A letter to abusive coaches



Editor, Index-Tribune:

Since I have gone through many years of watching Little League, Babe Ruth and high school sports, I have forced myself to write this letter in the hope that it will be of value to all who want to teach, coach and be a role model to our children. As coaches and role models, you have no right to humiliate our kids, you have no right to scream at them, you have no right to bench them, game after game, only to destroy their self-worth.

You have no right to take our young boys to Hooters just because you have no respect for women.

You have no right to spit chewing tobacco in the drinking faucets that our kids drink out of. You have no right to make a scene over silly things that have no value, in front of young, inquisitive minds that look up to you.

You have no right to think that, since you have tenure, you can make our young athletes feel like crap after a losing game. You have no right! Be the coach that is fair, who cares about the future of our children and who stands up for what is right.

It is only a game, losing is part of learning and becoming a better person and athlete.

After watching years of abuse, it is disgusting to me to see such behavior from grown men. My uncle coached high school varsity for more than 28 years, and he would turn in his grave to see such behavior.

These are our children! We pay hard-earned money for them to be in your care. You need to show a sense of dignity and instruction so these kids can grow up and possibly coach kids with the same positive manner.

You should not coach with intimidation and humiliation, and you have no right to subject our young minds to Hooters after a game – what the heck are you thinking? Or are you?

I have seen high school boys come off a field in tears over being ridiculed and humiliated. Many simply quit because the abuse is simply too much. You have no right to do this to our children.

Lilly Mcdonald


  • Phineas Worthington

    Kudos Lilly McDonald. Sportsmanship matters and good, decent men and women teach and model it. I myself had a lot of insane screamers as coaches and I always appreciate the memories of the ones who were more positive promoting good, fair play and sportsmanship.

  • Justincase Weego

    Very good Lilly. I couldn’t have said that better. Yes, it’s only a game, and due to that fact, the competitiveness of some coaches gets out of control. It is unacceptable, and definitely a bad influence on the kids. Part of learning how to win, is learning how to lose with dignity and self respect. Thanks for your time.

  • John Smith

    Lilly, although some of your points are valid, you obviously don’t understand that when your kid joins a sport they must understand how competitive it gets. Coaches are there to teach kids how to play the game. Competition comes with the sport and it starts at a young age because that’s when a kids character comes out. If your kid can’t handle the competitive nature that comes with any sport, then they shouldn’t play. As you move up into babe ruth the coaches selected to coach are what the board feels are the best choices, same at any level. Sometimes they scrounge up dads because of parents like you who make it tough for organizations to find good coaches. If you think little league or babe ruth coaches are bad, you clearly haven’t seen how important and strict high school coaches have to be to prepare kids for college ball. As for the other part where the coaches take the kids to hooters, do you really think that the coaches would just go and take the kids against their will? What do you think a pre teen boy would say? No? I can assure you they would’ve called you to come pick them up if they really didn’t want to go or the coaches wouldn’t have gone if the kids just asked to go home. Quite frankly I think you are one of those parents who can’t handle having their kid not being the star of everything and won’t let them do anything you don’t approve of. Kids who can’t handle it in little league aren’t meant for sports anytime in their future and kids who are raised like that are just being set up for rebellion by their own parents. If you have a problem with any coach you should bring it up with them not ridicule them in the public paper, especially in a small town like Sonoma.

    • Phineas Worthington

      She did speak in generalities and did not name anybody. I think she did just fine. People need feedback.

  • I volunteer

    Your hard earned money doesn’t go into these coaches pockets. In fact Coaches in this valley don’t make a dime. Your money goes back into our beautiful fields, the nice uniforms that our kids get to wear and into the best equipment we can get. In fact we are blessed to have our kids play in this valley we are a lot more fortunate then most. If you want to make a change or a difference in these kids lives then you should volunteer your time and effort. Volunteer make a difference or don’t complain.

    • lilly mc donald

      I do!!!

      • I volunteer

        I tip my cap to you then. Thank you for volunteering your time. I as a volunteer appreciate going about things the right way. Not every volunteer is best at what they do and perfect. But at least there putting there best effort into teaching these kids in a positive manner and giving up there time in doing so. I know only the negatives were pointed out today but we must point out the positives as well. Sonoma has quality coaches from Little League to Babe Ruth and at the High School level.

    • Phineas Worthington

      Rather supercilious comment.

      • I volunteer

        Sorry that you took it that way. I do not think of myself as someone who thinks there better than everyone else. I make plenty of mistakes but I do try to approach everything in a positive manner. No one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes but to succeed in life you need to learn from your mistakes. You can not gain success without failing first. There are 30 something teams in little league, 10 teams in babe ruth and 3 levels of High School Baseball. There are tons of coaches in this valley going about things the right way. I want that to be out there that this is a baseball town and we are lucky to have what we have going here.

        • Phineas Worthington

          I coached in the past too so I admire the folks who do it well because working with kids is challenging. Lets just remember that everyone is free to comment, there are no prerequisites to do so.

  • Sports Supporter

    “Lilly”, maybe if you were supportive of your “young mind”, you would have been driving to/from the game, and therefore no opportunity to stop anywhere you deem unfit for your child.

    Do you know for a fact that ANYONE is chewing tobacco? There is an up and coming replacement product on the market, even used in professional sports. It contains no tobacco, and is only as harmful as your morning latte’. Check it out!


    A coach has no right to bench players? Since when? If not the coach, then who?

    • Phineas Worthington

      Your reading comprehension skills need work.