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The Coach’s Son
You always love to hate those kids who have dads that coach a team and they play over you even though they aren’t as good as you. Well I know how you feel I had this one coach that wouldn’t play me over his son even though I was by far and away better than him. No matter how hard I worked at practice he still wouldn’t play me, so that’s where I broke; I couldn’t take it anymore.
It was the middle of summer and it was my last day of my third year at camp Cho-Yeh. I was very sad that I had to leave because Cho-Yeh is so much fun and it also brings you closer to God; it is just an amazing place. When my parents showed up at 8:30 in the morning, the earliest you can come and pick up your kid, and rushed me to a double header in Kingwood. It was crazy; I had to eat and change in the car so I could make it to the first game. I was so concerned if I would get there on time. Would I have enough energy? Would I mess up since I had not played for a week? I was just nervous that I would screw up. I wasn’t the best player on the team but for the first time in a long time my coach started me and I caught all balls hit to me and gunned a kid out at home, then went two for three at the plate scoring two runs. The coaches were messing with me about coming back from camp and doing better than I normally do. I thought that maybe all I need is a little break from baseball and it helps me to focus so I don’t make those errors that I would normally make. It was one of my best games in the summer and my coach was happy, but sort of mad because I took all the attention in the outfield and his son didn’t do so good. In the post game talk he sort of hinted at my good plays but did not directly address them but the assistant coach who is on my side brought it up and I’ll always remember what he said, “Well Charlie was a wall out there in right and was also really good at the plate, maybe we should send him to camp before every tournament.”
The head coach laughed and had to agree because he new all the players had to agree that I was really a key player in this game. At this time I was burning in anger because he won’t accept that I am good player. This is where it started, this is where my coach turned on me and thought his son could do better, but we all knew he couldn’t.
The big tournament at BUSA was now officially started. The game was about to start and I was totally pumped up. I was talking to Kyle and Jake about Kase the coach’s son and how he would screw up and his dad would just keep him in. I said, “Kase is not good he shouldn’t be starting over me and Brian (another good player that showed his son up), that’s not fair the only reason why he’s playing is because he is coach’s son.”
Brain whispered so that coach doesn’t hear him, “Kase shouldn’t even be on the team he can’t even catch a fly ball.”
I hope I wasn’t going to get caught by the coach while I ws talking about this because then Brian and I really wouldn’t play. “And he is so slow, he’s like the slowest person I’ve ever met, I don’t even think it is possible to go any slower,” I interjected.
I wouldn’t come in until he had totally lost the game for us. The game started and of course his son started and watching him in warm-ups I knew this was going to be an interesting game. I thought to my self, I don’t know if I want the ball to be hit at him so he will mess up and I might get to play or if I want him to catch it so we might be able to win. He had managed to make his dad mad before the game even started; I could tell this was going to go too well. Maybe coach would play me a lot this game and I will get to show him how good I really am.
Day after day, I went with some of my friends that use to play college baseball and toke lessons on how to strengthen my arm and how to improve my swing. I did this on and off for the whole regular season and during the summer when I played select for the same team. I have to stay back when I’m hitting, I have to keep my head down when I’m fielding, do not throw sidearm; I told myself every practice. I started to see improvements in my throwing; I could throw harder and more accurately. I also went to a pitching coach every Sunday and worked for three hours. This is where I really improved; I added five miles per hour to my fastball and dropped three miles per hour off my change up. Man I can’t wait until I show my coach how good I’ve gotten and how all this work was worth it. I told myself over and over that I have to show him that I am better. I showed my coach that I was good and he couldn’t bench me and play his son over me.
It was the second inning and we were tied zero to zero and there was one out when a pop-up came at him he took three steps back and attempts to jump at in but doesn’t leave the ground and misses it. All he had to do is take another step back. Then he walks to the ball and throws it in. O my gosh! I thought really you can’t give any more effort than that, you have got to be kidding me. The next one was to his right a routine fly ball to any other person but of course he misses this one too. O gosh catch it, catch it, what gosh can I please go in now I thought, I don’t think it is possible to do any worse. The last ball hit to him was any outfielders dream a one-stepper and he doesn’t move! As I watch him miss the ball I say, “Really, you miss that you didn’t even have to have skill to catch that one!”
The coach was throwing a hissy fit and is throwing our bat weights, kicking people’s bags, cursing, and absolutely screaming at his son. I’m just like, don’t kick my bag you always have to kick my bag, ooooo you kicked it come on my bag it just has to be my bag! The other coaches were just silent and everyone on the team just where absolutely furious because he had given the other team seven runs and blown the whole game for us. “Come on Kase it was right at you this time put the glove under the ball!” the assistant coach said.
It was the first game against my select couches team during the regular season and I got out of the first inning without giving up a run. Yes! This is how I like to start out games, especially big games like this one. In the second inning I faced his son and struck him out on a curveball in the dirt, he looked so embarrassed. Yes coach was watching that I struck out his son I’m surely going to play now. His dad just ignored him the rest of the game even the second time up to bat he just turned the other way and I struck him out again. Now it was the last inning with 45 seconds left and I was facing their best batter and I got two strikes in a row to put him in the hole. Since he was such a good hitter I gave him three straight curveballs in the dirt. Now it was the last inning two outs a full count and 6 seconds left I had time to pitch one pitch to either end the game or give us one more chance to win. A million thoughts were going through my head but I told myself that I couldn’t think I didn’t have enough time to think, so I pitched him a slider a pitch that I was working on but was my best pitch. It started over the plate and I thought O God he’s going to kill it and that would be it I would have lost the game for the team. As I watched it, it suddenly broke off the plate and so far away that he couldn’t reach it. He had missed it! We had one more inning to come back and beat them. I was thinking now I have the chance to beat my coach this is the chance to show that I am better than his son and he would have to get over it.
In the huddle our coach said, “Alright guys your back in it I didn’t think you could pull that last inning off but you did so just go up to the plate and put the ball in play. They have a lot of pressure on their shoulders lets come back and get them right here and right now!”
I started it of with a lead off single and then someone hit a double moving me to third. I was just beside myself that I would score the tying run and set him off on another tantrum. This was it our last ditch effort, two outs man on second and third and the kid up to bat struck out, and the game was over. I just thought to myself really you didn’t even try to hit it you just stood there watching it go by the pitch that your had to hit in order for us to win. They had let me down and we lost. I had worked so hard to become good enough under pressure so that I could finish a game like this, but all that hard work was for nothing my teammates let me down.
Now that we were down eight runs and we just put it all on the line this inning; we gave it our all. We started to come back and scored five runs to put us back three this inning coach couldn’t take any chances he put me in. All I could think of is Kase, I was thinking Kase watch this, and this is how you’re really supposed to play. I got one shoot straight over my head and it hit off the wall. There was nothing I could do on this one I was stuck and I had to finish the play strong. I was on that ball before it had a chance to stop rolling and I gunned it in to the second basemen and he threw it home to get the guy out on a relay throw. I thought I had blown the play until I made that awesome throw and the throw made up for it. Gosh I hope the coach doesn’t yell at me that was an awesome play. We went on to loose the game by one, but he saw that I was significantly better. I went on to play for his team when his son wasn’t on the team because the skill level was so high. So something good can come out of something that is unpleasant to you. No pain, no gain.