Caution for Parents of Young Players

real green posted:
Zia2021 posted:

3) Don't let a bad HS coach ruin the game for your kid. This can take many forms. For us, it was the fact that the coach is a nice guy but terrible leader/coach. This frustrates our kid and burned him out. Coach made him play on 3 teams his freshman year when he was good enough to play V only. [I assure you, we are not one of those families that think little Johnny was good enough to play V but he really wasn't; it really was true in our case as pointed out to us by several knowledgeable baseball coaches.] But our HS coach believes younger kids don't play V no matter what (unless you are 1 of his 2 kids and then you can be on V). Our HS coach is a super nice guy, and dedicates a lot of time and energy to the team, but he is a terrible leader and coach. He doesn't know how to motivate or control his players (for example, several of them are potheads and he knows it, but does nothing because 1 of their dad's is a volunteer coach and the other families he's known since they were kids in our small town). So... our kid dressed freshman team because the program didn't have enough players to fill 3 teams; therefore, all freshman (except the coaches 2 kids) dressed every freshman game. Our kid HATED playing on the freshman team because the rest of the team was the Bad News Bears; it even had tiny little 7th graders on the team just to fill the roster. After the competitive travel ball he had been playing for years, it was a joke; he knew it and we knew it. We tried to keep our feelings out of it though and encouraged him to be the best HE could be. He also dressed and played JV unless a freshman game conflicted. He dressed V most games just to run (apparently coach is ok exploiting a kid for his speed talent while not letting him play). The last 2 weeks of his freshman HS season, he played 22 games in 14 days across the 3 teams, with no days off, and school was still in session. He was the only player dressing all 3 teams. I don't care how much you love the game, it becomes miserable at that point. In hindsight, we should have talked to the coach at the beginning of the season and limited our kid to 2 teams. We didn't care which 2 teams (freshman and JV would have been fine with us), but 3 is ridiculous. I agree with the wisdom shared here often that parents should not talk to the coach unless it is a health/safety issue. This was one of those times, as evidenced by the fact that our kid became so exhausted at some points he could barely function (his overall mental health tanked). So this was truly a health/safety issue for our kid. We also wish we would have sent him to a different school with a better baseball program (2 private schools with excellent programs in our area were options.) So be careful when choosing a HS program, and speak up when necessary to protect your kid (especially pitcher parents).

There are so many red flags regarding your perspective of the HS program.  Parents need to fully commit to their sons coaches.  I don't care how careful you are to keep your opinion from your kid, it will impact him negatively if you feel this bad about a program.  

I have yet to be a part of a program where all the parents thought it was great.  More or less every program has three groups of parents.

 >>>> Approximately 1/3 rd thinks its great, 1/3 rd thinks its OK, and 1/3 rd thinks it's horrible.  <<<<

EVERY program has these camps of parents.  These are from championship programs with top talent and coaching all the way down to daddy ball.  

Parents please understand, YOU have the BIGGEST impact on how much your son is enjoying being part of a team and the game.  The most important piece of the journey is that it's fun!  

Approximately 1/3 of the kids star, another 1/3 get reasonable playing time, 1/3 the kid isn’t playing and the parent believes he’s getting screwed

I know I can be mean and unfair to my kids. The world can be worse, they will need to learn how to cope to not only survive but thrive. I choose parenting over friendship. Mom is usually the good cop to provide the support when dad cold clocks them with it could and should be better. When they get my praise and admiration, they know it was earned. I have been continually reminding them my satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their progress is not an indicator of how much I love them, but a part of my job and if I didn't love them so much why would I put up with them. Of course they could not fathom that they can be difficult to love at times....good times at the household I tell ya.

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