It blows my mind how every sports season, despite agreeing not to do it, adults lose it and SCREAM from the sidelines. This crushes the self-esteem of their child, and puts a damper on the fun for the rest. I hold coaches in high esteem for volunteering to pour their hearts into practicing every possible scenario but sometimes the games are out of our control.
LET COACHES COACH
In Peanuts cartoons, kids hear adults as “Wa WA wa!” On the field, kids struggle to focus on 2 coaches’ throwing orders and baseball gang signs. Add to that the number of parents. When the droning nonsense hits the kids’ ears, it’s all mucked up. Stick to shorter, general, positive cheers such as “GO!” or “GREAT JOB!” If you disagree with coaches, talk afterwards. Teach kids to learn to respect their coach and to take orders from other individuals.
ARMCHAIR ANALYSIS: The coaches already review plays at the end of the game, and since I’m simply an armchair ball player, why would I pretend to know what I’m doing better than them? In the interest of goal setting, review their individual highlights and identify something to work on to build their individual skills that also help the team. Always finish up with “Did you have fun?!” That’s why we’re here, right?
BABYSTEPS GET YOU TO YOUR GOAL: At batting practice, my daughter challenged herself to “set the record” of how many balls she hit in a row! As each ball came at her she defiantly counted them off! I loved that she celebrated something personal, and picked one aspect in the large scheme of the game. For my son, working on one technique at a time, such as the angle of his arms or the trajectory of the ball, satisfies his cerebral approach to the game. Celebrate victories!
My children have been extremely fortunate with their coaches and the players’ parents. This sentiment is reaffirmed when we hear other teams’ adult-voiced rants. Truthfully, I can’t think that anything that could be so bad to warrant the outbursts that are heard. Remember folks, crazy outbursts define you as a person, not them as a coach or as refs.