4.13.13 (13)

Ten year old baseball.  Thoughts of the “Sandlot” run through your head.  Just a bunch of kids playing ball in an empty lot.  No parents around.

This is 2015.  The Sandlot is long gone, it’s a Walgreens now.  Kids rarely play by themselves anymore and certainly not unless they all have their iDevices in hand.

Reece made the local Little League B- All Star team for the second year in a row.  Double headers on Independence Day, practice six days a week, dinner every night at a different snack bar.  The thought of a hot dog completely disgusts me right now.  But alas, it is what my entire family will consume for dinner tonight.  At least it’s cheap.

One thing I have noticed the last few years is the behavior of the parents.  Our kids are sponges.  They are heavily influenced by us.  When talking with our children about the game or team, we have to pretend that we are on the team.  Whatever we say to them outside of the dugout will find it’s way into the dugout.

Here are the three most common types of negative parents on a boy’s baseball team.

 The Whisperer

This is the parent that whispers in his son’s ear about how great he is.  He is the best player on the team.  In fact, he is so good he should be playing on the “A” team in the older age group.  He should be batting 1, 2 or 3 in the lineup and should never leave the infield.  Except maybe to play Center because no one is as fast as him.

How do you think this will affect your son?  Do you think this will make him a better teammate? He’s a nine or ten year old.  He’s not going to Cooperstown. He’ll be lucky to play JV ball in High School!  Boosting a kids confidence is something we should all be working on with every one of the kids.  Boosting their ego is something that will only bring the team down.  If he IS the best player on the team, maybe you should focus on teaching him to be a leader.  Because if there is one thing that a ten year old baseball team needs, it’s a leader.

The Critic

Picture this….a ground ball to the middle infield bounces off the glove of the short stop, your son.  All of a sudden you hear a parent in the bleachers shout, “Oh come on!!!  You gotta get that!!”

Really?  A ten year old.  You’re going to shout something like that to a ten year old?  The poor kid can barely hold back tears and now he has to deal with a parent shouting things from the peanut gallery.  You may think this would never happen but it does.  And it’s despicable.  If you are in the bleachers, please only shout words of encouragement.

The Monday Morning Quarterback (MMQ)

First off let me say that I’m guilty of this.  I am generally a positive person but I have had my moments where I second guessed coaches.  It’s very easy to do, especially during a losing streak.  The MMQ says things like; “this kid should be batting first, he should be pitching, he shouldn’t even be on this team!!”  And the ever popular, “last year’s coach was so much better.”

Coaches want two things.  They want to win and they want the kids to have fun.  While we are gabbing away with the other parents during practice they are studying the kids and trying to figure out the best spot to put them in. If you have a problem with the the coach  then your best bet is to communicate with him.  Maybe you have a suggestion that could actually help!  Quit spreading your negative energy to the other parents.

We need to be encouraging of each other and especially each other’s kids.  Baseball is the ultimate team sport.  You as a parent are on the team and kids need you to be the best cheerleader this town has ever seen.  If you can’t be encouraging and positive then it would be best for everyone if you just stayed at home.

 

This post was originally published on KeithLaskey.com and was re-printed with permission from the author.