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BOTD Extra 23 August 2013 - The Ball's In Your Hands

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Long, long ago, in the days or your misspent youth, you were both a teacher and a coach. This week, the private school where one of your sons attends called you. One of their coaches had heart trouble over the summer, and he'll probably not be teaching this year... He definitely won't be coaching.

And yes, that leads exactly where you expect it would.

Because you're listed as a substitute teacher, and you've been a guest lecturer, at the public and private school, they can use you immediately, while the other options they're pursuing have to go through paperwork and background checks, so you agree to help out for at least the rest of the week.

You're mostly working with the middle school kids (7th and 8th grade - 12 and 13 year olds mostly). Among those boys are several who are friends of your boys, and to whom you're close. You talk to them privately before practice starts and warn them that you're Coach, not Uncle for the duration of practice.

They accept that just fine, and they help you set the tone of serious, hard work, but also working towards goals and looking for a bit of fun.

Unfortunately, one of the boys takes that last part a bit far.

Since you're mostly a soccer coach, you're starting with heavy drilling. As you're looking around, you see one boy, Ricky

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re-join the running boys. Looking in the direction from which he's coming, and considering the lack of sweat on him, there's no question that he'd just taken a bit of unsanctioned breaks.

The boys get water breaks every fifteen minutes, because of the hot weather, and you give the other boys theirs. When you confront Ricky, he doesn't have time to come up with a good story and ends up admitting what happened. You let him get his water break, then you put him on wind sprints while the other boys start passing/receiving drills (definitely more fun).

Once you have them started, you look back at Ricky, and he's gone again. A quick scan reveals he's decided to take another water break (maybe five minutes has passed, certainly not more than that).

You go over to him and instruct him to go to the locker room, shower, and dress. He's done for the day, and he'll need to talk to the head coach to see if he's still on the team. He gets upset, but you explain that this is voluntary, and you really don't feel like fighting with someone who doesn't want to participate. He whines a bit more, but finally leaves.

Day and night pass, and the next morning (this morning), you're called into the principal's office. Ricky is there, along with his father.

Before you even have a chance to brace for a fight, Ricky and his father both apologize to you. The father then explains that they talked to the head coach, but both the head coach and principal said it was your decision, so you had to reverse it. Ricky's father also informs you that he had a long talk with Ricky to inform him that team sports require maximum effort from everyone. Ricky had just been playing around and hadn't meant to cause trouble, but he hadn't realized how he was hurting the entire time.

On the other hand, Ricky's Dad continues, he had deliberately disobeyed his instructor, and after the long talk, Ricky had gotten a 'good whupping'.

After all this is summed up, Ricky says (obviously at his father's prodding), that he knows he screwed up, and that if you reverse this punishment, he'll deserve something else. The principal says it's up to you and he'll support or administer whatever you think fair.

What's fair to Ricky, to you, and to the whole team?

David M. Katz

Ricky plays but he still owes me some wind sprints.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


Yep he can do some extra laps, sprints and pushups under supervision and with the whipping he will have paid his dues to me and the team and got the excercise he was meant to get. I will not spare those details to his team if asked but it will up to Ricky whether they get to hear about the whipping

John Boy

he can rejoin, but he needs to show effort we can call it a trial run with some extra wind sprints that he still owes me.


I agree with everyone else.

He's apologized, his dad has whupped him, and the only thing "extra" he owes me are the wind sprints he was supposed to have been doing when he got sent home for slacking. It sounds like he's already had an earful, so I won't belabor the point beyond pointing out that if he fails to make an effort again, he'll have proven he's not a "team player" and he'll be off the team, no appeal next time.


Its a one off incident, its been dealt with. End of story.

Perhaps he was testing me?

I've been alerted to a potential problem but If I have any worth as a coach I'll be alive to the attitude of the rest of the team towards Ricky. I'll also be comparing his fitness level to that of the other boys and watching his level of commitment on the field.

Pi Beta

RIP 9 Jan 47 - 17 June 17
Any boy of his age deserves a second chance. Perhaps, however, if it looks as though he's going to get close to the Biblical seventy times seven (even just the seven), I might take a different view!

Stone Man

I'm in agreement with the posts so far.



I am curious scratch What happened with Ricky?




Last edited by LLALVA on Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:02 am; edited 1 time in total


Sorry, I'd meant to update this last night.

I did let Ricky rejoin the team. While I hinted strongly at the idea that he'd have to take licks, and while I did get him to admit that he'd been spanked in the principal's office before, I did agree with everyone else. He made up the wind sprints he'd been messing around on the day before, after everyone else had finished practice. As far as I know, he'll be working out with them again tomorrow afternoon.

Oh, and since the team managers were already on the field, I had to get Ricky's equipment for him. I had him get undressed while I was getting the pads, so I had a perfect look at his little rear. He'd been very impressed by the job his dad had done, but it was lily white by the time I saw it.

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