I ran into one of my daughter's old basketball coaches a couple days ago. He coached her for 5 years in one of the leagues she played for. This was the last year that basketball was available to the girls and asked why she wasn't playing. I told him she just didn't enjoy it enough. She liked it, but didn't have the passion.
We really liked this coach. He was one of the good ones. He'd fool you by his looks, though. He's a big guy, a police officer, a high school football coach, doesn't smile very much, and has a mean look about him. He NEVER yelled at the girls. He went out of his way to find places to practice. He even has offered to take my daughter to the practices if we couldn't take her. I took him up on that a few times. His daughter played on the team and he told me that you just can't treat the girls like the boys on his football team. The only time I really saw him upset was when the coach or players from another team were being mean. Anyone should feel lucky to have a coach like this.
One team my daughter played basketball for had a mean coach. Mean was even an understatement. He screamed at the girls during the game. He would sub a girl out during the game, scream in her face about whatever she was doing wrong, then send them back out to play. One girl in particular was yelled at so much, that she use to go back out on the court and couldn't even think straight. When the games were over, his shirt would be drenched with sweat, and he wasn't even playing! Every parent didn't care for him. I tried to reassure my daughter that when he yelled at her, everyone felt bad for her. I also told her to use this as a learning experience. There are people like this in the world, unfortunately, and you just have to do the best to live through it. Don't take it personally.
My husband coaches the younger kids in baseball. He treated each kid with respect. He wanted the kids to have fun, and learn, too. He's had experiences with mean coaches. At the first Tball game, my husband asked the other coach if they wanted to pitch to the kids because his team was ready for it. They agreed, but the coach came up to him at the end of the game and said, in front of everyone, that he "strong-armed" him into pitching, and that he thought they were playing Tball (!). My husbands mouth fell open. He really tries hard to get along with everyone and was shocked at how this coach was talking to him. We even called the Tball commissioner after the game to see if pitching was OK. He reassured us that we were doing it perfectly right. You can practice hitting off the tees during the practices, and work your way into pitching to them.
Now, one more story, my son, luckily has had only great coaches. During basketball sign ups we knew of one coach who many people have said that's the ONLY team they DON'T want their son to be on. "Really?", I said. I knew this guy a little. He's very involved in boys sports. I've talked to him about how he thinks kids should be able to play more than one sport in high school if they want, and I agreed with him. Come to think of it, he DID tell me that the girls basketball teams aren't serious at all, only the boys are. And you're saying this to someone who is signing up both a girl and a boy? Well I saw him in action a couple weeks ago. My son's team played his team. My son had to guard his son. I noticed him pushing my son throughout the whole game. After the game my son said, "Did you hear him swearing at me?". "No, I didn't. Did his dad hear him?" "He had to have! Everyone heard him!" Weird, huh. I guess he's just the kind of dad who wants his son to be a big tough bully. Oh, and after the game, that boy came up to my son and told him to meet him out in the parking lot (as if to fight him). My son just told him, "Yah, OK."
So when I ran into this old basketball coach, he said he saw my son at one of the dances and asked if he plays football. My son is a big kid. He's even starting to lift weights. I told him no, but he wants to. He told me he's going to be the new football coach for the 7th and 8th grade team and he'll call us. I told him he's not much of a runner since he had a super bad case of pneumonia when he was 5. He told me that he could find a place for him. I thought that was pretty nice.
So why do some coaches feel the need to be so mean? Maybe they're not trying to be mean. Maybe that's just the way they are. They can't control their tempers. Feel lucky if your kids have one of those nice coaches.