The baseball season is in full swing on all levels. Which means if your son or daughter is involved on a youth baseball/softball team, you’re probably on the verge of his or her first game. It’s understandable that you would be excited, baseball is an exciting sport and parents live vicariously through their kids. However, there are a set of unwritten rules that baseball parents must abide by when attending their kids little league games. Here they are:
1) Celebrate your child’s effort and sportsmanship, above outcomes such as winning and losing. Teach them that effort and sportsmanship go a long way. You may understand that one season of little league baseball is meaningless, but they don’t.
2) Do not coach from the stands. Wait until after the game to volunteer your feedback- but ONLY if they want it. Don’t force your feedback onto them. Nothing will kill their confidence more than hearing your voice in their head every time they step to the plate.
3) Educate yourself about the game. Baseball is rich in tradition. Pass on a little something to your son or daughter. Teach them the baseball lingo. Something!
4) Never yell at the other team or their coaches. They are just kids and grown men and women volunteering their time to help children. Put yourself in their shoes.
5) Stay away from the dugouts during the game. The dugouts are their space, the bleachers are yours. No kid wants to hear it from their parents while focusing on the game. That will just add unnecessary pressure.
6) The umpire is human and will make mistakes. Your eyes can’t see everything from the stands, anyway. No umpire will ever get every call right.
7) Cheer positively. Don’t EVER say anything negative while your child is competing. Encourage the kids, don’t bring them down!
8) Root for the whole team, not just your son or daughter. Everyone knows the parent that you only hear from when their child is up to bat. Don’t be that parent.
9) HAVE FUN! Cherish the moment! These are precious years that we will never get backJ
10) “Your child’s success or lack of success in sports does not indicate what kind of parent you are. But having an athlete that is coachable, respectful, a great teammate, mentally tough, resilient and tries their best IS a direct reflection of your parenting.” This may be the hardest one for parents to understand. It goes hand-in-hand with integrity and sportsmanship. Make sure, above all else, your child takes away some life lessons from his or her little league baseball season. Not every child is going to grow up and be a professional baseball player.
Next time you’re at your child’s game, you’ll notice the parents that break these rules. And believe it or not, it can be very embarrassing for your child. Don’t be one of those parents. Instead, enjoy a great game and don’t take it too seriously. Watch it just as you would like your kid to play it. For more of our weekly blog, Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.