Beware The Green Death!

As we all know, there are bad coaches out there who don’t have perspective or a long term view of a player’s development. They don’t get that at younger ages we should be primarily concerned with developing foot skills and giving kids the tools they need for more competitive soccer later. What some mistakenly take as some political statement about ‘everybody wins’ is really ‘everybody gets a chance to develop’. The irony in all this is the non competitive environment when kids are younger is mostly there to help them develop into much more competitive players later.

So it’s not a surprise when stories surface about ultra competitive coaches screaming at 5 year olds to ‘take one for the team’. But even then you can stumble across stuff that just makes you go ‘Wow!’. Let me introduce you to the coach of the ‘Green Death’, who has caused a huge uproar in a northeastern soccer league.

Here we have Michael Kinahan, the new coach of a group of U8 girls for Scituate Soccer Club in Massachusetts, introducing himself to his new parents. Now, this league seems to start at U8, so these parents are opening their email and excited that their daughter will soon play, and wondering what their new coach is like. Here is their introduction from their new coach, welcoming them to the ‘Green Death':

Congratulations on being selected for Team 7 (forest green shirts) of the Scituate Soccer Club! My name is Michael and I have been fortunate enough to be selected to coach what I know will be a wonderful group of young ladies. Chris Mac will also be coaching and I expect the ever popular Terry to return to the sidelines. Our first game will be Saturday April 4 at 10:00AM. There will be a half hour of skills followed by a 1 hour game, so total time will be 1.5 hours. All games will be played on the fields in the front of the High School. Each player will be required to wear shin guards and cleats are recommended but not required. A ball will be provided to each player at the first meeting, and each player should bring the ball to games and practices. There is no set practice time allotted for the U8 teams, but I will convene with the coaches to determine the best time and place. If there are cancellations due to rain, all notices will be posted via the Scituate Soccer Club website, no calls will be made (though I will try to send an email). Attached is the Schedule and Code of Conduct. After listening to the head of the referees drone on for about 30 minutes on the dangers of jewelry (time which I will never get back), no player will be allowed to play with pierced ears, hairclips, etc. We used to tape the earings, but that practice is no longer acceptable. Please let me know if your child has any health issues that I need to be aware of. My home phone is XXX XXX XXXX, my cell number is XXX XXX XXXX, and I check my email frequently. According to my wife, my emails get too wordy, so for those of you read too slowly, are easily offended, or are too busy, you can stop here. For the others……

OK, here’s the real deal: Team 7 will be called Green Death. We will only acknowledge “Team 7″ for scheduling and disciplinary purposes. Green Death has had a long and colorful history, and I fully expect every player and parent to be on board with the team. This is not a team, but a family (some say cult), that you belong to forever. We play fair at all times, but we play tough and physical soccer. We have some returning players who know the deal; for the others, I only expect 110% at every game and practice. We do not cater to superstars, but prefer the gritty determination of journeymen who bring their lunch pail to work every week, chase every ball and dig in corners like a Michael Vick pit bull. Unless there is an issue concerning the health of my players or inside info on the opposition, you probably don’t need to talk to me. Coach MacDonald has been designated “good guy” this year.

Some say soccer at this age is about fun and I completely agree. However, I believe winning is fun and losing is for losers. Ergo, we will strive for the “W” in each game. While we may not win every game (excuse me, I just got a little nauseated) I expect us to fight for every loose ball and play every shift as if it were the finals of the World Cup. While I spent a good Saturday morning listening to the legal liability BS, which included a 30 minute dissertation on how we need to baby the kids and especially the refs, I was disgusted. The kids will run, they will fall, get bumps, bruises and even bleed a little. Big deal, it’s good for them (but I do hope the other team is the one bleeding). If the refs can’t handle a little criticism, then they should turn in their whistle. The sooner they figure out how to make a decision and live with the consequences the better. My heckling of the refs is actually helping them develop as people. The political correctness police are not welcome on my sidelines. America’s youth is becoming fat, lazy and non-competitive because competition is viewed as “bad”. I argue that competition is good and is important to the evolution of our species and our survival in what has become an increasingly competitive global economy and dangerous world. Second place trophies are nothing to be proud of as they serve only as a reminder that you missed your goal; their only useful purpose is as an inspiration to do that next set of reps. Do you go to a job interview and not care about winning? Don’t animals eat what they kill (and yes, someone actually kills the meat we eat too – it isn’t grown in plastic wrap)? And speaking of meat, I expect that the ladies be put on a diet of fish, undercooked red meat and lots of veggies. No junk food. Protein shakes are encouraged, and while blood doping and HGH use is frowned upon, there is no testing policy. And at the risk of stating the obvious, blue slushies are for winners.

These are my views and not necessarily the views of the league (but they should be). I recognize that my school of thought may be an ideological shift from conventional norms. But it is imperative that we all fight the good fight, get involved now and resist the urge to become sweat-xedo-wearing yuppies who sit on the sidelines in their LL Bean chairs sipping mocha-latte-half-caf-chinos while discussing reality TV and home decorating with other feeble-minded folks. I want to hear cheering, I want to hear encouragement, I want to get the team pumped up at each and every game and know they are playing for something.

Lastly, we are all cognizant of the soft bigotry that expects women and especially little girls, to be dainty and submissive; I wholeheartedly reject such drivel. My overarching goal is develop ladies who are confident and fearless, who will stand up for their beliefs and challenge the status quo. Girls who will kick ass and take names on the field, off the field and throughout their lives. I want these girls to be winners in the game of life. Who’s with me?

Go Green Death!

Just wow.

Needless to say the parents freaked out, and the league has relieved this coach of his duties (or he resigned – I’ve seen both reported). The coach insists this was all tongue in cheek, but like Dr Webb, who feels Soccer Is Ruining America, this guy isn’t very good at it. And lest you think ‘Yeah this guy was just trying to be funny’, well, no. He was serious. This story quickly got regional media attention, both in the Boston Herald, and local TV stations. The local FOX station did a five minute segment on this, and in talking with league officials, this coach was so hard on the refs in a previous year, one of them quit. You can watch that segment here:

The Boston Herald article includes some additional info from the coach, and a league board member:

Kinahan told the Herald last night his letter was a mix of “suburban satire” and a challenge to compete.

“I stand by my comments. This isn’t two hours of free babysitting,” Kinahan said.

Scituate Youth Soccer board member Chris Park said the preseason letter may have been “tounge-in-cheek,” but saying he was going to challenge referees – some 12 years old – was inappropriate.

“It’s not a joke,” said Park. “He chewed out a 12-year-old so bad last year she said she won’t referee anymore.”

So tongue in cheek or not (and clearly from his reaction it wasn’t), this coach was known for problems in the past, which he even alluded to in his email. Glad to see one more coach with zero perspective will be on the parent sideline, though I’m sure he’ll go to some other club and try to coach there. What I’m curious about, though, is if a coach chewed out a referee so bad that they quit, why was he still coaching? This is such a problem in youth soccer – problem coaches that most people know about continue to coach because the leagues don’t want to take action. They hope they can ‘contain’ the problem, until it blows up in their face. I’ve seen this firsthand.

What do you all think? Have any similar horror stories to tell? The funny thing is, some of what this guy says is true, though how he says it is borderline psychotic. There’s no reason to coddle kids and make it out like soccer isn’t a contact sport as the players get older. But these are six and seven year old girls, with ribbons in their hair wanting to learn how to play, not eat red meat. There absolutely are issues with how referees sometimes officiate girls differently than boys, where parents are led to believe by some leagues that all competition is bad, that we should coddle kids until they’re in HS. But this clearly is not the way to accomplish any of that. You build a team and you develop your players the best you can. You start out introducing them to the basic skills and making sure they have lots of fun. Over time you slowly clue them (and their parents) into the fact that if they pursue competitive soccer, it gets rougher, requires more commitment, and winning starts to matter more. But it still is fun. You try to gradually (I’m talking years here, not at U8), expose them to the faster more physical style of play they’ll encounter. But dropping the bomb on a bunch of parents of six and seven year old girls, what was he thinking? Clearly he wasn’t.

H/T to Bar Stool Sports who first publicized this (Not Really Safe For Work) Found via Twitter (@Dwatson783)

UPDATE: Via (@ToddSullivan) here is the coach’s resignation letter (Not Really Safe For Work) to his team where he insists this was all in good fun and he was just being funny. Long time readers know I’ve written about the fight to remove competition from youth soccer and how we need to strike the right balance since kids need to learn how to compete and deal with pressure as they get older. Some of the points he makes aren’t far from what many have thought, myself included at older age levels, but how can he have expected a bunch of new soccer parents to take this well? The original email aside, clearly there were issues with this coach. Coaches who berate teenagers trying to learn how to referee have no place on the sidelines, regardless of their humor. Safety measures are put in place for a reason – youth soccer is a contact sport and I’ve seen earrings, taped over, that get jabbed into the side of the head from contact and bleed profusely. I’ve seen kids who aren’t very aggressive at age 6 or 7 stick with soccer and become stars, but all too often they quit because they get sidelined by coaches who just want to win, not develop players.

Do I agree with some sentiments behind his letter? Sure. Hard work, determination, and being pumped up to play are great. I’ve told my U12s to stop eating McDonalds so much, especially right before practices. Building a tight knit team can be a wonderful thing. But sarcasm or not, there were enough sentiments between the lines of that letter, humorous or not, that would set off alarm bells for any decent DOC. I’ve seen plenty of instances where the PC police ruin things for us and our kids over something silly. In this case? I think this soccer league did themselves a favor.

And honestly? Regardless of what this coach really thinks, he acted with blatant disregard to his players, their parents, and how they would react to this. He attracted national media attention to a group of 6 and 7 year old girls who just want to play soccer and whose parents suddenly had to struggle with what to do, threaten to pull their kids, debate sticking it out, etc. The kids just want to play and this coach, either trying to make a joke (and failing), or trying to make some political statement, did so at the expense of a group of girls who just want to play soccer. For that reason alone, he shouldn’t be coaching, regardless of his views or badly written humor.

UPDATE #2: A number of parents have spoken out in support of Coach Kinahan over at Wicked Local. H/T to Your Kid’s Not Going Pro who had his own satorical take on the Green Death and the reaction of past parents.

Leave a Reply

  1. Wow! That is hilarious! I think if I got an email like that my 8 year old girl wouldn’t be playing either.

    What makes a person think like that is what I want to know? Glad the league made the smart move and removed him from coaching.

  2. It has to be tongue in cheek. There’s elements in there that he clearly wants, wins, practices that are physically demanding, that these will be footballers not China dolls, real cheering and support from engaged fans, for soccer moms to be less yuppie, and for the team to comprise healthy kids who eat right. But, it’s written in an over-the-top style.

    For example, the following cannot be serious:

    “(excuse me, I just got a little nauseated)”

    “(but I do hope the other team is the one bleeding)”

    “I argue that competition is good and is important to the evolution of our species and our survival in what has become an increasingly competitive global economy and dangerous world.”

    “…and while blood doping and HGH use is frowned upon, there is no testing policy. And at the risk of stating the obvious, blue slushies are for winners.”

    “… uncercooked red meat”

    But, yeah, it all comes across as a psychotic episode and he completely misunderestimates his target audience of U8 kids and their yuppie parents. I’ve never seen a coach introduce himself and the team that way at any age. I can see why he was relieved of his duties.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  3. Wow. My daughter used to have a coach that wrote emails almost as long, but not *quite* as psychotic. Then again she was 13, not 8.

  4. I am a parent whose child was coached by Mr. Kinahan last yr.

    Lets all take a deep breath here. For those that dont recognize the humor in his email, you are certainly missing the mark and over reacting (agreed that this dry sense of humor is not appreciated by everyone).

    Firstly, this is an email that went to the parents – not the children. Although this is the first introduction to the coach (and done by email and where body language, tone of voice, and humor are lost in words as most emails are), one only has to go to a game to see he really does care and motivates the team with a great sense of comradery – more so than many other teams across all sports I have watched over the years. Granted coaches have different sytles in doing so but this seemed to hit the mark last year with all the parents supporting the team and cheering our little girls.

    Shame on you parents who brought this to the board without giving him a chance to go to a practice and/or talk to parents such as me. Many of you take for granted the sacrifice we coaches make, (I have volunteered for 10 years now), all unpaid and have to listen to parents gripe and moan about their children to us. To those of you, I implore you to get up and volunteer and not criticize those that do.

    If ever once he would have stepped over the line, as a coach and parent, I would have been the first to react. That also stands true for the harrassment of any other player or referee for that matter. All that was said was in good fun and not meant to hurt. If it did it was not intended nor meant that way.

    For those of you that expresses an opinion here today, save it unless you know him. It is unfair and not right what you and some parents of scituate have placed judgement on without knowing the whole story.

    Do you see any of the parents from last year protesting, blogging, contacting the board or media? I havent seen anything but maybe I am not in the flow. If I am correct, doesn’t that tell you something?

  5. I’ve seen coaches who were brought up on disciplinary charges and sanctioned because of their inappropriate behavior, supported to the ends of the earth by some parents while loathed by others. You quickly learn in youth soccer that parent support is not necessarily indicative of a coach’s behavior or their suitability for coaching. We all appreciate different coaching styles and leagues, for the most part, tolerate what they can while trying to maintain a baseline of ‘being on the same page’. But you can’t fault parents for flipping out when their first exposure to this coach was an email like this, which lame attempt at humor aside, made very clear some deep rooted beliefs in what he expected the girls to do and how he would likely behave. I don’t want my daughter coddled or sheltered from pressure and contact, but I’d have yanked my daughter off this team too – why? Because the coach showed a severe lack of judgement in sending an email like this. All of us who coach get a feel for our parents and treat them differently once we get to know them. But right out of the gate? Sorry – he could be on the way to sainthood and he still was wrong to send something like this and expect the reaction to be any different. As I said above – it wasn’t fair to the players, who just want to play.

  6. Well,

    People can certainly make judgments based on initial contact and communication. I think it’s as simple as this: he didn’t know his audience, got his message wrong, and he lost the job.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  7. Many a truth are said in jest (or something like that). I agree with Mike here, bad judgment all around from former coach K. Having coached coed U5, U6, U7 and now U8 this spring, a coach does have to communicate with parents and get them on board philosophically but coach K did it all wrong. I especially don’t like his treatment of a youth ref; absolutely uncalled for, esp. at this level. Sorry cwalk your daughter’s former coach needs a lesson in restraint.

  8. Michael and I grew up reading Mad magazine, National Lampoon, and the Onion. The letter is in the same vein as those publications. It was written as a satire. Mike is a great dad, great coach and a great brother. To those of you who found his letter offensive I suggest you purchase a sense of humor and stop taking things so seriously. I wish that I could have sent that letter to the parents of the kids I coached in our youth soccer league. Right on Bro, you da man!

  9. Gerrard, with due respect to your brother, who may be an excellent soccer coach, and accepting that he intended to be satirical, what was the point of the letter? I have no patience for the Starbucks/granola/Ughs group of parents either (I have some stories on that front, as do most of us who coach young girls) but what was Michael trying to convey and achieve here?

  10. 33 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide; 2 million will die this year. The unemployment rate in the US is at 8.1%. 4 children die every day from child abuse and most of them are under the age of four. LIGHTEN UP FOLKS, WE NEED TO LAUGH. I’m with the coach and his brother, Gerard, appreciating the sarcasm of National Lampoon and the Onion (not to mention Despair.com) I’m a 60 year-old grandmother and I think the letter’s a riot. Okay, maybe not the best judgment, but they could have met with the coach and straightened everything out. The mocha half-caf latte sippers were pi##ed off because he exposed them!

  11. I have to tell you, as a parent of a 6 & 8 year old, I would absolutely love to have my kids play on team Green Death! Are you kidding me that people got outraged over a clearly satirical letter?! It sounds like the Town of Scituate needs to lighten up! The core values espoused in the letter are values that all parents and children should be striving for. Perhaps they don’t keep score in this league either. God forbid you actually teach the children that life is about winning and losing. They need to learn both facts of life. Not in a harsh way, but in a way that helps them to develop their character. They need to learn about what it means to be a team player and how that one life lesson can help them throughout their entire life. They need to learn to fall down, get bumps, bruises, and bleed a little to learn how to get back up. You fall down 7 times and get up 8!!! I commend the coach on what he was truly trying to do – inject some fun and humor (for the parents) into the youth soccer process. If he offended you – I hope that I run into you someday. I will make sure that the Green Death traditions are carried forth. Great job coach!!!! Let me know when you return to soccer so I can sign my kids up.

  12. I don’t think this is an issue of if the email was funny or not. The issue is….was it appropriate? The answer is no.

    As the President of a local soccer club, I applaud the actions of the board involved. Sometimes you have to make tough decisions to make sure you do what is best for the club and the kids involved.

    Clubs work hard to brand their image with the community. Unfortunately, this email takes away from that image because you know that the majority of the people that view this story and all the media coverage will think the coach is out of line.

    Is it fair? Maybe, maybe not. Who said life was fair. :)

    However, I’d like to know more about the incident involving the referee that would not come back to ref after having a game with that coach. I find that a more serious offense than the email.

    In closing, I’d like to state the following:

    1) I’ve been involved with youth soccer for over 10 years
    2) I’m originally from New England, so I understand the sarcastic sense of humor.

    Thanks!

  13. When did sarcasm become an excuse for inappropriate behavior? For all of you who want your kids playing for such a coach, come talk to me when they sit on the bench while faster kids play so they can ‘Win’ because ‘Losing is for losers’ and god forbid your kid decides to referee and has to endure the heckling of a grown man on the sidelines telling them they don’t know what they’re doing (duh! They’re trying to learn) Then tell me how we all need to purchase a sense of humor. Thanks – I have one. I’m all for pushing kids to play hard and preparing parents for the unexpected parts of youth soccer (contact!). But there’s also no place for referee abuse in soccer, which this coach clearly believes in. There’s also a reason safety rules are put in place. People whine and complain about various rules in youth soccer – guess what – they’re there for the safety of YOUR children and most often because kids got hurt previously. Is it REALLY a big deal for girls to take earrings out before they play – so much that we have to undermine the authority of the soccer league *you’re working for*, volunteer or not on the first day? Oh and you want to know the real reason I’d never have my kids play for a coach such as this? Because it’s clear from day one, he wants ZERO input from the parents. He claims to want to build a family or cult as he says, and that can be great, but he also makes clear parents are NOT to speak with him. So I think his depiction as a cult is appropriate – the exalted leader shall dictate from on high how it’s going to be and parents have no place to say anything about it. The sarcasm is so badly written, it’s easy to see through it to the underlying philosophies this coach has and parents are smart to want nothing of them.

  14. Wow. Some passion in here.

    I actually don’t think the coach honestly meant what he said about picking on refs, although I read that a board member said a ref said she quit reffing because of this coach. I don’t talk to refs during games I coach, so none have quit because of me, but it is quite common (not right but common) to see coaches react to a ref’s call. Our refs fill out match reports and the league follows up with coaches who need rebooting–happened twice or thrice last fall, I think.

    I don’t really think the coach honestly meant that he had serious issues with the earring policy. My feeling is the policy is overblown, too, and I’ve never seen an earring injury–players occasionally show up with studs in and when I take them and put them in my pocket or bag everyone forgets about them til the next time I put earrings there. I’ve seen broken collar bones, arms, various strains and sprains, but never an earring injury.

    However, I also don’t think the coach’s email was appropriate, and I don’t see how he could have expected new parents or soccer parents new to the team with 6-7 year old kids to be happy with it.

    I don’t think this issue is about coaching style or humour. The first few messages to your team set tone, expectations, and initial impressions. I think it’s as simple as this:

    he didn’t know his audience, got his message wrong, and he lost the job.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  15. I coached in Scituate for several years at the U8 and U10 level and am now coaching U14 girls in another state. I do not know this coach, but know the program well. At the U8 level, the Scituate Soccer Club stresses skills training, and fun. No official score is kept (Although the kids know the score, who scored, and what their record is) and usually name the team themselves. I have seen the yellow bannanas, the purple monkeys, and my favorite the blue sailors (Scituate High’s colors and nickname). In my experience it was typical in Scituate for about a quarter of the kids to ask for a certain coach, and then everything else was up for grabs.

    I am guessing Mr. Kinahan was coaching this year because his daughter was on the team and no other parent stepped up to the plate. I was surprised to read that there was a problem with Mr. Kinahan verbally abusing the referees (who are 12 – 14 yo kids), and was coaching again. He must be pretty good with the kids if the Club let him back. That being said, if what Chris Park said was true about the problems with the refrees, the Club was wrong letting him coach this year. The problem was compounded by Mr. Kinahan’s idiotic email to parents he never met before. Finally, to Mr. Kinahan’s credit and to the shame of the rest of the parents, he volunteered to coach the kids. Recognizing that the sooner it was over, the sooner the kid’s could forget about it, Mr. Kinahan did the proper thing and resigned. Unfortunately his daughter is going to be reminded of this incident the rest of her life. I bet she does have a sense a humor, and finally, whenever anyone google’s “Green Death” this story, the Scituate Soccer Club and Mr. Kinahan will be front and center.

    Good luck to the Team, Club and Coach Kinahan.

  16. It’s a shame that a coach like that had to be let go. From reading some of the comments above from parents with children on his previous teams, the man’s email was very clearly in (poor) humour, and he was a wonderful coach.

  17. Bad sarcasm to an unknown audience and poor timing aside…I’m wondering why no one has commented about the parents on the sidelines that are described to a “t” in the e-mail. We all know those PARENTS on the sidelines that share this attitude but instead of writing e-mails about it, they scream it out from the stands. The pressure to “win” is coming not only from over the top coaches, but from inside the home. I have sat in the stands of countless small town sporting events and heard the comments made by ridiculous parents either about the judgment of the referee or the play of the team that have left me “a little nauseated.” From what I have read, most parents in this forum are not what I have described here, but we need to seriously evaluate the way youth sports are set-up in this country. I have worked with youth for many years in various ways and have seen the tool it can take not only physically, but emotionally on a teenager when the pressure to “be the best” is impressed upon them so hard that they begin to lose sight of anything else important in life. Let’s not forget that youth sports are for YOUTH, not professional athletes. The chances of someone making it from high school into a division one college for athletics is already a low percentage not to mention the transition from college to pro is even lower. That sounds cruel maybe, but it’s true. I love the NCAA commercials that thousands of student athletes will go pro in something other than sports. Youth sports and the pressure that comes with them are becoming detrimental to the development of today’s teenagers. I say that and I LOVE SPORTS. I pray that we will ALL come to grips with that.

  18. Well said John, though parent behavior is often a product of their coach. Go up to any soccer match and watch the coach for ten minutes. Then if the match gets close (and sometimes even if it is not) watch the parents – you’ll usually see a mirror image of the coach. Not always, as parents certainly can be ill behaved even though they have a quiet coach on the other side. But coaches who yell at refs, etc will usually have parents doing the same thing.

    I’ve heard many long time coaches say that the parents are adults and are responsible for their own behavior. Not hardly. A coach who makes clear to parents what is acceptable and what is not “Cheer, encourage, don’t address the ref, don’t coach” will usually have a well behaved sideline. Parents look to the coaches for direction just as much as the kids do.

  19. It is too bad that you feel the need to crucify someone who has a different approach than you, especially at the expense of ideals and values you both support.

  20. Nobody is “crucifing” this coach. That’s a cop-out kind of comment….right along with “you don’t know him”.

    Folks….it’s all about common sense. Unfortunately, I believe there was no common sense used in this situation by this coach and his email.

    However, the coach did the right thing by resigning…although his resignation letter had a lot to be desired. The did what was best for the team and the club.

    I just hope he learned from this experience.

  21. You’re right in that I don’t know him, but if that means I’m not entitled to have an opinion, please enlighten me as to why the same argument does not apply to you.

    People have opinions, they’re not always the same. I think that’s at the core of this issue — EVERYONE has opinions on kids’ sports, and what I was expressing in my original post was my opinion that it is unfortunate for a seemingly well-intentioned coach and his team to be dragged into a national debate and made examples of. To publicly belittle someone on the basis of assumptions is what I consider ‘crucifying.’

  22. Guys, The Coach is not perfect. From all accounts he was great with the kids and stepped up to the plate and coached the team. Kudos.

    However, he reportedly berated young referees and jested about it an an inappropriate e-mail. He turned his team, his club and Town into a laughing stock and a national story because he could not stop typing.

    Not only did his first email make the news, but his resigination letter did not stop at oops I am sorry, it went on to continue to put the spot light on his very own words. These are 6 and 7 year old girls in a great little town. The focus of the SSC is the kids, not mom and dad and not the coaches, unfortunately he forgot this.

    Finally Amanda, I have no idea what you are talking about. Both the league directors and the coach himself where quoted that he interacted with the young referees in appropriately. One thing the Club takes seriously is coaches and kids berating young referees. If where not that he was a good guy, was great with the kids, and that some lazy parents did not volunteer to coach, he would never had seen the pitch this year. There is NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING that is worth heckling and berating young referees about in U8 soccer. The coach did write “My heckling of the refs is actually helping them develop as people.”

  23. Give me a break! The email was a shot at the soft state of US youth sports and how everyone has to be a winner. No one can lose. Kinahan was rubbing these parential yuppie noses in that – the guy obviously has a kid on the team. I doubt he is a Nazi – just long winded.

  24. Great post – this guy has a very militaristic view of soccer which overlooks the role of graces, passing, and footskills in the offensive gameplan. I do not agree with the competitive/skill development dichotomy, though, because the reality is that the two go hand-in-hand – improved footskills and soccer sense means improved results.

  25. Develop as people? Is this the guy that parents want as a role model for their kids? Screaming at beginning referees at an 8 year old soccer level? While we’ll never know the exact circumstances, based on both coaching and reffing experience most youth coaches(and fans) have a poor understanding of rules (even the simplest ones) and would definitely take a back seat to beginning refs that both play the game and have taken classes to become certified. Aside from impeding the refereeing of games(and there should be a zero tolerance policy in place for this), the majority of these tirades are erroneously based on misinformation of rules.
    When you write an email to parents which has motives that can’t even be determined(ie:sarcasm or actual opinion) you leave yourself open to everything that has occurred. If sarcasm, this needs to be sent in different form as an editorial in a different setting. If actual opinion, the guy has no place coaching young children and deserves every bit of this firestorm.
    His resignation letter speaks volumes. The letter is all about him. When you have to dissect and explain 30% of what you say or write, well, something is seriously wrong. A person this self-involved is not suited to coaching young children.
    Just because he stepped up to the plate to coach he deserves little consideration! It is boggling that he has supporters and is sad evidence of the state of our culture.

  26. Marcus, you are exactly the type of humorless drips who need the punchline of jokes explained to you.

    While it certaintly wasn’t a good idea to introduce himself in this manner, not knowing his humorless audience was the real problem, to judge the man on the email alone is a rush to judgement of the worst kind.

  27. Go Green Death. I am a middle school teach and would love to tell parents the truth! To the parents that got upset. You are really upset about the fact the coach has you pegged as a status seeking urbanite which views society as a convince to your whims.

  28. I coach lacrosse two 12 year old boys. I wish I saw this email earlier. I would have copied and pasted it. I think it was awesome! I would be proud to have my girl play for a coach with that much drive and a winning attitude.

    It was alot of sarcasm and I don’t like yelling at refs but the rest of it was spot on!