June 15, 2023

to follow, or not to follow the script, that is the challenge

Remember when I met with Henrietta? I was steamed. An hour after that meeting, Reg and I had a scheduled call with Worm (Reg's AAU Prestige coach). Reg needed to let him know that he was ditching the team. Coach wanted a refund. That would've been nice, but I wasn't holding my breath. We'd tried to schedule the call for the morning, because it was Coach's late start day, but that didn't work for Worm. 

Coach printed out a conversation prompt for me. Can I speak my mind? Yes, I can. Do I like to speak my mind freely? Yes, I do. Were the other family members worried that I would tell Worm things, like what I thought he could do with his decision to add 4 new players to a roster and not make people aware that they were gonna warm the bench despite paying $$$? Yes, they were nervous. 

I was bothered by Henrietta and here Reg was - trying to deal with another crappy coach situation. He put the call on speaker phone and I stuck to the script . . . till the end. 

Script:  Reg enjoyed playing for Prestige last year. He worked hard - there is no  harder working player. He was excited for this season. We were disappointed that adding new players impacted Reg's playing time and wish that was communicated to us upfront. Reg not getting to play was frustrating, etc. Reg just wants to play. Considering all of this, Reg has accepted another offer to play for another team. We hope you will consider giving us a refund for half of the season.


*not sure how versed he is in math, but his bottom line is definitely boosted by his AAU league standings. I get it. I do. He wants to win games on the national circuit, because he can add those bragging rights to his marketing materials. He runs basketball camps and any success he has nationally promotes his other leagues, camps, and ultimately his brand. He skipped a weekend of games that we were scheduled to play in early May, because majority of his starters were hurt. He still had most of his players available to play, but he didn't want to risk losing games and lose his spot in the standings, so he skipped a weekend WHEN WE WERE READY AND WILLING TO PLAY, WHICH IS WHY WE ARE ON THIS SCOUT TEAM. All this means is that I do not, for one minute, buy his bull shit that he doesn't make any money off of his AAU teams. Why do you think he orders $500 uniforms? How stupid does he think we are? 

Worm might not be the brightest bulb. He missed the point.

We never would've paid to be on this team or for the pretty uniforms if he'd been upfront and honest about how much our kid would play.

I'd had a DAY, remember . . .  so I reverted to my unscripted dialogue and let it rip:  Well, I hope that moving forward you communicate upfront with players and families because at the end of the day - I think that's only fair. 12 players is probably too many to keep on a roster.


(I didn't say this but at some point I will share this sentiment with him):  

Wait now. What's this horse shit? You think you taught my kid empathy? No siree-Bob. You taught my kid nothing. You schmoozed him and showered him with love last year, convincing all of us that you had the boys' best interest at heart- not doing this for the money, etc. If he had the boys' best interest at heart, he would've given people a heads up, why not say:  MY VISION FOR THE TEAM HAS CHANGED/I'VE ADDED SOME NEW TALENT. NOT SURE HOW MUCH PLAYING TIME YOU WILL GET. IF YOU WANNA MAKE A CHANGE BEOFRE THE SEASON STARTS AND BEFORE YOU PAY OUT THE ASS ON FLIGHTS AND HOTEL ROOMS, THEN I THINK YOU SHOULD LOOK AT XYZ TEAM.

I have no photo evidence of this phone call, sadly.
But here is my recent Costco receipt. More later
 as to why SO MUCH. But here we are - not thrilled
 that this guy's misleading approach
 cost us hard earned money. 

At this point, I tried to say MORE, because as per my usual Irish-temper, middle-child, had-to-fight-my-way-to-be-heard -my-whole-life THINGS TO SAY. Reg and I got into an arm wrestling match/tap dance. The phone was a tug of war item - me trying to put Worm in his place (below the sole of my shoe) and Reg trying to escape to another room so I couldn't speak my mind. 

I'm so sorry there is not video footage of us in this moment. Oh, and a mom walked in to pick up her kid and was across the room saying WAIT, IS THIS THE COACH?

 Mini was perched at the island asking me nonchalantly, as if there WASN'T A WRESTLING MATCH GOING ON, why I couldn't just 'be nice'. It was a scene from a movie - with me trying to keep my voice even so as not to reveal the phone-fumbling, family-feud phenomenon that was taking place in my kitchen. 

I didn't think he'd give us a dime back. It's fine, but seriously - how badly did he miss the point about the money? We paid to be a part of a showcase team - so our son could play and get college looks - that was the pitch Worm sold to us, not so Reg could sit on the bench in case the true showcase-worthy kids got hurt. 

I'd like to write a little article about this topic and get it published locally and then wallpaper Worm's car with a thousand copies of The Truth. 

Have you had a person refuse a refund after they misled you or has someone not been upfront about his/her motives or given a fake sales pitch? If so, did you stick to a script? 


Nance said...

Sigh. Competitive sports with kids is an area that I've always shied away from. I cannot tell you how happy I was that my kids didn't really feel drawn to organized athletics. They played pickup games and some rec league stuff, but nothing major. All this conflict and competition...I'm not cut out for it, especially where kids are involved.

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

This all sounds so infuriating, Ernie. I'm so sorry that you and Reg had to deal with this d-bag. And I'm glad you went off script and gave him a piece of your mind. Sometimes you just need to TELL IT LIKE IT IS.

Ernie said...

Nance- Funny thing- we avoided travel sports FOREVER. After awhile it was the only safe option as our rec leagues were scraping to get enough kids, so they combined several age groups and big kids running down little guys was a real issue. It was so different when we were kids. You signed up in your town. Or did a few camps at the high school and then started a sport in junior high.

Glad you dodged this because it is a LOT.

ccr in MA said...

Unfortunately, the Worm seems to be staying true to form, and learning nothing. So glad you all are getting out of his reach!

That Costco receipt is giving me palpitations.

Ernie said...

Suzanne- It really was infuriating. Needlessly. Why not just be upfront? Or hold tryouts every season in case the guy wants to change up his roster? Someday I hope to make it clear to him how idiot-like I found him.

Ernie said...

Ccr- true. What kind of dumb luck to have a crap coach at the high school (Ego) and a lunkhead coach at the travel/AAU team too. (Worm). At this point we really hope Reg opts to not play ball in college. Maybe he will get the Evans like Mini. That would be amazing.

Ally Bean said...

What an expensive experience, both the uniforms and the grocery bill. I know that kids in sports cost money, but need it be this much? As for grocery prices, they're all over the place here-- and we're having food shortages again. Currently no mozzarella cheese at Kroger. How can that be?

Pat Birnie said...

I think you did well to last so long before going off script! I would have lost it much sooner. How can a uniform possibly cost $500? And how can one spend that much on groceries? Assuming there is one big ticket item on that receipt.

Nicole MacPherson said...

How frustrating and insanely expensive. I've never heard of a uniform costing so much money, unless it was maybe for hockey and included skates, padding, helmets, etc. But basketball? Isn't it just shorts and a tee?

Sandy said...

Not sure what happened before this, but it certainly sounds frustrating. There are always kids who sit on the bench more than others in all sports. But, I don't understand the $$ part of it. Paying to play on a team is not something I'm familiar with. I hope going forward things improve for you and your family.

Busy Bee Suz said...

That can't be for ONE uniform. It must be for several, right? Crazy.
My Coach had kids asking to be a part of his travel team, when they weren't up to par. He told them UP FRONT that they can move up playing time as they improve with practices, training, etc... but they knew it upfront.
This guy just doesn't sound to be on the up and up and I'm glad Reg is departing this team. Hoping for good stuff on the next one!

Your Costco bill. YIKES. it's about 500.00 more than mine, but you also have about how many more people in your home? 6? 8? 😳

Ernie said...

Ally - No mozzarella? That seems strange. This is why the situation with Worm is upsetting - we were paying to be part of a scout team - not part of a backup squad for him to use when his 'real' players were hurt. We tried for as long as possible to keep to keep the kids in local sports - felt that made the most sense. Then there was really not enough kids to field teams because they were all off doing travel.

Ernie said...

Pat - Sticking to the script was hard. I think someone should buy me an ice cream for making the effort.

I have NO idea what he was talking about with the uniforms. Was it $500 a player because it included warm up jackets and pants and a backpack? In complete contrast to his uniforms, Curly's team looks like a 70's throwback team. They look like they are a junky team who just organized at the last minute. It is laughable, because then they come out and destroy every team that they play.

Ernie said...

Sandy - Yeah, there is quite a bit leading up to this. We pay for Reg to play for this AAU team (and one for Curly too). The team plays in the Under Armor circuit and college coaches come to recruit players after watching the games. The expectation is that the kids get to play - maybe not all equal time, but fairly equal. This guy messed with us. Big mistake.

Ernie said...

Suz - I think the uniforms included warm ups and maybe a backpack (but I really don't think he got a new backpack this year), but still - they aren't exactly bedazzled in jewels or anything. If he ordered pricey uniforms, then that leaves me with WHY? Regular uniforms work just fine.

We said so many times, why wouldn't he just invite Reg, and other players who weren't measuring up, to play on a practice squad? Curly's team has a girl that wanted to play with them. She isn't up to par, but has been invited to practice with the team and just not play in the games. That's what we needed INFORMATION. Why not hold a tryout for the new season? Is having a conversation so hard? It's just so silly.

With everyone home from college, I cannot keep food IN THE HOUSE. So, I basically walked into Costco one day and said I'll take 4 of everything. Done. So far, it has lasted us a while. Praise the lord.

Ernie said...

Nicole - I'm out of order here. Yes, just shorts and a tank, but I think it probably included a warm up jacket - maybe a bag for the gear and warm up pants. I seriously doubt that it cost $500. Also, I seriously doubt that he doesn't make money on his teams. That is all kinds of wrong.

Kate said...

Good for you going mama bear on him! He sounds truly clueless. I'm so sorry that Reg has had to deal with him but I can only hope that at the end of all this, some of what you have tried to communicate to him will sink in. I can't help but think that Reg is learning valuable lessons too in conflict management and how to stand up for himself. But still, SOOOO incredibly frustrating especially factoring in the financial aspect, not to mention all of the emotional stress and time this has demanded.

Ernie said...

Kate - It sure was frustrating and I do hope that Reg has learned that we are here to support him, but also how important it is that he not let other people mistreat him. Between the high school team and the AAU team - it has been very time consuming.

Bijoux said...

Holy Smokes! That is some grocery receipt!!!

Ernie said...

Biloux - Right? I managed with one cart - I think I should've gotten an award just for that feat. Guess who was tired to running to the store MULTIPLE times a day?