The 10 Types of Youth League Coaches

#6 — The Strategic Mastermind

This coach never played soccer himself, but he's been up all night reading books and watching instructional tapes to come up with the perfect game plan for his team's next match.

He's got attack angles and unconventional defensive alignments scrawled all over his clipboard, so what his team lacks in ability, they'll make up for with brains.

Then there's kickoff, and his "well-oiled machine" does what every team of eight-year-old soccer players does: blindly follows the ball in a giant cluster.

Oh, well. His genius may be wasted on these clowns, but that just means coach can go ahead and start figuring out how best to align his blockers for the triple-option offense he's going to run with his Pop Warner football team.

#7 — The Coach Who's Always Mad at the Refs

Bob Knight
"Can you believe they let this idiot ref this game? Jesus Christ. It's a damn shame. A real f**king shame."

"These kids practice all goddam week, then they get out here and get ROBBED by this moron. Yeah, that's right, I'm talking to you, Mr. 'I'm Hot Stuff Because I'm a Ref.' F**K you. Yeah, I don't care if you're just some 15-year-old kid making $7.50 an hour to call these games. Do the game — and all the rest of us – a favor and KILL YOURSELF."

"Wait, are you crying? Seriously? You're f**king crying? Better suck it up before the tears get into your crustache, peachfuzz. Remember this moment, kids; if you're not winning, it's someone else's fault. Like this idiot ref. Pelt him with your juiceboxes! DO IT!"

#8 — The Coach Who Teaches Everyone the Curveball

So what if throwing a curveball is a surefire way to make a kid's elbow ligaments explode down the road? We're playing for this season, and no guts, no Little League World Series glory!

This coach's players have a marked tendency to lose all use of their right arms before they turn 13, but man, do they ever post some sterling ERAs in their age-11 seasons.

Someday, parents will figure out why the local orthopedic surgeon sponsors this guy's team every year, but until then … enjoy the hard break on those curves and rack up the strikeouts, boys!

Tomorrow we learn how to throw forkballs!

#9 — The Local Legend

This guy came closer to pro sports glory than anyone in town ever has when he played in three minor league games in Brewers organization during the 1981 season. Sure, he never got a hit, but he was there.

Now he's back home, working as a used car dealer, teaching the kids the fundamentals, and trying not to get too frustrated that they don't have the God-given talent of his old pro teammates. At least once a game he yells, "You know, Gorman Thomas would never have done that!" which makes his players all wonder who the hell Gorman Thomas is.

Maybe he was that good kid who was on the team last year.

#10 — The Coach Who's a Complete Screwup

Sorry he's late for practice, kids. He locked his keys in his car.


Wait, was it his turn to bring the balls to practice? What? It's always his turn to bring the balls to practice? Crap. He probably shouldn't have taken a job with this much responsibility.

Well, uh, did anyone else bring a ball? That's too bad. Well, let's run some laps, then! That'll be fun, right?!

Remember to be there for the game at 9:30 Saturday morning. Sorry again about having to forfeit last week; he was really, really sure the game wasn't until noon.