OK, let’s stop the whining. That’s about enough of that for me.
Let’s talk baseball, shall we?
Next Wednesday is the first day of spring, and in our house spring means only one thing: baseball. Not just the kind of baseball where you stay up at night watching the Sox … more like the kind of baseball where it’s all you can eat, sleep, and breathe.
We don’t just watch, we play. Then we practice at home. Then we practice on the field. Then we practice at home again. Then we play some more.
I’m not always so sure it’s the best thing. I manage the boys’ teams, and the eat sleep breathe mentality can be dangerous if I’m the one perpetuating it. I don’t want to be that heavy-handed coach who doesn’t let their own kids have any fun with it. I also don’t want them to get discouraged by not getting a hit or missing a catch. I try to encourage them to improve, but in a way where I don’t seem overbearing.
You hear the horror stories of the parents who get right in the car with their kid after a game and practically berate them with what they did wrong and what they could do better the next time. Now I know that berating the young’uns is not the intention of most of these parents. I’m all for letting the kids know what they can improve on, I just see it as a matter of timing. If you just wait a bit to let them know what they can improve on, and don’t inundate them with everything they did wrong at once, then hopefully it will sink in but not in a negative way.
I can remember when I would leave my softball games, which I usually did pretty well in, and my mom would say something along the lines of “you did great but …” The but always hurt. If she’d just waited a while I don’t think it would’ve stung as bad. – I want to avoid that with the boys. That sting. I know, since I’m their coach, that I’m going to give them that feeling once in a while. My goal is to do it as little as possible, though.
The practicing at home, that’s all them. They want to go outside and improve their game. They want to do better at every practice. I try to just sit back and watch. There’s no need for overload. – When they head out in the yard to play ball I wait. If they ask me to come play I do, and I try to hold my tongue. When they ask my help I readily give it. I wait until they ask me, though. I don’t want to take away the fun.
Sports are all about improving and learning. The main thing, though, is that it’s fun and they enjoy it. We love baseball in this house. Let’s keep it that way, eh?