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Old 01-10-2019, 08:50 AM
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Angry Apparently I'm in trouble with the head coach because students trust me

Well its been a long strange season this year with lots of drama.

I don't do drama well.

But yesterday I was informed by the Asst Coach that the Head Coach is upset with me. Head Coach has put on a public face of being supportive of me helping the Russian fencer Dasha. Head Coach has put on the public face of wanting to solve problems on the fencing team.

Behind closed doors things are apparently different.

I have very little contact with the head coach. The team divides into 3 squads. Foil. Epee. Saber. The RULES, STRATEGIES, TIMING and the TECHNIQUES used by each weapon are very different. I take the Saber squad and work with them in one of the school hallways. Epee Coach works in another area with the Epee squad. Head coach works with Foil in yet another area. So we don't really mix, talk, hang out together.

Head coach publicly admitted in a letter to the school that I can provide things to Dasha (and others) that she cannot provide and asked the school to cut through some red tape to make me an official coach. She privately told the Asst Coach that she believes my efforts to help are undercutting her authority and also are taking opportunities away from her to help the fencers in ways that she wants to help. She cited instances that where I offered to help that will occur AFTER the season ends! If it's AFTER the season then how, as a private club coach, supposed to be at fault when many of these very same kids come to my private fencing club?

The latest controversy is that Dasha's mother has asked me to take her to 4 more tournaments. 1 is in 2 weeks, the other 3 fall after the end of the high school season. The event in 2 weeks occurs on Sunday/Monday and the high school has an event on Saturday so there is no conflict with the season. The new rules allow for the students to participate in events that are not in conflict with the school events. ALSO the Head Coach wants to take Dasha to an event in Ohio in March (after season ends) but Dasha & her mom want me to take her to that event. So head coach feels slighted. She cannot be a 'strip coach' for Dasha at the event because she doesn't know the Saber rules. She cannot actually help Dasha at the event other than to drive her to the event. But she wants to be Dasha's puppet master to parade her around like a prize pony???

Long story short. The assistant coach is pissed at the head coach for all the silly antics of this season. The assistant coach believes she was misled(?) or manipulated(?) by the coach about many of the school and conference rules (which now have changed due to a mid-season revolt by several key fencers). The assistant coach is working to protect me.

I knew that this year would be different. Started out very fun. Became very problematic fairly quickly. Now I know I have done the right thing and if I end up getting "fired" from my volunteer position I will leave knowing that things got fixed because of my efforts. There are other teams that want me to coach for them, its not as if I don't have someplace to go.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:03 AM
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Default Re: Apparently I'm in trouble with the head coach because students trust me

All I can say is hang in there. Shes jealous and that should be obvious to everyone.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:19 AM
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Default Re: Apparently I'm in trouble with the head coach because students trust me

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Originally Posted by jim slagle View Post
All I can say is hang in there. Shes jealous and that should be obvious to everyone.
Yup that is it in a nut shell. You apparently are making her look bad.

Stay the course and do what you want to do.

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Old 01-10-2019, 09:20 AM
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Default Re: Apparently I'm in trouble with the head coach because students trust me

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Originally Posted by jim slagle View Post
All I can say is hang in there. Shes jealous and that should be obvious to everyone.
Oh I don't need any encouragement.

I find the situation absurdly hysterical.

For whatever reason I happen to be in a position to help. The head coach wants to help but is frustrated because she can't actually help this kid. And she is out of touch with a lot of the kids, especially the higher achieving kids.

I'm not even sure how a Foil coach is supposed to offer real help to a Saber fencer at a tournament? Different rules, different timing, different strategy. WTF?
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:33 AM
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Default Re: Apparently I'm in trouble with the head coach because students trust me

Workplace politics.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:00 AM
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Default Re: Apparently I'm in trouble with the head coach because students trust me

Sometimes it is not very hard to make people look bad, some of them are very good at doing that themselves. Hang in there.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:19 AM
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Default Re: Apparently I'm in trouble with the head coach because students trust me

What a mess.
I'm a little confused. You said she wants the school to remove red tape and make you a coach but then at the end you said get fired.

What's the athletic director have to say about all this?
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:29 AM
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Default Re: Apparently I'm in trouble with the head coach because students trust me

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What a mess.
I'm a little confused. You said she wants the school to remove red tape and make you a coach but then at the end you said get fired.

What's the athletic director have to say about all this?
She is putting in a public face that is very different than the private face. So to try to regain the upper hand and exert her power she asks the school to cut through the red tape. But the school didnt actually know I even existed prior to that letter asking them to make me official. So now I need special training to work with the kids. It may actually be a ploy to get me removed by using red tape? And doing so at the end of the season (3 weeks to go). So far the school has not said I cant continue and I plan to meet with the appropriate administrator on Friday and I think at this point, because Ive provided lots of credentials already and said Id take their training I think Ill survive the season.

Athletic director is not involved.

Firing me is simple enough as Im a volunteer and considered a welcomed guest. Just ask me not to come help and Im gone. Doing so would likely cause a major upheaval. The saber team would likely revolt. The assistant coach is already about to quit, shed likely join the revolt

But I think in the end, it is all about competence vs incompetence.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: Apparently I'm in trouble with the head coach because students trust me

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Workplace politics.
Makes me glad to be retired. I no more need horse shit like that at this stage of my life then I need another liberal neighbor.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: Apparently I'm in trouble with the head coach because students trust me

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Makes me glad to be retired. I no more need horse shit like that at this stage of my life then I need another liberal neighbor.
I retired and then started doing this. Sometimes its like sifting through horseshit but dealing with the kids is usually very rewarding.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:36 PM
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Default Re: Apparently I'm in trouble with the head coach because students trust me

Good luck with it all Bob. You are doing good for Dasha. Thank goodness you are there for her.

In all the drama ...one tidbit I am surprised to learn: A foil coach would not know the rules of saber fencing. Both seem the same to me, just different shaped swords in the hands.
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: Apparently I'm in trouble with the head coach because students trust me

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I retired and then started doing this. Sometimes its like sifting through horseshit but dealing with the kids is usually very rewarding.
Yes it is Bob. No argument from me. I once volunteered with the scouts. The kid were phenomenal and I loved doing it until the grownups got in the way.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:19 AM
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Default Re: Apparently I'm in trouble with the head coach because students trust me

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In all the drama ...one tidbit I am surprised to learn: A foil coach would not know the rules of saber fencing. Both seem the same to me, just different shaped swords in the hands.
Both Foil and Saber operate with the principle of establishing priority, and only the person holding priority can score the touch. But what passes as a parry in Foil would be considered insignificant blade contact, or perhaps mal parre in Saber. Footwork rules are different. Attacks in Foil can happen during a retreat, not so in Saber. Foil requires direct torso pokes or stabs with the tip of the weapon. Saber is a slashing/cutting edge weapon and target area is expanded to include the torso, arms, shoulders and the head.
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:21 AM
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Default Re: Apparently I'm in trouble with the head coach because students trust me

I am now "temporarily official" as an 'official volunteer' fencing coach at Marian Catholic H.S.

There are school volunteers.
There are also "official volunteers".

I was formerly classified as a volunteer. Volunteers are completely off the books. So far off the books that the school administration doesn't have any record of us. 'volunteers' are typically people who come in for 1 day to help a teacher. I've been coaching for 10 years.

Official volunteers are background checked by the police, get a little ID card, and have received Catholic VIRTUS training and are registered with the school on their books, in their school security system, etc.

I have not had the Virtus training. But I was granted "official volunteer" status on a Temporary basis. I was granted that status because I've been under the radar for the past 10 years without incident and because if I get shut out of Saber coaching it will happen during the last 3 weeks of season when we fence the JV Championships, the ILL State and then finally the 3-state Conference Championships. So rather than leave the kids with zero coach going into the championships they decided to give me 'official volunteer' status for the next few weeks.

I was granted that only because I went in to get my background check (cleared that without issue) and also agreed to get the Virtus training at the earliest convenient time after the end of season. And only because there is no scheduled Virtus class available to me that is on my side of the county ... I could have potentially driven north side of Chicago for the class!!! Uh, NOPE, told them so, they actually agreed that I was being reasonable once I told them how far south I live!

The assistant coach and I spoke after I got my clearance wondering if the head coach was 1) using red tape to get me removed? -or- 2) just dense and clueless with her actions?

One thing is clear, the head coach, on Monday evening at the fencing club, was questioning my former Lowell H.S. team Co-Coach asking her what my 'status' was with the Lowell school system. My Lowell Co-Coach clearly stated that I was official on the books at Lowell H.S., that I had keys to the school, that I was allowed to individually act on behalf of the school, take the kids to tournaments (without a faculty member present), sign bills, engage in team related financial transactions, etc. Very much official status. So much so that many teachers assume I am a faculty member! In fact, despite the team being inactive, I still have my keys, secure parking access, my electronic key card to access the building before/during/after school hours and full access inside the building and used this THIS week with the full knowledge of the Vice-Principle of the school.

So the current head coach had that knowledge on Monday night. Yet on Tuesday morning wrote a letter to her school suggesting that I was merely an unofficial volunteer. WTF?
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:53 AM
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Default Re: Apparently I'm in trouble with the head coach because students trust me

Sounds like someone at the school has their panties in a bunch.

Canadian eh!!!
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:32 AM
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Default Re: Apparently I'm in trouble with the head coach because students trust me

Except I think she probably granny pants and now I have a disturbing mental image stuck in my brain.
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Old 01-31-2019, 06:55 AM
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Default Re: Apparently I'm in trouble with the head coach because students trust me

So as you know I'm working to get my student fencer Dasha onto a top college fencing team.

Yesterday Dasha broke into tears when she saw an email come in that said that Northwestern University wants to meet her. I helped her write 2 letters to the coaches at N.U. during and just after Christmas break and also semi-scripted a phone call to them for her last week. Northwestern is the #2 ranked fencing team in the US for women's fencing. Dasha called me. The process is starting. We are going there on Sunday and again on Wednesday.


BUT ... out of courtesy, since I am only a 'volunteer', I sent a text to the 'official' coaches at the high school letting them know what was going on and that Dasha would be visiting, meeting the team, touring the fencing facilities, etc.
I wrote: Head coach at Northwestern wants to meet with Dasha, he suggested I bring her up there on Monday morning (they practice at 7:30am). Working on arrangements with Dasha’s mom now.

The Assistant Coach replied: "That is awesome"

The Head Coach replied: "Nice. I was talking with Alicia xxxxx about her on Saturday and she said that national points are not as important as people make them out to be, at least for Northwestern."
So in my text to the coaches I never brought up the past issues I've had with the head coach about how she forbade Dasha from going to national events to earn those national points.

And the reference to "Alicia xxxxx" is a reference to a young lady who works at Northwestern who attended our Illinois State Championship event. Alicia is a top fencer, she also is an assistant to the N.U. fencing team. She is not involved in recruiting, etc.

The most awarded fencing coach in the history of the NCAA is the former coach at N.U., he now gives recruiting seminars to coaches. He stresses 'national points' and 'USFA rating'


So coach Jones uses "some random girl" as her source and I use NCAA's #1 ranked Coach Laurie Schiffer (ret) as my source.

But why the f=(# did she even bring that shit up in the message? Is she that bitter or deranged or delusional? What a cunt

I have informed the Assistant Coach that if Dasha returns to Marian for her senior year next year then I will return to help coach the team. But I also told her that if Dasha does not return then I probably not return either. I've got other schools that are begging me to help them (some want to pay me) and I have a school that wants me to start up a brand new team. I don't need to deal with an ignorant asshole coach who throws up roadblocks and obstacles for the kids and then delights in trying to prove me wrong (when its obvious I'm right). Its a pretty safe bet that most coaches in the conference think the head coach is a joke, but in her mind she is awesome.


Picture of me with Dasha with her ILL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP Gold Medal just for visual interest and to lighten the mood of this very angry thread. And yes, it is upside down because I'm an idiot who can't use his iPhone correctly!
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Old 01-31-2019, 06:48 PM
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Old 01-31-2019, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Apparently I'm in trouble with the head coach because students trust me

So another Dasha related story that I found both touching and sad.

I've known that her parents were divorced but I've never talked to her about that. Not really my business and its not really a topic I wanted to bring up.

She told me that she considered me her "2nd dad" which I really appreciated. We have a great fencing/mentoring relationship and the lovely Mrs_Bob helps her with some of her homework.

But then she said her "1st dad" was her Russian fencing coach, a man who trained her for the past 7 years.

I found it pretty sad that she doesn't consider her real dad as her dad. Today I found out she doesn't really talk to him too often and apparently he doesn't help financially support her, her 2 sisters or her mom. No clue what the laws are with any of that stuff in Russia but we'd probably call him a deadbeat dad. I hate to say that, without knowing more of the story but damn, kids should have real parents. I do know she has a great relationship with her mother, so at least that is good to know.
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Old 02-01-2019, 08:32 AM
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Default Re: Apparently I'm in trouble with the head coach because students trust me

Tomorrow is the LAST varsity event of the high school season. Possibly the last high school event where I will be coaching Dasha. We have more events to attend, but no more events for her that will be high school events.

So I guess Dasha & I both survived the season? Well that may be a premature statement. Still 1 more day!!!

Event is in Wisconsin and it is our 3 state conference championship. There are a total of 3 Division 1 ranked fencers in the event. Dasha is one of those. A girl from Indiana is one of those and she is not in the same class as Dasha, just being honest. So the Indiana girl has zero chance unless there is some "kneecapping" of the other competitors.

The 3rd girl is very very good and if she has a good day she can beat Dasha, her name is Rachel and the 2 have faced off against each other several times. If Dasha has a good day then Dasha will likely win. The tournament will likely wind up with those 2 facing off for Gold & Silver. They have faced each other for Gold & Silver at several other events, Dasha has prevailed each time in our conference. Rachel has beaten Dasha outside of our conference in one event. So either can win. Both are excellent.

The MAIN reason I want Dasha to win tomorrow is because as of right now she is the only kid in our conference to ever go undefeated for an entire season. Tomorrow she could cement that record into the history books. Or, if she loses, it could become a curiosity that is lost in conference history.

Still very undecided about what is happening next year or where I will be coaching. I'm pretty bitter about this year. Maybe time will temper my feelings and I'll come back to Marian? Not even sure the the assistant coach at Marian will come back, she is also done with the drama and BS. Maybe I'll switch to HF, they want me badly and we had a great practice at HF yesterday.
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