When I was growing up I remember that my parents wouldn’t let my brother play baseball. Where we lived apparently the baseball parents were not the most calm and collective people in the stands. Go figure. If you have kids that are playing sports you might be able to relate to what I’m talking about.
This past weekend was Deacon’s championship game – which by the way could there be a cuter baseball player than the picture above?!?!? At the game I was a bit embarrassed by a few of the parents as they yelled at the coaches and umpires. Need I remind you that these kids are 7, 8, & 9. There was no state championship on the line. No college world series. Just a bunch of kids having fun.
Here’s the deal, I want to win as much as anyone else wants to win, but that doesn’t mean I can act crazy and yell at the coaches, umpires, and kids. Here’s my words to you crazy parents out there:
1. Your child is not the best. You may think they are, but they are not. I think as parents we are doing our kids a disservice when we lead them to believe that they are the best. When we make them feel as though they can do no wrong on the field, we are breeding pride in them and a lack of a desire to improve. On that same note you need to stop talking about how bad the other kids are on your kids team in front of your kids. This is so tacky and basically teaching kids that they don’t need to work as a team and reenforcing to them that they are the best. If you want your kid to be a team player, then don’t teach them that it’s okay to talk badly about the other players. That’s not how a team works.
2. We also need to let our kids mess up and STOP YELLING AT THEM when they make a mistake. For the love of all things, they are kids. Let them play and have fun. Let them learn the game by making mistakes and learning to correct them without us breathing down their neck telling them every time they miss a ground ball, or overthrow to first. I literally want to crawl under the bleachers when I hear parents yelling at their kids after they mess up. Remember the time I talked to Deacon during half time at a basketball game? Never again will this momma do that.
3. Unless your coaches are getting paid you don’t have a right to yell at them from the stands. Give me a break. These coaches are volunteering their time to help your kid, so unless you are willing to pay them a salary or get your butt out there and coach shut your mouth. Thank them for their time. Encourage them. And for goodness sakes, don’t talk badly about your kids coach in front of your kid. Do you want to raise a kid that has no respect for authority? Bashing your kids coach in front of them will only give them reason to not listen to their coach, disregard his advice, and think that they know more than their coach. Good luck to that kids high school coach.
Coaches and Umpires are going to make mistakes. They are human. If you don’t agree with everything they do and all the ways they coach, then leave the team. But might I suggest you stay and allow it to be a time of teaching for your kids. Do you think you are always going to love every coaching style your kids might sit under? No way. Teach your kids to adapt and learn new ways to do things.
My number one advice is to have fun. Deacon’s team didn’t win one game this last Spring, but we continued to push on never bashing his teammates or his coaches. At the end of the day we all want to win, but we’re raising kids here that need to know there is more to a game than winning. The odds are stacked against you if you think your child will go on to play MLB, so let’s use this time to not worry about perfecting his form, but instead building his character.
The truth of this is that our kids character will outlast their baseball abilities. They need to know that, and so do you.