Play hard. Have fun. I love you.

Originally Posted by d8:
If you are saying much more than this at your son's game you are missing out on a wonderful experience of getting to watch your son do/be a part of something special.

Best baseball experience I ever had was sitting in a Depression Era stadium with an overhang over the grandstand.  It was in the country and I was all by myself on a 85 degree day with low humidity and slight breeze watching my son in a showcase double header.

Drank a few beers and ate a couple of hot dogs and never said a word to anyone and just watched the games.  He had a good day and looked like he was simply enjoying the game and playing. 

 

I don't know why and I can't explain it but the combination of great weather, great old ball park and my joyous son playing baseball just made my heart full.  I am grateful for that day and will always remember it fondly.

 

In 10yo ball we used to have the kids yell, "play hard, play fair, have fun" before they took the field.

 

We absolutely tell both our HS age boys that we love them on a daily basis.  But not at the field. There I'm more likely to say "square something up!"  If we're traveling to the game together it's "get a good pitch."

My 2018 made his first varsity appearance yesterday. When he texted me to tell me he was dressing down, I sent him the following message.

Know your role, be enthusiastic, listen, lead and pick up your players. You got this. I love you.

I don't ever talk to him at the field other than to cheer, but I always try to send him reminders before the game about his actions, not about baseball. His job is to play the game. My job is to help him grow up and be a good person, with or without baseball.

When my son was in high school, he had a summer coach that every time he was leaving the dugout to pitch a game, he would say "Don't screw it up."

 

Every now and then I will text him that on game day, just to keep things light.

 

Yesterday, I happened to talk to him as he was leaving with his roommates to his game.  i said good luck and I love you.  It made me feel good he said he loved me too without hesitation, in front of his buddies.

Originally Posted by BadDad:

I'm not gonna win any parenting awards, but at least I know enough to sequester myself in a corner when my kid is pitching so that no one hears me say anything mean/stupid about my kid or theirs.

This really made me laugh....but first I looked over my shoulder.

Originally Posted by Coach_May:

I think this is one of the best posts I have ever read on this site. Heck on any site. Thank You

I agree!

Later on, as your son moves on from HS to either college or pro ball, things become much more complicated.  

The pressure can become intense, for them, for you, so its good to try to instill in them (and you) early on, to enjoy what they are doing and remind them often that you love them for who they are not because they play baseball.

 

Sounds like some great parents posting here. Wish I could have read this over 30 years ago.

 

My older son was extremely talented, we would fight after some of the games. I wanted what was best for him, just didn't know any better at the time.

 

Youngest son was not nearly as talented, I was much more at ease and took it easy on him. Even though he wasn't as good, I kind of did enjoy the games a lot more.

 

Older son played one year of minor league baseball, broke his wrist and hung it up.

 

Youngest son was pitching in the Big Leagues at age 22. Then had TJ urgery and 4 years later played nearly the whole year again in the Big Leagues.

 

Sometimes us elderly people just had to learn things too late. If someone really cares, there is a lot to learn on this site. Always much better when you can learn from the mistakes others have made, than having to learn from your own.

My son screwed up and I still made him smile.

 

When my son was a high school soph the high school season ended one game out of the district tournament when my son was picked off first. Jogging slowly back to the dugout with his head down four dads of seniors were verbally abusing him. They completely overlooked his two rbi single that got the team within one run.

 

His coach didn't need to give the steal sign. He could have yelled out "steal second." Everyone in the park knew he was going. After a large number of throws to first the opposing senior pitcher coaxed him out another half step and nailed him. 

 

Knowing there would be field maintenance time after the game I headed for WaWa (like 7/11) and bought a roll of LifeSavers. I waited in the stands until my son came out of the dugout. He felt so badly he wanted everyone gone before he came out. When he finally came out I tossed him the roll of LifeSavers and told him I still loved him. He smiled and said it's going to take two rolls and a trip to Outback for dinner.

 

Then he asked if I remembered the time he made two errors in a LL game. When I asked him if he wanted to practice tomorrow he said, "I don't suck. I just sucked today. Tomorrow is another day." It's when I knew my son "got it" as an athlete.

 

I've never forgotten that moment because some dads acted like jerks and abused him verbally. Yet he shook it off and managed a smile. Tomorrow was another day. The next high school season was unbelievable. It started 14 for 16.

When my son was pitching in a little league playoff game and he was struggling in an inning in a big game for us. I called time out and took the stroll out to the mound. When I got there I know he was expecting to hear, something about his mechanics or what we was doing wrong. I looked him right in the eyes and asked what would he like for dinner that night after the game, burgers or pizza? He looked at me like I had three heads and I said well I guess it is Pizza then and just walked back to the dugout. Ever since then there was something big in his life,,,,,I would just ask him what he wanted for dinner. My way of saying no matter what happens we still love you and life goes on.

Love this thread.  I always say "Have fun." to my sons and to their coaches and fellow players if the proximity is right.  I used to say "Good Luck" but then I reread Catcher in the Rye and noticed what Holden Caulfield says about wishing someone "good luck".  He thought it wasn't a good thing to tell someone, and now I kind of agree (not to dis anyone else for saying  "good luck", though).  For me, it's now just "Have fun."  I'm so grateful all three of my boys play, and all enjoy it, and all like talking about it at the dinner table.

 

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

A father’s affirmation is so very important to a young ball player.  You can’t watch a youth or high school game without witnessing it.  Kid gets a key hit and after the initial hoopla and celebration he immediately scans the stands for his dad, seeking the smile or the thumbs up.  Once received, his own smile grows even larger and you can almost see his heart swell.  It’s very cool to watch.

 

Maybe this never changes and forever remains a part of the father/son dynamic?  I was watching the Dodgers play the Mariners this week, and Dodger leftfielder Scott Van Slyke, whose father Andy is the hitting coach for Seattle, smacked a double to drive in a run at a critical juncture of the game.  After celebrating with his teammates from across the diamond, the camera remained on him for a few seconds longer and you could see him turn and glance in the direction of the Mariner dugout.  Call me a sap, but I’m pretty sure he was looking for dad.

 

My son is a PO now so the dynamic is a bit different for us.  He’s locked in on the mound and doesn’t see anything other than the batter/catcher while he’s performing, but the first thing he says when we meet after the game is “How did I do?”  Doesn’t matter if he throws a shutout with 10 K’s, he wants my approval.  I only wish it hadn’t taken my idiot self so long to understand the importance.  I was very demanding with my eldest and pushed the younger one too hard for a time, before finally getting it.

I have been watching my son play baseball since he was 4 years old.......he is now 29.....he has played for 25 years.....I've watched him play on ball fields in 10 states.....spent countless hours pitching, raking, driving, buying, sitting, waiting, cheering, consoling, praying, cheering and just flat out enjoying the journey!

 

Currently my son plays in a semi-pro league who plays DH on Sundays.....I do not umpire on Sundays...........Sunday is reserved for watching my son play.....One of the greatest joys of my life is to watch my son on the ball field..... .

 

One day the game will end for both of us........probably sooner for me than him....and I don't want to miss a moment watching him play the game we both love......

 

love this thread......

 

 

This thread is a beautiful thing.

 

When my son rips one into the gap, or is dealing on the mound, I don't always catch his look. He doesn't need my approval, even if he thinks he does. I tell him I love him and am proud of him before and after the game.

 

When he makes a mistake, I always catch his look and mouth "Next time, bud" with a smile on my face.

Originally Posted by RJM:

My son screwed up and I still made him smile.

 

When my son was a high school soph the high school season ended one game out of the district tournament when my son was picked off first. Jogging slowly back to the dugout with his head down four dads of seniors were verbally abusing him. They completely overlooked his two rbi single that got the team within one run.

 

His coach didn't need to give the steal sign. He could have yelled out "steal second." Everyone in the park knew he was going. After a large number of throws to first the opposing senior pitcher coaxed him out another half step and nailed him. 

 

Knowing there would be field maintenance time after the game I headed for WaWa (like 7/11) and bought a roll of LifeSavers. I waited in the stands until my son came out of the dugout. He felt so badly he wanted everyone gone before he came out. When he finally came out I tossed him the roll of LifeSavers and told him I still loved him. He smiled and said it's going to take two rolls and a trip to Outback for dinner.

 

Then he asked if I remembered the time he made two errors in a LL game. When I asked him if he wanted to practice tomorrow he said, "I don't suck. I just sucked today. Tomorrow is another day." It's when I knew my son "got it" as an athlete.

 

I've never forgotten that moment because some dads acted like jerks and abused him verbally. Yet he shook it off and managed a smile. Tomorrow was another day. The next high school season was unbelievable. It started 14 for 16.

Awesome story and outcome. 

 

I'm not sure how I would have reacted had I heard some Dad's verbally abuse my son. 

Originally Posted by lionbaseball:
Originally Posted by RJM:

My son screwed up and I still made him smile.

 

When my son was a high school soph the high school season ended one game out of the district tournament when my son was picked off first. Jogging slowly back to the dugout with his head down four dads of seniors were verbally abusing him. They completely overlooked his two rbi single that got the team within one run.

 

His coach didn't need to give the steal sign. He could have yelled out "steal second." Everyone in the park knew he was going. After a large number of throws to first the opposing senior pitcher coaxed him out another half step and nailed him. 

 

Knowing there would be field maintenance time after the game I headed for WaWa (like 7/11) and bought a roll of LifeSavers. I waited in the stands until my son came out of the dugout. He felt so badly he wanted everyone gone before he came out. When he finally came out I tossed him the roll of LifeSavers and told him I still loved him. He smiled and said it's going to take two rolls and a trip to Outback for dinner.

 

Then he asked if I remembered the time he made two errors in a LL game. When I asked him if he wanted to practice tomorrow he said, "I don't suck. I just sucked today. Tomorrow is another day." It's when I knew my son "got it" as an athlete.

 

I've never forgotten that moment because some dads acted like jerks and abused him verbally. Yet he shook it off and managed a smile. Tomorrow was another day. The next high school season was unbelievable. It started 14 for 16.

Awesome story and outcome. 

 

I'm not sure how I would have reacted had I heard some Dad's verbally abuse my son. 

I had a history with these dads. It allowed me to tune them out all season. To start with one of their kids wasn't starting as a senior because of my son (first soph opening day starter in six years). Another one of their kids wasn't playing short because of my son. Another I had multiple confrontations with over fifteen years on our youth sports board and baseball and basketball committees. These guys were using their power to abuse the youth sports program for the benefit of their kids.

 

When my son was eleven he left their Ripken baseball program to play LL. The all star team played into August twice while the CR team stunk. Plus a lot of people followed my lead and left CR for the three LLs that had carved up our town. Then "my son was too good to play Jr. Legion and Legion." "His father thinks he's so special he has him on a travel team." I was told two years into college ball they were still ripping my son and me behind our backs. When people are that petty it's not hard to ignore them.

I let this post go a few day because I loved the tone and direction it was heading.  I have always used this advise when watching my kids compete, and I am so glad I have.  I lost my young son a few weeks ago in a horse riding accident. I have nothing but great memories of him on the baseball field and the time we spent together in the cage, at practice, or in games.  He loved the game and he loved life.  So it does not matter how big your ball player has gotten, hug him extra tight and tell him you love him.

D8 , my deepest sympathy for your tragic loss. Your son's life on earth was too short. As you mentioned though the good memories last a lifetime and not be forgotten. Thanks for the poignant reminder of embracing our kids and the moments we share together.

d8 - I am terribly sorry to hear about you losing your son at such an early age.  May his memory and the special times you shared together help get you through this time of sorrow.  You have my deepest sympathy and most sincere condolences.  Stay Strong.

D8, I'm struggling with words... sincere deepest sympathies.. hopeful thoughts and prayers to lessen the pain are being steered to you and your family.

 

I'm glad you are sharing your story.  I think I have learned the hard way thru recent losses that keeping everything inside is not the best way to celebrate the special times you had with your lost loved one, as you have done so well today.

Originally Posted by d8:

I let this post go a few day because I loved the tone and direction it was heading.  I have always used this advise when watching my kids compete, and I am so glad I have.  I lost my young son a few weeks ago in a horse riding accident. I have nothing but great memories of him on the baseball field and the time we spent together in the cage, at practice, or in games.  He loved the game and he loved life.  So it does not matter how big your ball player has gotten, hug him extra tight and tell him you love him.

d8,

You have been here a long time, so from one old timer to another, I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss that you and your family have suffered. I just cant imagine. 

I am so glad that you let us know.  It really gives you a different perspective on what is really important and that is to enjoy each and every day with your family and not sweat the small stuff!

God bless you and your family.  

Originally Posted by d8:

I let this post go a few day because I loved the tone and direction it was heading.  I have always used this advise when watching my kids compete, and I am so glad I have.  I lost my young son a few weeks ago in a horse riding accident. I have nothing but great memories of him on the baseball field and the time we spent together in the cage, at practice, or in games.  He loved the game and he loved life.  So it does not matter how big your ball player has gotten, hug him extra tight and tell him you love him.

I am sorry for your loss, and your story hits my heart.  Sometimes I don't know if I tell Ryno I love him enough.  He's a man now, and sometimes it is hard.  We have a great relationship, but I could definitely work on the I love you's.

D8 -let me add I also am sorry for your loss.  Due to a tragic motocross accident of my son's friend, I do make it a point to tell my son I love him frequently.

 

Motocross accident - my son has a friend who played with him on his travel team and in HS.  His friend's 2nd favorite activity after baseball was motocross racing.  A few years back while racing in an event he took a spill and the next rider came down directly on his helmet.  Though he survived, he suffered serious brain damage and to this day can barely walk and has serious speech/comprehension issues.  He's come along ways, but has a long, long way to go.

 

It tears me up when I do see him as he is a great kid and they are good family.  Life can take strange turns and you simply cannot predict what will happen.

 

 

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