Dad, it doesn't help....

Can we also include coaches in this one? Well let me do it anyway. We want players to focus 100 percent of their attention to playing the game. A kid is at the plate. He is trying to do what I believe is one of the toughest things to do in sports and that's hit. He trying to put 100 percent of his focus on doing just that. And now his coach is coaching him from the 3B box, the 1B box and from the dugout while he's trying to do it. Then there are the constant reminders to the pitcher. Stride, don't over stride, throw strikes, etc etc. The constant reminders to infielders, stay down, come get it, know where your going, etc etc. Then there is the body language you constantly speak about that you don't listen to yourself. A kid makes an error and you hang your head, puff your cheeks, scream out, stare down, etc etc. I could go on and on. But one thing I have always said is if you coach your players properly in practice you won't feel the need to coach them when their performing. Your players should draw confidence from your confidence in them. They should see you as their ace in the hole not the hole in the as_.

Yes we have all been those guys and gals. But we learn. We sure better. And these threads help big time to those who honestly admit it and take it in. Your happy and giddy on the ride home when your son plays well. You always stop and get a nice meal and everything is great. Your always a total AH when he doesn't play well. You want to get straight home. Your demeanor is obvious to your child.

I coach my players like they were all my own son's. I understand the pressure they are under from Mom and Dad. I understand that some put tremendous pressure on themselves already. I understand that sometimes some need simply a pat on the backside. Some need you to look at them and say "Who cares it's one at bat." Coach the heck out of them in practice. Instill confidence and a process. Give them a game plan for success and then help them get there. And when it's game time sit back and watch them do their thing. Let them know you got their back no matter what. As a parent I can tell you I understand. But for you guys going through this right now you better be more concerned with the relationship than anything else going on right now. Good Luck

AS a youth coach with two BB playing sons, I always ask before every season whether or not they want me to coach them. When S1 was 14yo, he said no mas...it probably could've been a year earlier, but the alternatives to me were not appealing. S2 still wants me around, but this year(14), he made a team that already has decent coaches.

I tend to say little  to my kids during games but vague, reassuring things. Both say they don't notice me, which is great. I have gotten better with umpires as I age. Some of them are really not very good... but I am learning to bite my tongue. 

 

Ways you can help your kids in baseball(warning, this takes time);

-Play catch with your sons when they are young.

-Take them to the park and hit them grounders and flies. Defense is REALLY hard. Don't get mad at them if they make mistakes. I don't think people realize how hard it is to field on a bumpy, barely maintained park, and how wonderfully maintained the MLB fields are in comparison. I believe it takes thousands of balls to get certain skills down.

-If they are pitchers, let them throw to you. Only teach them if you actually know something about pitching...like REALLY know something. Telling them to throw strikes does NOT count (warning, they will bounce balls off your knees, ankles, face and crotch, eventually).

-Throw BP to them. Do NOT tell them what to do unless you actually know how to teach hitting. Many parents who were good hitters themselves have no idea how to teach hitting. 

- Do not talk about the mistakes they made, or do a post mortem on the game as soon as they get in the car. Let them bring it up if they wish.

- Do NOT politic within your association and shoehorn your kid onto a team that is above his abilities. You think you are helping him, but in many cases you are hurting him.

- Do take them to MLB, minor league, or HS games once in a while. Make it fun. S2 is a good ball player, but doesn't like to watch a full game. He will watch short clips on Youtube, and will watch Domingo Ayala for hours.

- When they are very young(6-9) they might like you to cheer loudly for them, but after that they mostly don't want to hear from you. Act accordingly. Mild cheering that blends into the crowd is allowed. 

- If you are an athletic Dad 25-45, know and understand that you are much bigger, stronger, and more developed than your child. There is no way that they can do what you can, right now. If you want to show off your skills, go play ball in an adult league.

 

Sorry if this sounds harsh. I'd like to emphasize that most parents I've run into in BB are very positive and helpful.

Coach May & 57, 

Both of your posts are sooooo right!  I have mentioned before that I was "that guy" when Ryno was younger, but thankfully, I figured it out.  I was still not perfect, but I was much better.  My biggest hang-up was the cockiness/overconfidence.  I was lucky because Ryan had good coaches along the way, and truthfully, I didn't know how to teach hitting or pitching.  When he became a teen, I decided to be the good cop, and let the coaches be the bad cop.  This saved our relationship!  

He is currently struggling a bit, and it is nice that we have a good relationship, because I am able to support him through positive conversations and texts.  My desire was to always help him reach his dream, but I had to learn how to do it correctly.  

My advice is to be as positive as possible, because they are most likely taking their struggles really hard.  Sometimes when they are struggling, I think they feel they are out there by themselves with no support.  DON'T let them feel that way.  Pick them up when they are down.

 

I agree with those who advocate parents keeping unsolicited advice to an absolute minimum, but what do ya do with gramma? We have one gram who starts the second the umpire says “Play ball”, and doesn’t stop, ever. It’s not so bad when she sits a ways away from me, but here lately she’s been sitting close enough to touch and it’s been awful.

 What makes it bad is she’s always positive and sincerely trying to help, but it’s not happening. And who wants to tell a 74YO grandmother she can’t root for her grandson and his friends?

Stats4Gnats posted:

I agree with those who advocate parents keeping unsolicited advice to an absolute minimum, but what do ya do with gramma? We have one gram who starts the second the umpire says “Play ball”, and doesn’t stop, ever. It’s not so bad when she sits a ways away from me, but here lately she’s been sitting close enough to touch and it’s been awful.

 What makes it bad is she’s always positive and sincerely trying to help, but it’s not happening. And who wants to tell a 74YO grandmother she can’t root for her grandson and his friends?

I could do that. 

Seriously, I'm glad I don't have kids in baseball. It's nice going to something where I have no idea what's going on and just watching. Now, if my daughter does decide that she wants to be an umpire after all, that may be a different story.

Stats4Gnats posted:

I agree with those who advocate parents keeping unsolicited advice to an absolute minimum, but what do ya do with gramma? We have one gram who starts the second the umpire says “Play ball”, and doesn’t stop, ever. It’s not so bad when she sits a ways away from me, but here lately she’s been sitting close enough to touch and it’s been awful.

 What makes it bad is she’s always positive and sincerely trying to help, but it’s not happening. And who wants to tell a 74YO grandmother she can’t root for her grandson and his friends?

I tell grandma (or aunt, uncle) etc., where we're going to sit, how we're going to act, and what's acceptable/unacceptable.  I tell her the goal is that no one can tell which player is her grandson.

Stats4Gnats posted:

I agree with those who advocate parents keeping unsolicited advice to an absolute minimum, but what do ya do with gramma? We have one gram who starts the second the umpire says “Play ball”, and doesn’t stop, ever. It’s not so bad when she sits a ways away from me, but here lately she’s been sitting close enough to touch and it’s been awful.

 What makes it bad is she’s always positive and sincerely trying to help, but it’s not happening. And who wants to tell a 74YO grandmother she can’t root for her grandson and his friends?

I am embarrassed to say my mom is like this at my nephews' games, but it's not always positive cheering. She's never been quiet, but she had a stroke 4 years ago which affected her "filter" so she skews negative now. It was REALLY bad that first year as they adjusted her meds. Travel coach had to talk to my sister because Mom would loudly say negative stuff about the kids and parents were complaining. It was mortifying. Sis even had to throw Mom out of a game that year. She's gotten a little better, but we have to constantly remind her to chill out. I refuse to sit near her. My sis is too nice to ban her from the games; I would've already done so.  

This is my group therapy. I have been the spectrum of the good and very poor sports dad. My biggest character flaw is not letting them have a bad day and be the dad they wanted rather than the analyst they really did not need.  I can hide behind the excuse "well they did ask for an assessment" "How did you do? Well kiddo, you played with less effort than you're capable of, so what if you won the game. You're definitely much better than that and you need to stop holding yourself back".  I may one day be looking back at my life and wonder why my kids and I rarely have a father son moments, I will have to blame myself for pushing them too much.  

And here I thought it was awkward that when my mom does come (a rare event) she knits the whole time!

As for granny, tell her the hip things to say, then she will just chant those.  Rip one meant something different back then though, so she may be hesitant 

2022NYC posted:

This is my group therapy. I have been the spectrum of the good and very poor sports dad. My biggest character flaw is not letting them have a bad day and be the dad they wanted rather than the analyst they really did not need.  I can hide behind the excuse "well they did ask for an assessment" "How did you do? Well kiddo, you played with less effort than you're capable of, so what if you won the game. You're definitely much better than that and you need to stop holding yourself back".  I may one day be looking back at my life and wonder why my kids and I rarely have a father son moments, I will have to blame myself for pushing them too much.  

You will be fine! A: You recognize the issue. B: they mostly want to ignore you at 14-15 anyway so no biggie.

CaCO3Girl posted:

And here I thought it was awkward that when my mom does come (a rare event) she knits the whole time!

As for granny, tell her the hip things to say, then she will just chant those.  Rip one meant something different back then though, so she may be hesitant 

LOL! Unfortunately, we've already tried the telling her what is okay to say route. Didn't work. She's going to say whatever she wants to say. Whether that's purely the stroke or because she's a cranky ol' lady, well... let's just say probably a little of both. In all seriousness, she can get so bad that we've had to explain to her we can't allow it anymore because it could affect his recruiting now that he's in HS. She's on a 1 strike policy this year! She'll either keep quiet, get moved WAY down the line past the dugout (which she doesn't want because she likes to socialize with the other grannies), or be banned. 

I think I have gotten a lot better over the years, but we all do slip up.  My remaining weakness is refs who (in my "expert" opinion) are letting a game get out hand.  I'm talking about soccer and basketball here, rather than baseball--when a lot of pushing and tripping and trash-talking starts and the refs just let it go.  The only time I was ever ejected from one of my kids' games was for yelling "Come on ref, someone is going to get hurt out there!"  Honest, that was all I said.  I apologized to my kids, the team parents and the coach.  Not an experience I ever want to repeat (but I confess those same words have come out of my mouth at games a few times since). 

I wonder what folks here think about something:  Soccer clubs in my neck of the woods increasingly have what they call "Silent Saturdays" (or Sundays), when they ask parents to not say anything from the sideline, not even cheering or positive comments like "great pass!"  This seems really unnatural to me--people go to sporting events to cheer.  But I asked my kids, both high schoolers, what they thought about this and they said it was great.  Both agreed that they would prefer to play without cheering, maybe even without an audience at all.  Now some of this may be teenager bravado, but I think they generally meant it.  So I wonder if the idea of watching in silence will catch on.  There are certainly games when folks in the stands make me think it would be an improvement...

My younger kid is always asking "How did I do?" and I am convinced that he already knows the correct answer.  With that said, I don't want to blow smoke and, when appropriate, I point out mistakes and he then explains the why and the where.  Some times I do get to simply say "Great!", but I feel as though I have to be honest when he asks.  Main problem is probably that he asks when he has done great or not so great - if only he would sulk in silence I would be off the hook.

On a related note, he loves to get better so I find myself making comments about minor improvements.  Things like fielding and perhaps getting into a little better position to throw - really little things that could add up eventually.  I think he likes these comments, but I sometimes fear that I come across as a little picky.  He seems a little more resilient than my older kid (who would sulk quietly) so I guess he doesn't see me as some jerk who only points out the negatives.

2017LHPscrewball posted:

My younger kid is always asking "How did I do?" and I am convinced that he already knows the correct answer.  With that said, I don't want to blow smoke and, when appropriate, I point out mistakes and he then explains the why and the where.  Some times I do get to simply say "Great!", but I feel as though I have to be honest when he asks.  Main problem is probably that he asks when he has done great or not so great - if only he would sulk in silence I would be off the hook.

On a related note, he loves to get better so I find myself making comments about minor improvements.  Things like fielding and perhaps getting into a little better position to throw - really little things that could add up eventually.  I think he likes these comments, but I sometimes fear that I come across as a little picky.  He seems a little more resilient than my older kid (who would sulk quietly) so I guess he doesn't see me as some jerk who only points out the negatives.

2017 - I think that is great that your son is asking.  A great opportunity to have an open ended discussion might be to say "How do you think you did?" and let him go on about what he liked or didnt like about his game.  I think that is a wonderful way to have an open dialog without judgement and still be able to discuss the game and have a real conversation about it.

FriarFred posted:
2017LHPscrewball posted:

My younger kid is always asking "How did I do?" and I am convinced that he already knows the correct answer.  With that said, I don't want to blow smoke and, when appropriate, I point out mistakes and he then explains the why and the where.  Some times I do get to simply say "Great!", but I feel as though I have to be honest when he asks.  Main problem is probably that he asks when he has done great or not so great - if only he would sulk in silence I would be off the hook.

On a related note, he loves to get better so I find myself making comments about minor improvements.  Things like fielding and perhaps getting into a little better position to throw - really little things that could add up eventually.  I think he likes these comments, but I sometimes fear that I come across as a little picky.  He seems a little more resilient than my older kid (who would sulk quietly) so I guess he doesn't see me as some jerk who only points out the negatives.

2017 - I think that is great that your son is asking.  A great opportunity to have an open ended discussion might be to say "How do you think you did?" and let him go on about what he liked or didnt like about his game.  I think that is a wonderful way to have an open dialog without judgement and still be able to discuss the game and have a real conversation about it.

"How did I do?"

"Did you have fun?"

Chico Escuela posted:

I think I have gotten a lot better over the years, but we all do slip up.  My remaining weakness is refs who (in my "expert" opinion) are letting a game get out hand.  I'm talking about soccer and basketball here, rather than baseball--when a lot of pushing and tripping and trash-talking starts and the refs just let it go.  The only time I was ever ejected from one of my kids' games was for yelling "Come on ref, someone is going to get hurt out there!"  Honest, that was all I said.  I apologized to my kids, the team parents and the coach.  Not an experience I ever want to repeat (but I confess those same words have come out of my mouth at games a few times since). 

I wonder what folks here think about something:  Soccer clubs in my neck of the woods increasingly have what they call "Silent Saturdays" (or Sundays), when they ask parents to not say anything from the sideline, not even cheering or positive comments like "great pass!"  This seems really unnatural to me--people go to sporting events to cheer.  But I asked my kids, both high schoolers, what they thought about this and they said it was great.  Both agreed that they would prefer to play without cheering, maybe even without an audience at all.  Now some of this may be teenager bravado, but I think they generally meant it.  So I wonder if the idea of watching in silence will catch on.  There are certainly games when folks in the stands make me think it would be an improvement...

I got T’ed up for this comment in a travel basketball game ...

i didn’t get a clear view of the tackle on my point guard. Is it second and six or second and five? 


Ok, so my soon to be 13 (two weeks) had practice I found myself offering a suggestion.  He gave me a dirty look.  Afterwards I asked him if it helps, you all know what he said, not at all. In all honesty, with all the lessons he has had, he probably knows more then me anyway!  (I never played)

Welcome to being a teenage parent. Let me leave you with a quote from one our greatest authors...

 

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."

 

Mark Twain

2022NYC posted:

Welcome to being a teenage parent. Let me leave you with a quote from one our greatest authors...

 

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."

 

Mark Twain

My dad used to quote that to me all the time.  I *hated* hearing it.  Now, of course, it is one of my favorites.  

I also love this one, from James Baldwin:  "Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them."

I coached my son's and daughters when they were young but because I know I am very animated and loud (I was trained to be in the Marine Corps).  With S1 (now 17) I coached basketball, soccer and assisted the last two years in baseball, this year I am his varsity coach.  Unfortunately for him, he inherited the Irish temper, couple that with a teenage attitude...UGH!!!  I noticed that he struggles at the plate a lot during BP and he told me that I make him nervous.  I had to pull a Gene Stallings quote and tell him, "I'm the coach, I'm going to be at every game."  Seriously though, I had a talk with him and told him that although I want him to do well I don't want him to feel overly pressured to perform just because I am the coach.  He's been a captain on this team since he was a freshman but this year I felt like I couldn't make coaches kid a captain, that probably not fair to him but to me it was really an impossible situation.  

I'm still navigating through this with my son.  I have had to call time in 2 games, once when he was at the plate and took a called strike 2 that bounced off the back of the plate and once on the mound when his RF let a routine fly ball fall and then walked to it.  I told him in both situations that if he didn't clear his mind that he was struck out already and that he would pitch himself into a worse situation than his RF had now put him in.  Many of these young players and parents do not realize how much the mental state plays into the game of baseball maybe more than any other sport.

One thing that I have learned in our first 3 games is that the team will follow my energy.  We had a very intense game last Friday, down 6-0 after 2 innings and then came back to win going up 9-6 in the bottom of the 6th.  With the intensity of the game and the added pressure of the rivalry coupled with some very questionable calls, it was pretty wild.  I noticed that the team will follow what I do so I have to ensure that I maintain an even keel in order for them to maintain their focus throughout the game.  I know the limits but I can't trust that my players do so it is imperative that I lead by example and if I have a disagreement with a call, have a quite, private conversation with the umpire.  

I've also learned after taking the position of Area Director for Fellowship of Christian Athletes that I have to be a better fan. 

By the time my son was 11 he knew everything and wanted no chit chat from the old man.  He was a pretty dominate travel player and 15 for 19 weekends were common.  But every once in awhile the slump would come and he'd have a 2 for 16.  Either way I had already learned not to puff him up when things were rolling or to offer suggestions when it was going the other way.

After a tough weekend, we'd be driving home and he'd be sitting in the stew and by the time we got near the house he'd say something like - "Can we go to the cage?"  All I'd say was "Sure"  I'd buy  bunch of tokens and he'd swing 20 times getting madder and madder and I stood and waited.  

Finally I'd get "What do you think?"  Usually it was something easy like opening up too soon so I'd offer up "stay closed and push the ball the other way or up the middle.  The first one he squared up got a "That's it"  and then after a couple more - "There you go".  After another few tokens of line drives and restored confidence he'd say "I'm good - I'll get'em next week - let's go eat."  Order in the Universe had been restored.

If it is true your life flashes before your eyes when you die - I am sure those times will come again.  God I miss that.

luv baseball posted:

By the time my son was 11 he knew everything and wanted no chit chat from the old man.  He was a pretty dominate travel player and 15 for 19 weekends were common.  But every once in awhile the slump would come and he'd have a 2 for 16.  Either way I had already learned not to puff him up when things were rolling or to offer suggestions when it was going the other way.

After a tough weekend, we'd be driving home and he'd be sitting in the stew and by the time we got near the house he'd say something like - "Can we go to the cage?"  All I'd say was "Sure"  I'd buy  bunch of tokens and he'd swing 20 times getting madder and madder and I stood and waited.  

Finally I'd get "What do you think?"  Usually it was something easy like opening up too soon so I'd offer up "stay closed and push the ball the other way or up the middle.  The first one he squared up got a "That's it"  and then after a couple more - "There you go".  After another few tokens of line drives and restored confidence he'd say "I'm good - I'll get'em next week - let's go eat."  Order in the Universe had been restored.

If it is true your life flashes before your eyes when you die - I am sure those times will come again.  God I miss that.

That's awesome!  The older I get the more convinced I become that with sports, less parental involvement is almost always more LOL.  Our son just went down to FL with his HS team and we decided just let him go with the team by himself and not make it a family vacation.  Wonder of wonders, he survived and played well without ole mom and dad there .  

Was in the batting cage last night at 10 pm with college freshman, he came home Sat night after games and needs to leave first thing AM for class (nice being close to home) He said he is close but something is missing. needs some cage swings with nobody watching to figure it out!

Perfect ending to Easter in my opinion, just he and I in the quiet, I don't get many of those nights anymore! Got a hug and everything I guess some of it helped whatever it may have been.

old_school posted:

Was in the batting cage last night at 10 pm with college freshman, he came home Sat night after games and needs to leave first thing AM for class (nice being close to home) He said he is close but something is missing. needs some cage swings with nobody watching to figure it out!

Perfect ending to Easter in my opinion, just he and I in the quiet, I don't get many of those nights anymore! Got a hug and everything I guess some of it helped whatever it may have been.

Awesome. 

I coached at the same school for many years . I went to a game and watched from the stands. I lasted about 2 innings. It was like listening to sports talk radio. why is the coach doing this ? my kid is batting 8th? Why is this kid playing? etc etc .. I am sure the same conversation was going on in previous years.  My trip to subsequent games usually found me down one of the foul lines. 

Will posted: I coached at the same school for many years . I went to a game and watched from the stands. I lasted about 2 innings. It was like listening to sports talk radio. why is the coach doing this ? my kid is batting 8th? Why is this kid playing? etc etc .. I am sure the same conversation was going on in previous years.  My trip to subsequent games usually found me down one of the foul lines. 

Didja give any thought as to why all that talk goes on? Since I try to get as close to behind the plate as possible to score games, I hear that all the time, and usually from both sides. I try to let it go in one ear and out the other but that doesn’t always happen and it distracts me.

Over the years I’ve given it lots of thought and it almost always comes out the same. The fans in the stands are ignorant with a capital “I”! In most cases those people don’t think the way we “real” baseball people do. While we look at the subtleties of the game and understand how the different things going on relate to each other, most fans at amateur baseball games are there because they have some kind of familial or friendship attachment to one or more of the players.

Those people tend to think in terms of their own self-interest and couldn’t care less that there might be very good reasons things are the way they are, even though the questions they ask and the observations they make may well be worthwhile and accurate. But in many instances the ignorance is perpetuated because the person making the decisions either doesn’t have or doesn’t take the time to explain his decision making process.

That’s why I’m so glad that like you I’m not one of the ignorant masses, but unlike you, I can’t just move every time I hear ignorance at a baseball game. As much as it might distract me, I actually have to sit and listen to what other people have to say, ignorant or not.

It is the rare parent that can assess their children dispassionately.   Second guessing coaches is nearly a sport to itself - what would sports radio be without that?  With a personal stake to amplify matters HS baseball is worse.

My rule of thumb was - the closer you stand to home plate during a HS baseball game is in direct proportion to how much you want to wallow in banal self interested chatter about the genetic flaws, stupidity and lack of talent of every participant on the field - EXCEPT little Johnny. 

My tolerance level was half way between the bag and the foul pole on the baselines.  So about 150 feet from ground zero behind the backstop - or from the concession.  I used to send my little kids for the hot dogs because I'd lose my apatite (and patience) if I got too close to the noise.  

 

Add Reply

Likes (1)
TPM
×
×
×
×