February 13, 2023

coaching, part II: a threat, classroom crap & 35 POINTS

(con't from Thursday's post):  recap - our high school coach 'Ego' and his sidekick 'Pinhead' suck. 

After he told Reg to talk to himself more quietly . . .  Ego lost his shit with the team. Hollering something about how he knows everything and he's been coaching for 20 years, yadda, yadda. Then he unleashed on Reg, targeting him when it wasn't a Reg-specific issue. 

Thanks GIPHY

Hold on there, mister . . . did you just threaten my kid? For what, exactly? I told Coach (my husband - not to be confused with the lunkheads), I'd like to meet this loser in a dark alley. I would literally pound him. 

Reg said the odd thing was at the start of that practice Ego had pulled him aside saying he was playing relaxed and looking good. 


5. Not being over-sensitive:  A few days later I hosted a last minute pasta party. The guys were joking around, imitating Ego's bark, "I KNOW EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT BASEKTBALL." 

One kid asked Reg what Ego's deal is, because "DUDE, HE'S ALWAYS SHOUTING AT YOU FOR LIKE NOTHING. IT'S SO WEIRD." The rest of the guys agreed. 

Coach and I had wondered if Reg was exaggerating or being over-sensitive. This was eye-opening. 

6. Don't drag it into the classroom, leave it on the court:  (I almost shortened this in my title to NO BALLS IN THE CLASSROOM, then I thought it thru). The next day in Ego's history class, Ego blasted his class:  YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO ME, I KNOW EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT HISTORY. (then turning to face Reg) RIGHT, REG? PLUS I KNOW EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT BASKETBALL, RIGHT? 

Thanks GIPHY

When the twins' mom died a few weeks, the dad was overwhelmed. He didn't call the school to alert them of the situation before the kids returned. Ego teaches C's freshman history class. Ego made the class repeat a word, like DICTATORSHIP. He didn't feel like C had repeated the word. He made him say it solo, but still sensed he was giving him attitude. In reality he was just being quiet. 

*C is an honor student, good grades, and zero attitude problem. He starts on the freshman boys' basketball team.


After class, C broke down and told Ego his mom had just died suddenly. Ego was like WELL, WE HAVE TO LET THE SOCIAL WORKERS KNOW.

The high school teacher I sit for told me that no teacher should ever single out a kid in class, if it looks like they're having a bad day. 

I'm at a loss for how/why this guy brings coaching stuff into the classroom. I find it completely unacceptable. My hope is that C won't have Ego as a varsity coach one day. Fingers crossed he is replaced by then.


Thanks GIPHY
A memorable game:  The game after my last minute pasta party was against the 1st
place team. The last time we played them, we lost by 20. Feb. 3rd, we came SO CLOSE. The teams were tied or up a point here and there, but eventually we lost by 6. Reg had 35 of our team's 64 points. He was on fire. I wept a little when he reached 30 points. 22 had been his record. He refused to be excited about how he played because he was so upset that we'd come
Thanks GIPHY
so close but still lost - we'd been up by 4 with like 3 minutes left. 

My poor budget:  In late November, Reg started seeing a sport psychologist. We'd noticed that he was struggling with anxiety surrounding basketball even during his travel season/AU. The high school season has been challenging mentally. I begged him to just quit the team mid-season. Just focus on the AU team in the off-season. He wouldn't hear of it. The tab for this sport doc is INCREDIBLY pricey. 

Health concern:  After the practice when Ego threatened to kick Reg off the team, I called the epilepsy doctor. We decided to layer on a new drug, because Reg's 'deja vous' feelings had ramped up - seems to Coach and I that this happens more often before or during a game. Is stress a factor? Reg insists that it happens at other times. Maybe he only mentions the basketball episodes because he's worried that he'll mess up in his game and it's therefore more concerning to him. The new med happens to include a bit of a mood stabilizer. 

Ego has it all wrong - Reg is a good kid:  Remember the special man who befriended our family a few years ago? He comes to most of Reg's games with his dad. They sit with us in the stands. Reg always seeks Michael out in the bleachers after his game to thank Michael for coming. Additionally, he responds to all of Michael's texts during the week, like 'happy hump day'. Reg poses for photos with him. When Reg comes to Curly's games, Michael waves, "I saved a seat for you." Reg sometimes bypasses sitting with his peers at the girls' games in order to sit with Michael, knowing it's a big deal to him. Reg isn't cocky or arrogant and doesn't have an attitude. What is the deal? 

I always thank Michael's dad for taking such an interest and attending the kids' games. The dad looked at me:  OH, TRUST ME. YOUR FAMILY IS LIKE A MILLION DOLLARS TO US. THE WAY YOU TREAT MICHAEL MEAN MORE THAN I CAN TELL YOU. 

Other people who see it:  A mom 'Kate' with a sophomore son who played for Ego as a freshman told me recently that Ego attended part of the sophomore practice (her son is very good, but isn't on varsity) and Ego yelled at him:  WHAT ARE YOU DOING? PLAYING LIKE REG? THAT'S ALL WE NEED, ANOTHER REG. 

He said these words OUT LOUD, people. Um, Reg just scored 35 points in a game, helping you to almost topple the #1 team. You shut, shut your mouth. 

Thanks GIPHY

Kate's daughter played travel with Curly and this woman is VERY even-keeled. She knows basketball. She looked at me, confused. WHAT WOULD BE WRONG WITH HAVING ANOTHER REG? 

She also told me that every parent/player from last year's freshman team (current sophomores) is unhappy that Ego is coaching varsity. She thinks Ego just dislikes a few kids and her kid and mine are two of them. BUT, when Ego caught wind last year of Reg almost leaving the school, he begged him to stay.

Ego:  DUDE, WHY ARE YOU THINKNG OF LEAVING? I MEAN. I KNOW IT ISN'T ME. WE'RE GOOD. I KNOW YOU KNOW I CAN COACH. IS IT YOUR PARENTS THAT WANT CATHOLIC SCHOOL? (Reg told him it was social- which was part of it, but Reg was secretly like you're gonna be a terrible coach). 

I honestly didn't think the season would be THIS bad. I thought Ego's shortcomings would be limited to his inability to design plays, etc. Nope. His level of ridiculous knows no bounds.

I know this is basketball heavy, but please come back next time so you can weigh in on what, if anything, we should do. 

In other news:  On Wed. I slipped on ice. To be clear - it was a bit of an ICE CUBE. In my kitchen. I transformed briefly into a cartoon character, hooking my arm on a bar stool at the island. The stool went down, softly because my winter coat hung on the back of it. I wrenched my back. I felt like I need a good physical therapist. wink, wink. The PT I keep on the payroll said I was just sore. Sunday morning I woke up feeling less like my spine would forever be shaped like an S. Grateful that no one caught my grace-less moment on video. 

Glad my kids are athletic and coordinated enough to play basketball. They don't take after me. As my gym teacher used to say:  Ernie can't chew gum and walk at the same time. 

Anyone else struggle with an in-home hazard?


Bijoux said...

I’ve never even heard of a sports psychologist, but I can see how they’re needed. Our home hazard is the new front porch. Whenever it snows, it’s so slippery that we can’t go out the front door. It’s a hazard to visitors, so we have to have them come in through the garage.

Nicole said...

Wow, some people should really not work with children or teens. I mean. I think this guy has something seriously wrong with him.
Your back! Yikes! Hope you're feeling better.

Beth Cotell said...

This guy just seems like the absolute worst coach and teacher. I'm so very sorry Reg is having to deal with this. He does seem a bit bipolar. Perhaps the coach is the one that needs to be seeing the sports psychologist!

Colleen said...

Drama!! That coach is an extreme narcissist, you named him well. It hurts my heart to think of him yelling at your son for no reason like that. I hope you are documenting these things to bring to the athletic Director? Maggie‘s basketball coach just got fired last week ( with the Asst. Athletic Director stepping in to coach) even though it’s the middle of the season. Athletic directors do usually take this stuff seriously, especially when it’s coming from parents of kids who are good and play a lot. Sometimes parents complain just because their kid doesn’t get playing time, and they have to listen to those complaints with a grain of salt. But you guys have a lot to go on here.

Nance said...

I really object to the teacher-coach hybrid. I get why they exist, and some do okay (especially if they teach phys. ed.), but every one I worked with was primarily a Coach and phoned in the teacher part. And everyone knew it. Departments had to hold positions open when coaching positions were available Just In Case the applicant had a certificate in that subject.

The coach you're describing is a jerk. He shouldn't be around kids, let alone guiding them in any way. It's a tough situation you and your son are in. I'm really sorry.

Ernie said...

Bijoux - The sport psych has told Reg some of the same things we've said, but I guess it sounds more official coming from him. On the other hand, Coach has told Reg to just tune him out and try not to let him bother him. When Reg shared this with the doc, the doc said EASIER SAID THAN DONE. IT ISN'T ALWAYS POSSIBLE TO UN-HEAR THESE THINGS.

Oh no. That front porch sounds somewhat dangerous. And it's new? Eek.

Ernie said...

Nicole - So true. He is a piece of work. When I saw him out a few years ago (before the pandemic) when I was at a bar eating with Delilah, I walked by his table on my way out. The other teachers he was with hopped up and greeted me warmly. We chatted AS.I.WALKED.BY. I didn't pull up a chair and join them. Ego didn't stand up, or say hello. He looked down at the table, arms crossed. The next day he told Tank something along the lines of YOUR MOM THINKS SHE KNOWS EVERYONE. Pardon me? Certainly not the case, but I did KNOW these 3 history teachers. The other two were very friendly and have wonderfully friendly relationships with my children. He is missing a chip.

My back is so much better. I do feel like my slip irritated my tendonapathy in my glute. Hopefully that will improve, because it really has been so much better lately.

Ernie said...

Beth - He supposedly is a good history teacher - as far as delivering the info in an informative way, because he is animated. But his methods in and out of the classroom? Unacceptable. He needs help. I'm laughing at your sport psychologist suggestion.

Busy Bee Suz said...

This frickin' guy. blood pressure is again raised reading about his stupid antics. WHAT GIVES? He's on team Reg one minute and off the next. You should never bring that stuff into the classroom either; I feel there are so many rules he's violating that he should be looking for a new career.

Yikes on the ice cube! I'm glad it wasn't worse. I've taken a tumble here and there, mostly my own fault and luckily not caught on camera.

Ernie said...

Colleen - I totally agree with that label. Narcissistic label seems to fit him well. It would be my hope that the AD would be a good option, but he is buddies with Ego. You make a good point though - it isn't as if we are asking for little Johnny to get more playing time. I'll explain more about the various options I'm considering in my next post.

I hope Maggie's season finishes on a positive note.

Kari said...

This sounds so stressful.
I am glad your back is okay. It's a good thing you know a physical therapist. 😊

Kara said...

If you need an alibi to get rid of Ego, just let me know. We can work something out. That man is terrible and should not be allowed to "coach" anyone.

Ernie said...

Nance - Now that you mention that, at my high school when I was a kid - the boys and girls were on opposite sides of the building in separate schools. The boys were taught primarily by coaches. It drove the girls crazy, because from our perspective their work load was so much easier.

I agree. He has no business being there. I wish he'd retire sooner than later, but Curly didn't end up in his class this year and Reg won't have him next year. I know that the guidance counselor can work it so that Curly will not be in his class as a junior. So, I think we are about done with him in the classroom anyway. Thanks.

Ernie said...

Suz - He is such a nightmare. The fact that he has tenure is bad news. I hope he retires soon. And it makes no sense - he begged the kid to stay at our school and then acts like this? Like, oh - can't make him team captain, that's what he gets for considering another school. I might be reading into that, but why else?

That little ice cube chip. It could've been so much worse. I think the bar stool saved my A**. Quite literally. I feel better now.

Ernie said...

Kari - It is stressful, and I have enough other stresses going on right now, that I really don't need this one. I sometimes wonder if I was not married to a PT what I would do - would I go to the doctor every few weeks to see if I was going to survive? ha.

Ernie said...

Kara - Do you have connections? Are you Italian? I think I'm getting what you're putting down here. I love that you've offered. ;)

joymariecooks said...

Reg sound's like a great kid! Sorry he's having such a jerk of a coach.

In-home hazard.... Last winter when 8 million weeks pregnant I barely went out because it was icy and didn't want to fall. Then TWICE in two days my toddler poured dish soap on the floor but I couldn't see the floor because of my big pregnant belly and I went flying and only avoided catastrophe by grabbing the kitchen counter.

Ernie said...

joymarie- Reg is a good egg. He tends to perseverate on the coaching thing, which is challenging. Coach and I just met with his sport therapist guy about ALL OF IT. He thinks it is a sign on anxiety. Well, the new epilepsy med has a bit of a mood stabilizer in it. We hope that helps.

Oh goodness. A soapy floor is a dangerous situation. I remember when Ed did that in the bathroom, so he could ice skate when he was about 3 years old. No ice skating for big pregnant moms.

Ally Bean said...

A sports psychologist? For a kid in high school? Wow, don't know how to process that. I'd suggest drop the sport and find another way to fill your hours. Problem solved when the evil coach has no power over you. Too pragmatic?

Ernie said...

Ally - That would be ideal, but I'm not gonna ask my kid to give up his dream because of a crazed coach. I did ask him to drop the high school season and only play for his AU league, which is what he does in the spring and summer. Reg has developed some anxiety - is it related to ADD? Not sure. They still aren't sure if he has ADD or if he is inattentive due to epilepsy. My other guys who have ADD suffer from anxiety and it flares up at times. It is really challenging. I'm hoping that utilizing this sports psychologist is a short term need. Fingers crossed.

Bibliomama said...

What the fucking fuck. Forget what I said, you need to go to the principal, the superintendent and possibly the president. This guy is seven flavours of out of line, coaching AND teaching. Who the fuck says shit like that? Whatever his mental health issues are, he needs to handle his shit before he passes it on to the kids.
Ugh, the fall thing - the last thing any of us at our age need is another reason to be in pain. Hope your physiotherapist can help.

Pat Birnie said...

This just makes me so so angry. You have aptly named the guy Mr Ego! I cannot imagine saying that I know everything there is to know about anything??!! Wow. I certainly dealt with asshole coaches over the years my kids played sports. So maddening.

Ernie said...

Ali - I don't disagree. This guy is so bad. The situation sucks every which way. I do hope we manage to get someone's attention and get him replaced. The history dept chair will certainly be interested in the classroom piece and I can do whatever is necessary to have my kids avoid him in the classroom going forward. In my google search to see if the AD at the other building was a decent fellow, I stumbled across how much an AD is payed in our district. Now I feel like this AD really should address the situation. He's being paid to be impartial, damn it.

I'm so careful leaving the house . . . and then was tripped up by a tiny piece of an ice cube. So silly. I'm feeling back to myself - less jigsaw-puzzle-ish.

Ernie said...

Pat - There really is no other way to describe him. He is all ego. Just told the kids the other night, that his goal was to surpass the win/loss record of the coach before him (the one that he got fired). He really thinks he's untouchable and I really hope that is not the case. I'm on a mission to right this wrong and God help the fool that tries to stop me. ;)

Charlie said...

Oh no no no no no. That is just awful. Poor Reg, that really breaks my heart, especially reading about the way C was treated in class. This man is just a big bully. I want to punch him, so goodness knows you you feel.

Ernie said...

Charlie - It sure is awful. If you want to punch him, get in line behind me. Yes - so incredible that he would be so mean to this poor boy, even if he didn't know he'd just lost his mom. There was no reason for that.

BTW - not sure if you saw it, but I did post a retro Irish dancing tale last week. If memory serves, you liked those posts. ;)