February 9, 2023

coaching, part 1: the cast of characters, stop shooting, & who's all conference?

Good gravy, my patience has worn thin with high school coaches. 

Remember how we almost sent the kids to Catholic high school this year? Part of it was Reg's class' social atmosphere. The other was the b-ball coach.

Ed's old varsity coach. Mr. NOW-I'M-A-DAD (NIAD) was excellent, but with youngsters at home - he stopped coaching after Reg's freshman year, so he never coached Reg. Reg made varsity as a sophomore, and the new coach, Mr. New, was fine. He was let go after one season. Huh?

Mr. New played in the NBA, so he understood the game. Reg had no problems with him. I'm unaware of other parent complaints. Mr. Ego and Mr. Pinhead, last year's freshman A & B team basketball coaches, conspired to write up several complaints about Mr. New. Then, magically, they assumed the varsity and assistant varsity coaching positions. No interview process. The athletic director appointed Ego and Pinhead after dismissing the Mr. New. Very political. 

A high school teacher I sit for informed me that teachers sometimes take on coaching roles just before they retire to beef up their pensions. 

Mr. Ego, who teaches history at the high school, is missing a chip. Understatement. He has tenure, but I'm still amazed that he has a job. His idea of 'funny' is often inappropriate. I believe he once had a kid with an (insert ethnicity here) last name, go sit under that corresponding ethnic flag in his classroom from that country. Maybe Russian? Not sure. You can't do stuff like that. Turn the page, dude, it's 2023. 

Last night, I brought my folks some of the pot
 roast I made in my crockpot. I brought my laptop
 and showed them a recent game of Reg's that
 they regrettably missed. It was THE BEST.
More to come on that. 
From a basketball standpoint, he has NO basketball experience that translates to the varsity level. He coached the freshmen boy B team. Since I could coach that level, I don't count that as legitimate experience. 

Mr. Pinhead played varsity basketball on a team with Ed. He's a current college student - not playing in college. 

Let's just say, I've assigned each of them very appropriate blog names.   

Our complaints don't even touch on the basic high school coaching necessities, such as, an inbounds play. A way to break the press. The knowledge to switch to man to man from a zone defense as needed. Any useful feedback, guidance, or input to improve a team's performance. 

Instead the most objectionable issues are the way the man treats our son. 

1. injured kid:  Reg had to sit out for several weeks with tendinopathy in his knee. Coach urged him to sit out as long as possible, to get the best chance of making a solid recovery. The injury stems from over-use. Reg skipped the Thanksgiving tournie at the start of the season. It wasn't part of conference. 

Mr. Pinhead:  YOU DON'T REALLY WANT TO PLAY, DO YOU? YOU'RE GONNA END UP JUST SITTING OUT THE WHOLE SEASON. *Why? Just why? Clearly the kid is b-ball obsessed, why would you say this? 

Mr. Ego:  WHY DON'T YOU JUST GET A CORTIZONE SHOT? *Oops, Reg's dad is a PT. Please share a copy of your medical credentials.

2. stop shooting:  In Reg's first game back, he put up maybe 5 three pointers. He missed all of them. It was gut wrenching. He was beside himself. New here? Reg qualified to go down state last year as a sophomore to compete in the 3 point contest. 


Real coaches don't tell a 3-point shooter to stop shooting. All of his shots looked good. They just didn't go thru the hoop, which I get is sort of the point. B-ball is not a game of perfection.

Throughout the season there have been other variations of this. Like THAT'S NOT THE SHOT WE WANT. 

*sidenote:  Mr. NIAD watched Reg's game via livestream during the holiday tournament. He texted Ed and told him to tell Reg to stop taking a bunny hop before his 3 point shot. Wow, actual constructive feedback. Amazing. 

Reg admitted that he'd changed up his 3 point shot because of feedback from his travel coach and because of knee pain.


He's made adjustments and has been finding more success. 

3. interesting choice? & how do you define a good shot? Reg scored 21 points in a game a few weeks ago. We won that very exciting game. 

The next day at practice, Pinhead named two guys to be captains to split the team into a scrimmage. The first guy chose Reg first. 



What even was that? Why can't we say something encouraging? I suggest:  GREAT GAME, REG. KEEP IT UP.

After the scrimmage, Ego gathered the team and had them go around in a circle and talk about what they think they bring to the team.

Reg:  I TAKE GOOD SHOTS, MY DEFENSE IS GOOD . . . (Ego interrupts him here)


When Reg told me this story, I told him:  I HOPE TO GOT YOU SAID ANY SHOT I PUT UP IS A GOOD SHOT, YOU   #$&*%@#    ^%$&*%@&*-ER.

4.  talk to yourself more quietly:  The next week Reg came home from practice visibly shaken. He was days away from being able to drive and I thought he was going to have another seizure. 

Ego had them do a drill, but forbid certain shots, like 3 pointers? (eventually even Pinhead said JUST COME OUT AND GUARD HIM, BECAUSE THIS ISN'T VERY REALISITC). 

Reg eventually put up a shot and Ego yelled:  DON'T SHOOT THAT. Then he made the team run suicides. While running, Reg mumbled under his breath:  I'M ALWAYS GONNA SHOOT THAT. 

Pinhead:  (insert 4 year-old child voice) HE SAID SOMETHING!!!

Ego shouted at Reg and Reg said he was just talking to himself, which he does while he's playing. 

Ego:  WELL, TALK TO YOURSELF MORE QUIETLY. *I want this on a t-shirt with credit going to Mr. Ego. 

(There's more . . . )


My Monday:  I brought 8 littles to the zoo, solo.
So much fun.
I considered cutting this down, but I feel like you won't really get it, if you don't hear the whole story. I've broken it down into 3 posts. I know, I know. The last post is where you vote for what you think, if anything, we should do about the situation. I hope you'll stick around to read all the posts. Do I need to insert a cute Irish dancing story to keep you interested? Let me know. 

On a slightly more stressful note, I had my doc follow up today. I've lost 4 more pounds. Now both the doctor and I are concerned. I've been eating more, really. I also have to go on a cholesterol drug. 

In exciting news, Curly found out tonight that she was voted all conference for basketball. To quote the student section when she hits a 3:  SHE'S A FRESHMAN! (see what I did there, ended on a happy note)


Nicole said...

Ugh, that sounds crappy for Reg. I also hope his knee is better.
I hope you find out what's going on with your weight loss! How is your general energy level? Are you able to eat more nutrient dense foods, or are they bothering your stomach?
Congrats to Curly!

Beth Cotell said...

Poor Reg! These guys sound like idiots. I hope you he is able to finish the season strong despite poor coaching.

Beth Cotell said...

And I really hope they can quickly figure out what's going on with your health. I wish I could give you some of my extra "fluff"!

Ernie said...

Nicole - His knee is better, but not great. It still bothers him. I have tendinopathy in my glute. It is an annoying injury. He had another amazing game last night. I love it when that happens DESPITE his coaches.

My energy is just fine. I moved my check up a week, because I had so much acid in my stomach Monday morning - it was really uncomfortable and I WANT answers. I really thought my weight would be up a few pounds. I eat practically the same thing every day. Oatmeal. Protein bar and shake. Cobb salad. Greek yogurt. Some snacks. An apple. Sometimes a bowl of berries. Dinner of meat and potatoes and veggies. I don't tolerate cashews well. Maybe I will try to toast some chickpeas or eat something with quinoa. Open to suggestions, Nicole. ;)

Colleen said...

Maggie is having coach drama on her basketball team too - two coaches have left and now we just have the Varsity coach and the Asst. Athletic Director is taking over JV. She already doesn't love basketball and this isn't helping. They keep pulling her up to Varsity (she's a freshman who isn't ready) and then she feels like she's such a bad player when she misses the shot or doesn't know the Varsity plays.

However - Reg's situation sounds WAY WORSE!! I wish he could have gone to a different school for the coaching, but I know Curly was meant to stay at that school with the whole twins/mom situation. You guys must feel really trapped in a decision.

I hope you figure out your weight loss issue, though you've changed your diet so much and eat so healthy that maybe weight loss is naturally happening? One can hope. My brother who is an ER doc told me to avoid cholesterol meds for as long as I can, so my doc just keeps checking my numbers every year and since they are holding steady I haven't done meds. Losing weight can make your cholesterol go up, just an FYI. Good luck with all of this Ernie!! :)

Ernie said...

Beth - He's really been playing well lately. I wonder if it is helping him that his newest epilepsy med includes a bit of a mood stabilizer. These two clowns have really done some damage to my son's confidence and his mental health. It is completely unacceptable.

Ha. Yeah, I hope they can figure something out. I'm going to a new-er gastro doc as soon as I can get in there. My usual doc has a tendency to shrug and insist that I must've eaten gluten. Not.The.Case. I'm honestly worried that there is something serious going on. I've lost 16 pounds since like August. I changed my diet a little bit, but that might've meant that I lost a few pounds. This is strange.

Nance said...

What a tough situation for your son. What kind of basketball coach doesn't know that shooters need to keep shooting? I only have a fantasy basketball team and I know that! LOL

I sure hope they figure out your ongoing weight loss. When that happened to me, it was because of a medication (Topamax for my migraines) and it eventually stabilized. But it was rapid and scary, and I don't have celiac. Keep us posted.

Ernie said...

Beth - Sorry to hear that about Maggie's basketball situation. Eek. Be sure to tell her that Reg misses LOTS of shots as a varsity player who went down state for 3 point shooting abilities. ;) Honestly, she should just keep shooting. That's the answer, as hard as it is.

Reg's situation is the stuff of nightmares. There is more to the story, but with my Irish temper - it is something of a small miracle that I haven't stormed the court and scratched Ego's eyes out. We were also relieved that we didn't transfer him since he wouldn't have been able to drive himself to Catholic school.

Very interesting to know that losing weight can make your choles. go up. I hadn't heard that. I might touch base with my SIL, Aunt Leprechaun. She's a doc. Maybe I'll run it past her before I start taking it. My calcium score was 56 - it showed some mild blocked blood vessels in my heart. I'm contemplating doing a CT scan of my gut, doc mentioned this. Why wait and wonder? In case there is something else happening.

mbmom11 said...

Re the coaches: Document, document document! And talk to other parents on the down low to see what they think about the coaches. Sometimes, coaches can be nice to everyone but one kid - so don't be surprised if other parents like the stinker. However, given how the coach got the job, the AD or principal must be friends. Make sure you let plenty of people know what's going on if you chose to go public with your complaints. You don't want to be stonewalled by coach's friend.
If the team is winning a lot, you probably won't get anywhere.
(Why yes, I am a complete cynic when if comes to public schools and sports. There are many good people but the slime spoils it all.)
I hate the way Illinois teacher pensions work. So many game the system to bump up their pensions. There's got to be a better way.
I hope you can find out a cause for the weight loss.
And you are an awesome sitter - taking 8 short people to the zoo solo - you fear nothing! Fortitude - you've got it!

Ernie said...

Nance - Exactly. This guy is the kind of coach who has no business coaching any team, honestly. Not even freshmen A or B. A mom with a sophomore told me that the people from his freshmen team last year are upset with the decision to put him in the varsity slot. We are not alone, but who is willing to step forward and point this out when the guy teaches in the building and brings his crap into the classroom? It is a mess. In a word.

Careful what you wish for, I guess. I always wanted to lose that last 5-10 pounds to reach my ideal weight, but I wasn't obsessive about it. This doesn't make much sense, except for a few dietary changes and that would really not impact me like this. I'm off to call the other gastro, who I saw once. She seems to listen more than my regular guy, but when I saw her for my waking up when things moved through my pipes issue, she had no answers. I really don't want another colonoscopy, but not sure how else she'll be able to figure anything out. Don't get me started on our current health insurance. That's a whole long post waiting to happen. I will keep you posted, because I'm not telling everyone in my up-close and personal life about this. Don't want people to worry.

Ernie said...

mbmom11 - Yes, I totally agree on all of your advice on the coaching mess. *spoiler alert - story coming soon, but Reg scored 35 points in a game against the first place team last week. It was amazing. He had more than half his team's points. We still lost - but the first time we played them we lost by 20. This time, we lost by 6 and had been up by 4 points in the last few mintues of the game. Lad was sitting with me and he said WELL, IF EGO BEATS THE #1 TEAM, WE WON'T BE ABLE TO GET RID OF HIM. I do have to be careful who I talk to, because some people like him. More on that in a later post. I get what you're laying down here. Documenting everything is how they ousted the last coach - so I'm hoping we can do the same. I have a few approached that I'm considering.

I'm praying there is a straightforward explanation. I'm really ready for answers. The acid pouring into my stomach on Monday in the middle of the night was a clue that something is just plain off.

Ha - I think this babysitting adventure thing is all about knowing what you can handle. The kids are old enough to mostly walk and they are well behaved. No runners. It was honestly totally manageable.

Ernie said...

Colleen - Oh, and I eat healthy and I did cut out red meat, but wasn't eating too much of that to begin with. I cut out a few snacks that had some added sugar, but all of that would only account for a few pounds. 16 pounds in about 6 months doesn't add up, unfortunately. Otherwise, I'd be writing a how to lose weight easy and healthy.

Kara said...

I hate how high school sports can be so political. It seems that some schools (like the one my kids attend/attended) only care about football, even when their football team is bad, and other teams are good. Our AD would simply "forget" to schedule buses for away games and refuse to fund uniforms for teams other than football. Our girls basketball team went to states, but no one really knew, because the school never posted about them. Even at sports awards that year, the football coach got all sorts of recognition and an award because he was retiring, even though the team had a losing record.

Ally Bean said...

I don't know the first thing about high school sports, coaching of said, feelings about coaching of said. It sounds like a mess to me, a former band geek.

Bijoux said...

Stories like this make me sooo glad my kids are out of high school. Despite the number of good teachers they had, the horrific ones stand out. Like the science teacher who played video games while only ever showing ‘science videos’ to the class. Or the teacher union president who was absent once a week. Or the teacher who called an Indian student, ‘brown girl.’ Somehow, they all had tenure.

Anyway, mucho empathy from me. I need to go back and read more of your posts. Why are you losing weight? Hope you are not seriously ill. XO

Ernie said...

Kara - Amen, sister. I don't think our school is quite that bad - but the football coaches and the kids who play football all think the only sport that exists is FOOTBALL. The pastsa parties are a production. The coaches think their word is gospel. I dislike so much about football and the football mentality. Lad played in high school. It was almost the death of me. At our Catholic grade school, there were SO many dad football coaches. Why? It was silly. They NEVER ended practice on time. Instead they stood around and talked about football while the boys took a knee. When one dad finished his bull crap, another would step in and puff his chest. When my husband was at work and I had to pick up Lad and then get to another field to pick up a kid from soccer, I had zero time to waste. I finally marched onto the field and waved my arms, shouting ARE YOU NUTS? PRACTICE ENDED 20 MINUTES AGO. I HAVE PLACES TO BE AND OTHER KIDS TO PICK UP. WE'RE DONE HERE. I motioned for Lad to get in my car.

Ernie said...

Ally - I'm laughing at you definining yourself as a band nerd. Tank did band one season, but he wanted to be in the stands cheering with his friends. I was glad to have no other reason to sit in the cold weather during football season. You are right though. It is a mess.

Ernie said...

Bijoux - I agree - we've had mostly great, even amazing teachers. When someone doesn't measure up, it is so upsetting. Mini had a cheimstry teacher who sent her a mean-spirited email a few days into the school year. He knew she was an outgoing, fun type from coaching her at tennis, so he wrote a long-winded email pre-scolding her in anticipation of distracting classroom behavior. Mini was a straight A student who'd never been corrected in the classroom for anything. Coach (who is always at work for conferences and barely knows his way around the building but took time off work to attend this meeting) and I sat down with our amazing principal. She was upset and took our concerns seriously. Unfortunately she switched schools this year. Ugh.

I hope that I'm not seriously ill too. I have some GI issues occasionally. Have for years. I have celiac and my gastro doc likes to blame me eating gluten, but I'm really careful. Things have gotten a little more intense lately. I was in the ER on Halloween. I thought maybe diverticulitis, but they said no. Have had a few issues since and still no answers. My gp noted when I covid before Christmas that I'd lost 12 pounds. I knew I'd lost a few, but I attributed it to replacing healthy snacks with snacks with zero sugar and snacks with no seeds or corn because of my belief that I might have a hint of diverticulits. Anyway, this was the follow up and I lost another 4. I ate dessert at Christmas and now we are scratching our heads. My gp is aligned with me in getting answers. I tried to get in with a new gastro and she has no openings for months. Hmmm.

Bijoux said...

Ugh.I’m sorry. I know how distressing health issues are. That is a lot of weight to lose in a small amount of time. My daughter has been having GI issues for a few years and after trying to go gf and other elimination diets, I finally had her keep a food journal. The worst culprit was fiber vegetables and almond milk. How bizarre is that? Trying to eat healthy and this is what you get! I switched her to Lactaid milk (she’s lactose intolerant) and eased us on the kale, broccoli, etc. for her. It’s helped a lot.

I hope you get some answers soon.

Ernie said...

Bijoux - Thanks. I was convinced I lost weight by a few adjustments to my diet, but then I intentionally ate more and my weight continued to decrease. I eat almost the same thing every day. No joke. The GI issues aren't really clear cut. I'll be surprised if it's just a specific food, because I don't think that would lead to weight loss. I am not having such noticeable issues that would make weight loss make sense. Hoping this other doc (who I saw once for a 2nd opinion) can help pinpoint. They're calling me tomorrow to see if they can fit me in sometime soon. Fingers crossed.

Pat Birnie said...

Coaching in high school is so different in Canada. They aren’t paid positions, all volunteer teachers so probably less politics. That’s frustrating though- we have experienced bad coaching when our kids were growing up and in team sports.

I do hope you get an answer soon to your weight loss. It is a bit concerning.

Ernie said...

Pat - That sounds like the coaching our Catholic grade schools used. It was still kind of a crap shoot as far as experience and favoritism.

Initially the other GI doc office said they could only call me if she had a cancellation. Then I called back and they had a nurse talk to me. They are consulting the doctor and will call me today to see if they can fit me in sooner, which I'm encourgaed by. I can always go back to my regular guy. Maybe now that I've lost 16 pounds in 6 months, he'll be interested.

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

Congrats to Curly!

I am really sorry that Reg is dealing with this awful coaching. How frustrating and demoralizing!

And I am hoping that you and your doctors figure out the (totally non-scary, easy to address) reason for the continued weight loss. Sending you love.

Ernie said...

Suzanne - Curly is so excited. Pretty awesome.

It really is frustrating. We anticipated him to be a lousy coach as far as plays and defense, but he is so much worse than that. Ugh.

I spoke to Aunt Leprechaun - the doctor for a VERY long time, about my health, and about Lad's mental health and the issue that another one of the kids is having. And about epilepsy. She's Reg's godmother. We spoke for an hour and a half, and she had some really great insight into Lad's issues. She really thinks his issues stem from not being on ADD meds anymore. I feel like she is going to help up get him on the right track. He's honestly doing great, but in my heart I know he has struggles - in addition to being difficult/thoughtless to live with. She also had suggestions for me and believes I'm doing the right things/tests/appointments to figure my issue out. :)

Bibliomama said...

Ugh, sounds enraging. We've been pretty lucky with coaches - the worst behaviour we've seen has been from coaches on opposing teams, and we always felt really bad for them. I don't know if it's ever worth trying to intervene - no matter how pure your intentions look, it could backfire.
Angus's coach for the first couple of years at college was not great - his coaching style didn't get great results and then he would break clipboards in a rage, which does not seem super-helpful - but he never targeted Angus specifically. We got really lucky for his last year. I hope he gets past this and finds a better situation in the future.

Ernie said...

Ali - Enraging is a good word. It sure is. We saw it coming, but it is worse than we anticipated. We tried to send him to an all boys' Catholic school. Turns out he couldn't drive, so we were grateful we hadn't gotten ourselves in trouble there. Reg has been playing amazing lately, so the coach really has nothing to say. Still, what if Reg has a bad game? Curly's coach is fine, but he literally talks to them as if they are robots and can't made a move unless he orders it. Like LOOSE BALL. GET THE BALL. TURN. SHOOT. RUN BACK. There are times when he says the SAME thing over and over like when the opponent in-bounds the ball, he'll say: NO CATCH, NO CATCH, NO CATCH, till we almost explode with irritation. It is honestly entertaining to watch the other fans' faces, because his calling things out is so disruptive and they look at each other like WHAT'S HAPPENING. Curly says she manages to tune him out.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I would like to personally Shank both of these moron coaches! Is there anyone you can complain to about this? The AD? Clearly, they have it out for Reg. I'm outraged by their behavior, so I can't imagine how you guys feel.

I wish I had an answer for you!

EIGHT TODDLERS and you didn't lose one of them? Or your mind?

Ughhh on your Doctors update. Sorry you are losing weight without trying; WTF??? And the cholesterol thing...can they be related?

Ernie said...

Suz - Shanking is right in line with what these two clowns deserve. In last night's game Ego told his fav player, a little sophomore who is a great shooter - to stop shooting. Reg was counseling him on the bus ride home, quizzing him: what's the worst thing a coach should say to a great shooter? Stop shooting.

I'd like to share all of our frustrations, but as you'll see in upcoming posts - tough to navigate. Maybe the sophomore's parents will see the light now that the coach has told their kid to stop shooting. We lost last night and that was a blow. The coach got made at Reg. Sat him. The other team went on a 10 point run. Defense if Reg's bigget strength. So, that wasn't frustrating. It wasn't Reg's best game either, and a freshman who is tall but doesn't have the power yet didn't play great. Wait, am I venting? Sorry. ;) It's fresh.

Ha. 8 toddlers is my happy place. I might have a 5 month olde next year, and I'll take a room full of 3 and 4 years olds over a crabby baby any day. Except for the fake singing. I can no longer do the fake singing of 4 year old girls who think everything is worth making up a song over. Nope. Can't. This topic deserves its own post.

A chat with Aunt Leprechaun confirmed my meed for cholsertol meds and she gave me other direction, so that helped. I'd like answers and I'm committed to that - so is my GP. She's very invested. Keep you posted.