“This stuff that’s been taught in the last generation – if you tell someone they’re good enough, they’ll become it – is hogwash. Self-esteem doesn’t come from playing sports, that’s accomplishment. We’ve raised a generation of kids who have no idea what excellence is. Excellence comes from failing. You’ve got to fail and bump and bruise and scrape. Life’s not a participation trophy. Too many people get told fair is good, good is great, and great is excellent. And it isn’t.”

Very honest and true. The parent has such a huge impact on the experience the player has. They are either a positive influence or a negative one. What is sad is many kids end up with life long regrets. They end up missing out on so much. Simply because the parent doesn't understand how much they can influence the experience.

I have seen kids who were perfectly happy with where they were. Enjoying the experience and working hard to improve. Only to be convinced that they were getting the short end of the stick by their own parent who simply couldn't understand their kids situation. Its truly sad.

When your in it you think his batting avg is so important, his role on the team is everything, this is huge that is huge. But then reality hits after the glove is put away and the game is a distant memory. It really wasn't about all that stuff you put so much value in. It was about your son learning life lessons through the game. It was about your son having an experience that he can look back on with positive and happy memories. It was about your son learning how to fail, how to get back up, what it means to be a part of something bigger than him.

Parents love their children more than anything they will ever love. In their desire to see him get what they know he wants to get, what they perceive he deserves. They end up causing him to miss out on what he needs and what he ultimately can carry with him long after the game passes him by. I don't care how good your son is. He will be a baseball player for only a short time in his life. He will be your son forever. What kind of man he is will trump what kind of player he is. What he learns through the game will always trump what he learned about the game. When he is 35 his ability to grind, man up, work as a team, fail and get the hell back up, will trump the fact he could hit a baseball at 18.

The other day my husband and I wandered into a critique of my sons varsity coach after a season ending game. Finally we paused and said to him--what do you think? He paused and said "I don't always agree with all of his baseball decisions, but coach is a good person who does his best and works hard every day. That's all that really matters to me."

Proud to be put in my place by my 16-year-old. 

Coachmay said: "I don't care how good your son is. He will be a baseball player for only a short time in his life. He will be your son forever. "

In 8th grade my son had a total collapse in one game and hit like 5 batters over 2 or 3 innings.   He went on to have a better year, but still had a few hit batsmen here and there.   That event stuck with me, and a lot of other people, unfortunately.  I think it may still sit in the backs of some coach's minds.  Anyway, fast forward to the beginning of the 9th grade season.  Son takes to the mound in relief in one game and hits the first batter with the first pitch.   I've been sitting there fretting over that possibility and bam!  

My eyes fell. I said, "Oh, no."  A coach muttered, "That's exactly what we didn't need."   Almost immediately a vision of my son as a little child washed over me, and visions of him as so much more than a baseball player came to my eyes.  And I was struck with the knowledge that, "He may well fail today and even, for all intents and purposes, end his baseball career.  However, he's still going to go home and be my son.  I'm going to get to spend many more years with him, Lord willing.  I am going to get to hug him and have conversations with him and get to do things.   I'm going to get to watch him grow up and marry a great girl.  All of this is really not that big of a deal."

I started this post for the purposes of giving a tip of the cap to the coaches.  I've only done some little league coaching, but I really respect and try to honor you guys.  I pray that I will never be one of those parents.    Thanks y'all.

P.s.:  In 9th grade, son went on to be the number 1 JV pitcher and was granted a number of call ups to varsity.

Coach May, bravo!

When son seemed to be feeling the pressure, his Dad & I would just emphasize "It's a game!...enjoy it! You get to play! Adults don't get to "play"!"...

Parents ought to put things in perspective & teach their young men to, too. And learn to see things from a coaches point of view. Where would these kids be without the influences of all those coaches? 

Going all the way to kiddie sports and through high school I've claimed kids would have more fun if the parents would stop telling them they're not having fun.

Too many parents say "This is your box junior, stick with it until it fits you", and then we wonder why this generation can't think for itself...they have been told what to do and how to do it from birth, no deviation.

9u kid hits bottom of the order, well that just won't do he HAS to be the best, we will get him hitting lessons once a week to improve that. He's still not hitting in the top of the order, we should move teams it's obviously the coach is playing his favorites, increase lessons, because Mary Sue's son hits higher in the order than my boy and I will never hear the end of it at the weekend BBQ.  10u, kid now has hitting and pitching lessons, he rarely gets to do either in a game, parents buy more lessons....this can go on for YEARS! 

Meanwhile, every chance junior gets he is outside playing soccer with his friends, he loves soccer, he doesn't even like baseball, that little fact doesn't seem relevant to his parents though.  How about the parents switch up sports/activities until one peaks the kids interest or he is NATURALLY talented at rather than he needs 100 lessons to be average?  Baseball, football, soccer, basketball, ballet, shotput, running, jumping,  drill team, marching band, martial arts, piano lessons....the kid will eventually really like something or he will turn 18 and be out of the house with a decent base in a wide range of sports...where is the down side?

CM,

That was a wonderful post to remind folks what it really is all about.  Thank you.

My son is just beginning his coaching journey and I hope that he leaves as much positive impression on  his players as you have over the years.

My son wont coach at the youth level.  Lots of reasons stated in that article.  He doesnt want to deal with parents telling him what he should do or undermine his coaching.  He has been playing the game all of his life, but dad knows better.  He doesnt see youth players as having fun as he did at that age.

 

 

RJM posted:

Going all the way to kiddie sports and through high school I've claimed kids would have more fun if the parents would stop telling them they're not having fun.

^^^^This post alone, could be a golden thread for parents of kids playing sports.

Go44dad posted:
RJM posted:

Going all the way to kiddie sports and through high school I've claimed kids would have more fun if the parents would stop telling them they're not having fun.

^^^^This post alone, could be a golden thread for parents of kids playing sports.

I agree. I have requested to place this in the appropriate topic.

And this is another opportunity for me to push one of my regular agendas here... we could use a place for golden posts.  Quite often it is just one post in a thread that deserves heightened visibility to everyone and no need to highlight the whole thread.

Last edited by cabbagedad
Teaching Elder posted:

Sniff... I thought the whole thread was pretty good. :.-.(

It was and its now gone golden!

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