Let The Baseball Coach – Coach
At the on set of any Baseball season, parents have the high expectation that their child is key to the teams’ success. This to a degree is true. The success of the team depends on each and every player. Problems arise between the perspectives of the Parents, Players and the Coach.
We each have our own self image which is likely quite different to how the rest of the world sees us. This also applies to our vision of our children. Crushing the ball for Dad in the back yard is great, but it does not always transfer to the diamond. By no means should any parent expect backyard confidence to compare with on field performance. It is a bar that will likely get knocked off the stands each time.
Coach‘s of all experience levels are the most qualified to position and play the players. Coach has a ‘vision’ of how all the parts will work in tandem. As a parent, we have to respect that in all levels of play. This person stood up to take the responsibility of being Baseball Coach when no one else did.
Its a responsibility that takes a substantial amount of abuse. I have witnessed parents and grand-parents rip down a coach during a game in an effort to take out the weaker players and restructure the vision. His solution was quite enlightening. Every 5 to 10 minutes, he rotated all the players to different positions, pitchers, catchers as well as on and off the bench. They lost horribly, but from that moment on he was allowed to Coach the rest of the season without bleacher badger. It worked because as the ‘key’ players were rotated into the ‘right’ position, they all made errors from simple catching mistakes to ‘why did you through to first when the runner was stealing third’. He essentially had the loss (over 30 to 0) a complete community effort. As everyone was responsible for the loss, those who were coaching from the bleachers got a taste they could not spit out.
Will this tactic work for everyone? I truly have no idea, but it’s a solution that I will not soon forget.
Parent participation is wonderful. Get involved, get in the game. Here are some things to keep in mind as a parent
1- Don’t arrive at the field when practice is supposed to start. If the scheduled time is 5:30, be there by 5:15. It cuts down the stress of rush driving and the hour or so of scheduled practice time is not lost on greetings and jibber jabber.
2- Be helpful, Time lost setting up the field or exercise is just that lost. If it’s not written, ask the Coach what the plan is for the day and what you can do to help things along. Players want to do just that, play. Idle time lost while setting up the next skill drill looses the focus gained from the previous one.
3- Never correct, yell, discipline or otherwise diminish the authority of the Coach in front of the Players or Other Parents. If you have concerns or comments, set aside time in your day to speak with the coach in private. It may be your perspective that needs the correction.
4- Respect everyone. Coach’s’, parents, umpires, players, opposing teams, it does not matter who or what they are in relation to your team. Everyone deserves respect that does not have to be earned. Respecting others will result in others respecting you.
Ponder what it is to play baseball. What do you want your children to take away with them when their playing days are relegated to church league. For myself I hope for, respect for themselves, confidence in their abilities, recognition of their limits, work ethic of practicing and the concept of working together with a team and the lifelong friendships it can bring.