I need a little advice and thought this board could be a great resource since many people have young children or might have experience with this.
My husband and I are coaching a youth basketball league this year, ages 7-8. We just had our first practice yesterday and everything was fine except one 7 year old boy has very obvious special needs. He was extremely disrespectful to both of us and disrupting the whole practice. I felt like we spent half of our time trying to keep him under control. At one point he would not give me back a basketball that he was not supposed to have... finally he threw it at me violently and said "Take that Barbie Doll!" This is just one example. He also would just run around aimlessly and never listen to the instructions we were giving.
I am pretty sure he is in foster care. He is a different race than his guardian and has a different last name. His guardian dropped him off and left, then picked him up without saying a word. He seemed completely aware of the child's difficulty but not very approachable. He doesn't strike me as the type that is easy to talk to about things like this, he just seemed annoyed with the little boy himself. I suppose if I were the parent I would be really upfront about something so obvious. Basketball is not a good choice for a child with attention issues and it is also not a form of cheap child care. I am familiar with the complex challenges children in foster care face as my husband and I have been to courses when considering fostering ourselves. So it's not his behavior that has me worried, but rather how I can best accommodate him to have a successful season.
I need some tips on how to handle this situation. As of now, our plan to to come up with some special roles for him to do while waiting his turn (catching rebounds, cheering for teammates, etc.), and wait until after our first game to see if things need to be addressed further. I am trying to come up with some creative solutions to redirect his extra energy and keep him engaged while sitting on the bench as well. After the first game, if things haven't improved, I would approach the guardians/parents to ask for advice on how we can better coach their child. We have two more practices until our first game in early December. I understand it is not the child's fault, I just want to make sure all of the other 10 children do not get less out of this season because their teammate needs more attention. I also want this to be a great experience for this otherwise delightful little boy!
Any advice or feedback would be VERY appreciated! Thanks in advance!!