6-1-2015: Camouflage hat/glove and one shoe left over the weekend. If they are yours, they are on the picnic table at the complex.
My wife hears things like this more often than I do, because many of you don’t know who she is. She tells me what you say. I have received... angry emails, full of “suggestions,” about who should be playing where and how I... lost that day’s game for the kids. I thought I’d write an open letter to all of you parents, even though I might never send it. I’ll start it this way: “I am a volunteer.”
I’m the one who answered the call when the league said they didn’t have enough coaches. I understand that you were too busy. I have some news for you. I’m not retired. I’m busy too. I have other children and a job, just like you do. Not only do I not get paid to do this – it costs me money. I see you walk up to the game 15 minutes after it started, still dressed for work. Do you know I’ve already been here over an hour? Imagine if you had to leave work early nearly every day. I’ve never seen you at a practice. I’m sure you’re plugging away at the office. But I’m out here, on the field, trying my best to teach these children how to play a sport they love, while my bank account suffers.
I know. I make mistakes. In fact, maybe I’m not even that great of a coach. But I treat the kids fairly and with respect. I am pretty sure they like coming to my practices and games, and without me or someone like me, there’d be no team for them to play on. I’m part of this community too and it’s no picnic being out here on this stage like this. It’s a lot easier back there with the other parents where no one is second-guessing you.
And I also know you think I give my son or daughter unfair advantages. I try not to. In fact, have you ever considered that maybe I’m harder on him than on the others? I’m sure he hears plenty of criticism at school from classmates, who hear it from you at home, about what a lame coach I am. And if, even unconsciously, my kids are getting a slight advantage because I know them better and trust their abilities, is that the worst thing in the world, considering the sacrifice I’m making? Trust me, I want to win too. And if your son or daughter could guarantee we’d do that, I’d give them the chance.
After this game is over, I’ll be the last one to leave. I have to break down the field, put away all the equipment and make sure everyone has had a parent arrive to pick them up. There have been evenings when my son and I waited with a player until after dark before someone came to get them. Many nights I’m sure you’ve already had dinner and are relaxing on the couch by the time I finally kick the mud off my shoes and climb into my car, which hasn’t been washed or vacuumed for weeks. Why bother cleaning it during the season? Do you know how nice it would be if, just once, after a game one of you offered to carry the heavy gear bag to my car or help straighten up the field?
If I sound angry, I’m not. I do this because I love it and I love being around the kids. There are plenty of rewards and I remind myself that while you’re at the office working, your kid is saying something that makes us all laugh or brings a tear to my eye. The positives outweigh the negatives. I just wish sometime those who don’t choose to volunteer their time would leave the coaching to the few of us who do."
Do I have to Volunteer?
RYFSA hosts camps, tournaments and special events that offer concessions & field/complex maintenance tasks to help keep registration fees down, defray tournament entry fees for our own teams, and to help cover facility and equipment maintenance and upgrade costs.
These activities require volunteer efforts to be successful. The volunteer requirement is 2 hours per registered player in the program but we do allow, although not encourage, buyouts for $100 per registrant.
A charge for the $100 Volunteer Fee will automatically be scheduled & charged to you at the end of the season if you do not complete your 2 DIBS hours, however, once the 2 hours of required volunteer work are completed, the $100 charge will be cancelled. All registrants must complete Volunteer work before 11/1/2015.
Do volunteers have choices or is a buyout available?
We do require a time commitment of 2 hours per registrant. There are a variety of volunteer times/activities but we realize that people have busy schedules and possibly multiple children involved in activities and it’s not always possible to donate time. To accommodate this, we do allow parents the option of a $100 buyout in lieu of their required volunteer hours. This allows us to hire replacement workers.
Head Coaches ONLY will receive their 2 hr. credit as they attend a mandatory coaches meeting, must pass a background check and concussion training. They are responsible for all equipment, uniforms and scheduling practice & tournament entries. We will however, let the Head Coach name ONE (1) Assistant Coach/Manager to receive their Dibs. NO EXCEPTIONS.
DIBS DO NOT INCLUDE: Score keeping, planning team events or travel, updating websites, sending emails, or occasionally helping with practice. Don't ask for Dibs unless the Head Coach approves it. If there are Co-Head Coaches, then that's it for Dibs for that team.