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Old 01-10-2019, 09:50 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, 10:03 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, 10:19 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, 10:20 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, 10:33 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, 11:00 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, 11:19 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, 11:29 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, 11:39 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, 12:23 PM
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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, 03:36 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, 04:00 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, 05:19 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, 05:21 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, 10:53 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, 03:32 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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