The team was winning few games, he played his best for his team. We told him that hard work pays off and that, he would be recognized for his efforts and talent.
League policy requires that as All Star selection approaches, the coaches are to submit their strongest players ACCORDING TO THEIR STATS. We found out that our son’s coach was to submit 4 names and, in his own words “put who I wanted to on there.” We asked him to validate his choices. He refused to. His only response was,“I did what I did and what’s done is done.”
The baseball commissioner explained that there is an unspoken expectation coaches adhere to policy and providing an unbiased listing of their strongest players.
While we understand that our son’s coach has put everyone in an uncomfortable position, it is incumbent upon the board to investigate and make every possible attempt to rectify the situation. At the time we learned of this, there was no formal list so we asked the baseball commissioner to have the coach substantiate his choices. If he could show that our son had not earned a position on the team, then we would be satisfied, but if the statistics showed that favoritism had played a part, there was still time to rectify it.
The commissioner asked us if we expected him to call a child who has already been told that he has made the team and tell him that he’s not on it after all.(Keep in mind, no child is officially on the team at this point.) We asked him if he expected us to tell our child that he wasn’t on the team even though he deserved to be, because his statistics were disregarded by his coach. He had no answer. He reminded us that part of his job is to look out for the kids. We reminded him that OUR child is one of the very children he should fight for him even if it might be unpleasant.
VASA board members are responsible for upholding the policies of the league and it behooves them to change their procedure for assembling the All Star teams. Perhaps the coaches should list each and every player on their team, ranking them according to their statistics. They should be required to bring their statistics books to the meeting so that discrepancies can be addressed immediately, instead of waiting until it’s too late.
If the current policy of allowing coaches to list only the players they want to remains unchanged, then undoubtedly the practice of submitting favorites will persist and Van Alstyne will continue to send All Favorites teams to tournaments, rather than All Stars teams.
It is with a truly heavy heart that we submit this, but we believe that coaching is a privilege not to be taken for granted. We believe that coaches are among the strongest influences on a young person's moral and ethical development. We believe that coaches must treat everyone equitably and sensitively. We believe that the relationship between coach and performer relies heavily on mutual trust and respect. We believe that the highest calling of a coach is to teach and model the character traits of honesty, integrity, respect, fairness, and personal responsibility. It is our solemn belief that 99% of the coaches and parents, who so generously give their time, money, heart and soul to these wonderful children, hold and adhere to the same values.
In our 8 years of experience with VASA, we are proud to say that we have not had a bad experience until this year. This coach’s outright show of favoritism is intolerable and is a disservice not only to our son, but to the kids unjustly chosen, to the league, to the All Star team and coaches (because they were not provided with the best players), to the parents and to the community.
It is time for dishonorable coaches to be called on the carpet and not swept under it.