Last month

U12 - Dropped player Conundrum

Hi everyone,

I have been struggling with this issue for days and I'm looking for anyone who may have a similar experience (although I doubt it) or some advice.

Firstly, I must say, I've led board meetings with far less fuss and those can be brutal!

I manage an U12 boys team. We reached semi finals last comp.

One player, whose mother believes he is NBL level, brought in a school friend who I was told is a quick ball stealer. He is 9.

First game he chewed his fingers while players ran around him.
I encouraged him, motivated him and the other boys did the same.

Another game, this kids' friend spent the game talking to him on court, in an attempt to coach him during the game. We did lose this game and the other boys were disappointed.

Another game, the boys actively passed to the new kid who would then pass to opposing team.

The skills aside, his behaviour was undesirable. He would tackle players and said multiple times he wanted to bash everyone or kill them.

I had spoken to him gently, explaining we don't do that. I continued to encourage and dedicated time solely to working on his ball skills, whilst the rest of the team worked autonomously.

The boys on the team were expressing their frustrations.

Then came the final straw. The NBL mum and new mum took to our group chat raising concerns the team isn't pro enough. The players aren't passing the ball, the new kid's confidence is dropping because of the other boys.

I contacted both mums but no answer. Their comments were upsetting other parents and I began receiving sms from them.

I left a message for new mum to call me regarding her child's behaviour (i was as friendly as possible).

She took to group chat again and said she wanted to speak directly to other parents were accusing her son of bullying (I never used those words). She removed herself from the group saying she didn't want the drama. Still wouldn't speak to me.

After much consultation with parents, stadium, various forums etc I notified her in writing that he was released from the team. I encouraged her to put him in the new under 10 team (note: he turns 10 31st Dec) that I had sourced with help from stadium. I also noted that he would benefit from being with younger, less experienced players so that he has more success on court while building his skills. This in turn will boost his confidence.

A different stadium member later called me - now say he can't join U10. They spoke with the mum who is claiming kids' mental health will now be affected (even though she said she hasn't told him he's off the team).

Stadium have said it's up to me but gave me the weekend to think on it.

Meanwhile, the team just had the most phenomenal game. Their cohesive play was oustanding and sportsmanship stellar. Parents and kids were all positive. As it should be. Yes the win was a huge margin but it was everyone's attitudes that stood out.

If I ask the player back I know the other parents will feel uneasy (although the mum offered to stay in her car outside) and I know the boys will be upset with losing (not to mention tolerating the behaviour). I am trying to do the right thing by the other kids on the team also.

If I stand firm, my concern is that the stadium will be upset with me and say that I'm breaching Basketball Australia's ethos. Encouragement and inclusiveness. The boys on the team will continue happy but I may be told to leave (I don't know)

If you've read this far without passing out, you are truly skilled and I thank you!

Any help is warmly appreciated :)

Topic #52044 | Report this topic

Last month

100% the kid's gotta go.

This is not a case of keeping the kid out of inclusivity purposes. They're being disruptive and detrimental to the overall performance of the team, and the well being of the other players is going to be affected when you've got a nutter saying he wants to bash everyone etc.

The mum will probably throw a hissy fit, but at the end of the day you have a greater responsibility to the collective than to a single individual who is clearly beyond reproach for the levels of responsibility you are obliged to provide.

Reply #942750 | Report this post

Last month

If you are a volunteer and it's stressing you - walk away

Reply #942753 | Report this post

Last month

Agree with Chewy - team harmony is critical. Better one unhappy parent and kid than 6 or 7 of them and a coach who walks away.

And it sounds like the kid needs a reality check which his Mum may never have given him. I know he's only 10 and is finding his way in the world but ... better he learns about life early and realises that there are boundaries, so that he can develop resilience.

Reply #942756 | Report this post

Last month

We are talking about domestic, right?

If you cannot handle a disruptive kid at that level then maybe you should be the one removing yourself. I'd say try U16 because at least at that level the ones still playing want to be there instead of being forced to be there.

Reply #942761 | Report this post

Karma Basketball  
Last month

Hi @chaoscoordinator,

You wrote that you MANAGE the team.

So are you the Team MANAGER or the Team COACH.

If you are the MANAGER ... it is not your problem. It is the COACH'S responsibilty to decide who they put on the court and when.

If a parent has an issue with this, you can direct them to speak to the Coach.

If you are the COACH ... how you handle this issue is dependant on what your primary goal is for the team. If it simply to foster participation and development then you manage the players as best you can. If it is to win as many games as possible in order to make and win finals, then the team is priortised over any individual player.

I've been a Team Manager and observed both sides of the coin dealing with "difficult" players. In all cases, when the mantra has been Team Needs OVER Individual Player Needs, the team has been successful.

Pretty clear cut afaic. Leave it to the Coach. And if you are the Coach, then Team takes priority.

If a parent complains, advise them to take up a Coaching or Team Manager role. That usually shuts most of them down pretty quickly.

Reply #942854 | Report this post

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