he says, “DAVE” back at you and you say, “TARA,” and the list goes on and on the older they get. Insults are always best when used with the last asshole coach’s name.

  66. Christine

    Oh, I have to say, I’m wiping my tears right now and blowing my nose. I went through the exact same thing this summer with my 8 yr old son. His dickhead coach would only play him in outfield or not at all. He knew the game, but was never given the chance to show what he could do. My heart would break and I would hold back the anger to rip him off the bench and tell the coach to go f**k himself. But……… you know why I didn’t? One day, after a game where he didn’t play at all, when we were in the car and I was using every swear word in the world in regards to the asshole coach, he said, “Mom, calm down. I’ll get to play, I like watching my buddies play. I have to be there to root them on.” I told myself from that day forward, I was NOT gonna let some jerk coach ruin his spirit. Some games he would play, but the ones that he didn’t, he was always clapping and yelling for his team from the bench. That’s what I hate most about school and sports, the coach’s kid or the favorites get everything. But such is life..He learned that life is not always fair. Thanks for letting me vent. And to all you people that don’t understand, you must be the parents whose kids get to play ALL the time. Feel priviledged.

  67. Jaime

    Two things. We expect the coach to act like us sometimes. Yes, I would call and check on a player and be concerned but I am a mom. Some men just don’t think like that.
    About riding the bench… At that level they are playing to win, period. Is your son truly playing at the same level as the other players? My husband is a coach and we seem to have this problem a lot. That some parents see their childs’ talent to be something other that what it really is. Will your son benefit from the team and become a better player just from attending practice with these kids? Most likely. Is he having fun?
    If my husband’s team is losing a game by a large amount of points, then the starters come out, period. I have to say to the lady above writing about her 8 year old not playing, that is complete BS and needs to be reported to the board of your local baseball team. At that age, all kids should be playing,period.

  68. Jess

    Um, I didn’t ask why you called, I asked why you think the coach should call you back? and really your son could do his own calling in sick at his age

  69. Jerri Ann

    Y, this is directed more at Jess than at you but again, as a coach, I think I have some insight here.
    In my opinion, no one calls in sick when they miss practice around here. I would find out why a person was missing if one of the other players knew or I would find out when they returned, that’s about it. Very rarely did anyone call to give me an explanation and most of the time, I would have appreciated one from the coach or the child…….
    and why would the coach call back? Because the team is sort of like a family and the coach is the leader of the family and the leader of the family should be concerned about the well-being of his family members…that’s why the coach should have called back…

  70. Jaime

    Jess, actually she should have called to give the coach all of the details on the infectious staff infection. I would rather a parent inform me of that and the details.

  71. Y

    Thank you, Jerri Ann.
    The reason that I called is because my husband coaches for my son’s competitive league team and he always asked the parents to call if their kid wasn’t going to be at practice and or a game. Since Andrew missed an entire week of practice and two games, I thought I’d give him the courtesy that my husband asked of his parents.
    I had NO idea that was such a horrible thing to do.

  72. kimblahg

    I don’t know Y, I think I would have freaked out in the same way but I’m sensitive and over-emotional about possible son rejection (projecting much). Way to control yourself and yes, you were probably wise not to bitch him out. Maybe he had many other things going on but I still think he shoudl have called. My husband says I’m thinking like a woman- well how else can I think?

  73. mauniejames

    LOL I was just about to say..for Gods sake don’t call the coach…we all go through it..as mothers of
    sons it’s unfortunate that PMS and menopause come
    at the same time our sons are getting older..lol I myself wrote a letter to the coaches of our sons town football team..I wish someone would have stopped me…it gets better…your a loving and great Mom and it does work out.

  74. Dawn

    Okay..so I’m late to the discussion and haven’t read the other comments but I did read your addendum to your original post.
    My thoughts: Did you tell his coach that your son has a staph infection? To me that is HUGE. Because ALL coaches know that 99.9% of staph infections in teenage boys are acquired from the locker room and/or showering facilities. It’s a nationwide epidemic right now in high school as well as college and pro locker rooms. For this very reason alone….IF you did tell the coach about the staph infection…I believe that he ABSOLUTELY not only should have called you back but that it is HIS resonsibiity as a coach to check on the well being of your son since he would have known that it was acquired at school.
    If this was not brought up by the coach then I, as a parent, would definitely put a call in to whoever heads the sports department at your sons school. School acquired staph infections are a direct result of unsanitary conditions in the locker rooms and needs to be addresses by SOMEONE before more of the kids get it (and obviously your son won’t e the only one) and a serious strain occurs at the school as a result of teens not finishing their meds. Staph is nothing to play around with.
    but that’s just my 2 cents. :o)
    I hope he is well soon.

  75. Rebecca Powell

    I am so late to this conversation, but I don’t think you were overreacting. In my long experience with high school athletics, I’ve noticed that most coaches are not nice people. They are not considerate of their players. High school athletics is the opposite of high school academics — it doesn’t matter how hard you work on the court. It matters how the coach sees you. Your son might be really hurting from this treatment.

  76. Carol

    I know exactly how you feel. My son went through this last year in 9th grade. It is very upsetting and sadly very common. It is something you have to let your son work out on his own. I had heard so many good things about our high school coaches and how much they wanted to help the kids. Like your son mine got the last couple of minutes in and there were a couple of kids that sat the bench the entire season. They only seemed to show real interest in their best players and put down the ones that weren’t as good. Anyone can be on the team, there are no try outs here. One of the assistant coaches started making comments to my son, not the greatest player but better then some of the others. He had the nerve to tell him if he didn’t do better they would be embarrassed to have him play, he dogged him for leaving practice early due to a headache (his suffers headaches and the school has a doctors note on this) and he was talked ugly to for leaving 30 minutes early from practice to work on a project which was my rule because school work comes before football. I can’t remember the other comments, but before the last game of the season my son was over it and quit. He couldn’t handle being treated like that when he wasn’t doing anything wrong, playing good and giving it his best. He still loves football and wants to play so badly. I really thought it was going to be a good thing, they would help him and encourage him to do well in all areas of his life and all they did was make him feel down about himself. I don’t know what’s up with the phone calls, mine were never returned and when they were they could have cared less to be talking to me. It is good to read here there are some good coaches out there. I hope things get better.

  77. mary Ann

    it is 1 a.m. and i can;t sleep because tonight my son, also a freshman on the freshman basketball team played the last 29.6 seconds of the game. the last game he did not play at all. when we got home, he disappeared into the bathroom and cried. i told him that it must have been awful to sit on the bench just wondering the whole game when the coach would choose him to go in. we were also thrilled as was he, when he made the team, but now i truly wonder if the pain of being not making the team initially would have been easier than this. I have not read the responses above mine, but will go back and do that now..just needed to get this off my chest.

  78. Amy

    Just for the record, when I was in high school I split my chin open on the gym floor *during a volleyball game*. My mom had to take me to the ER to get it stitched up (17 stitches).
    No one from the team called to see if I was OK. I had to miss practice for a week. Then, one of the other girls on the team called to say that the coach had told her to wear MY varsity uniform for the next game, and could she pick it up from me after school.
    So, yeah, coaches can be pretty clueless.

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