Wednesday, September 15, 2010

To Speak Or Not To Speak...

So I'm a little annoyed tonight...Okay maybe just a hint more than annoyed and really perplexed on what to do!

J is an active member of his high school's FFA chapter and really does a lot of things and experiences a lot of things through FFA. He has been a member for 3 years now and truly LOVES it! He has even considered becoming an Ag teacher when he gets older so that he can share FFA with so many other students...

But J is also a football player...With football obviously comes team dedication, I mean this kid dedicated his entire summer to weights and football and has worked SO very hard to earn his starting position on the Varsity team.

You would think that as teachers and coaches at a mutual school they would encourage these kids to be involved with different high school activities whether they be sports or academic clubs. But nope that's not always the case...Especially not for J...

Last year in October J went to the national FFA convention for his very first time in Indianapolis and had a blast!! This trip was not all fun and games either, they had a girl from who lived just a few miles from our county and was in a different chapter die on the trip. She was well known and loved by our local kids. She had a heart condition and had unknowingly been infected with the H1N1 virus which then caused her heart to stop. Another kid not from our area at all fell from a ledge and lost his life. So this trip wasn't the funnest experience for him but none-the-less he is ready to go again this year.

Last year J was the only sophomore on the Varsity team and when he went on the trip his football coach was very livid. Actually livid enough to take J's starting position and move him down to JV. It was extremely hard as a parent to watch this happen because he never imagined in a million years that his coach would treat him that way. He did miss a game while he was gone on the trip and yes it was a game they lost. But it wasn't like they had a winning season, I mean their season total was 2-7, so it wasn't like he cost them the game! I might add those 2 wins were both when J was still playing Varsity ;) So maybe he did cost them the game?! HA HA just kidding!

Needless to say he lost a lot of respect for his coach after that. And then this coach was forced to resign and one of the reasons that happened was because of the way he treated the kids. He was very partial to some and not so much to the others. J had always been one of the "good" kids until that trip. So fast-forward to this year and J is again starting Varsity and really proving to be a great asset to his team. Our new head coach has been great thus far and I have had no complaints! The only thing J has mentioned is that he tends to use a lot of foul language at practice (I'm no angel either BUT I'm not sure that's right) and he doesn't give praise the way he claimed he would. He basically told these kids he's a motivator and wouldn't try and make them feel bad as a way to motivate. But on occasions it has happened. Which I told J that he can't expect it to be all roses, this guy is coming in to a group that needs a lot of guidance so sometimes things will be tense. After their game this past weekend and their WIN the coach was super towards them. The way I expect a coach to be, not complaining still while they had just won. He gave them all great words of encouragement and told J just something to work on but didn't make him feel stupid about it. To me that means alot!

SOOO Friday night at the football game J's Ag teacher comes up to me and says I told Coach B about J going to convention this year because J is afraid to talk to him about it thinking he'll get the same treatment as last year but this coach isn't *that* kind of guy. So I was kind of glad that his teacher had taken the initiative to push J along to tell coach. THEN today happened...

Getting a little peck on the cheek from sis after a nice win!!

J comes home this evening after practice and was pretty ticked. He said that after his weights class today coach B said to him "so I hear your thinking about going to the FFA convention this year" and J tells him yes he is considering it. So then Coach says "well just so you know if you make that decision, you'll lose your starting position and your playing time will be reduced BIG time...AND I totally agree with what the coach did to you last year, you deserved it for leaving your team" this discussion continued for a while with the coach basically saying those same things and J just saying "yeah okay"...OH MY GOSH...Are you SERIOUS?! Then the assistant coach says to J after school today "I hear your thinking about going to convention" J says yep thinking about it, coach Z says "well that could be a bad choice for you"...OMG!! Are you freaking kidding me!! Oh maybe I should throw in here that J will not actually even miss a game this year but he will miss 3 days of practice so they technically couldn't start him but he could still play after the clock started. UGHH!!!

So needless to say J has said that they can kiss his behind and he will quit football over this. This kid lives and breathes football! Just goes to show you how backing someone into a corner and threatening them will cause them to act! Seriously folks, I told J tonight that I am in agreement with the coaches about not leaving his teammates high and dry. They have only played 2 games this year but they have won both of them, already breaking their win records from the last 5 years at least! So I told him to imagine if JW their quarterback chose to leave and go on a trip thus leading to his ineligibility to play, he would be so disappointed because they wouldn't have a chance without him. So while I'm in agreement with the necessity of needing him to play I am NOT in agreement with how the coach went about it. Seriously to make him that mad that he wants to quit simply to prove *his* point...Not good...

I think the coach should have sat down with him and said all of those things in a non-threatening manner and J would have immediately thought of what is best for the team and chosen to not go on the trip. So I really feel like telling this guy, our coach that his method of communication outright sucks!! Especially to dredge up last years coach's vendetta! So that's my dilemma...To speak up or not to speak up...At this point I do not know what J's decision is going to be. Both the Hubby and I think he should stay home and do what he set out to do but yet I feel so bad that he has to miss a trip that means so very much to him!


  1. I'm speachless! What kind of example is that? Maybe the school's administrator should help him make this choice?? Sucks that he has to face such choices at this young age. School is supposed to be a positive learning experience!

  2. There seems to be a certain consistency in the coaching staff, "Play or else!" However, life is all about choices. Does FFA (whatever that is) come first in the choices? And is it a long term goal? If so the choice may be easy. Football is great, but he has what? Two more years of playing? In previous posts I read about multiple concussions. Are the effects from that worth continuing to play. What is the next head to head hit, brain damage, paralysis, or future Parkinson'S? Where J is in school at the moment is at the point in his life where he should be considering what he plans on doing for the rest of his life.

    Tough decisions, but decisions that he needs to make, now.

    Good luck!

  3. Hmmm the school my kids go to (public) they really work with kids that are in multiple activities. They don't penalize them for making a choice as long as it's a school / education related choice.

    I don't have advice for you.. but I hope all involved find an agreeable solution this tough issue.

  4. Well, you are certainly a more thoughtful person than I am. I can tell you that if a teacher/coach EVER threatened my kid like that I would have that sucker yanked in front of the school board ASAP.

    J goes to a relatively small school right? W.T.H. is wrong with these coaches that they think that their stupid sport is more important than anything else? The kids who attend small schools are notoriously involved with more than one activity and I have never heard of a coach or teacher giving a student an ultimatum. They may have laid out that facts-such as, if you have to miss practice for three days, you will not start for X amount of games. But to threaten a student? Absolutely uncalled for and inexcuseable.

    J has a future with his involvement with FFA, unless he plans on playing in college, football isn't going to do anything for his future.

    Want me to come down there and give that ignorant coach a piece of my mind? I'm really good at reaming people out. I bet I could make him cry! ;)

  5. Ian~ Yes he has this year and next year left to play. He has had a concussion in football but actually the others were in basketball...We have pretty much ruled out concussion for the last episode and figured out it was his blood sugar. Ever since we have increased his protein etc before a game he's had no problems like before. But none the less it's a dangerous sport and at any point he could be injured for sure! FFA means a lot to him, he said either way he chooses he will be disappointed :(

    BEC~ Yes please :) I am usually very quick to pounce but I want to make sure I'm not over reacting and becoming smothering LOL!! J definitely has a future with FFA probably more so than football! It is SO very true that small town school kids do over extend themselves into multiple activities which can be a good thing or a bad thing...I think it's ridiculous to apply punishment for missing practice on something like this! And I could totally understand if it was just for *that* game but not the rest...I'll update in my post about what happened today :)


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