My son will make it

The spring thaw, don’t you love it? waiting for the crocuses to appear and the grass to turn green. For more than fifty years, this was the time of year that I lived for. The boys of the summer, 162 games in 180 days, what fun? I am no longer a participant, just a spectator. Every summer, although from the age of eight to thirty-five, that’s what he did, he played baseball. As a child, the dream was to become a professional baseball player and earn a living. I’m sure kids today have those same dreams and can see themselves hitting the home run that wins the World Series or throwing a no-hitter. It was a fantasy festival and we all fantasized, but sadly, none of us made it. We played in uniform and out of uniform, we organized and gathered, honed our skills, practiced hitting, and we all thought we were that good, but not good enough. There were some guys in the city I lived in who were so good that we thought we would one day see them playing for the Yankees. Not so.

I started doing math many years ago and finally solved the numbers. There are about three thousand professional baseball players in the United States and that includes minor league teams. I do not include Japan or other countries that play in the World Baseball Classic every four years. There are eight billion people living on the planet. The chances of a child being struck by lightning are greater than those of becoming a professional baseball player. Professional baseball players are the cream of the crop and they have certain physical abilities that are innate to them and only to them. When scouts speak of a five-tool player, they mean a player’s ability to run with speed, have a strong throwing arm, can hit average and hit power, and can align their position well. These are all God-given abilities that improve with practice, but they are actually natural talent.

I’m not overly concerned with teenagers understanding those numbers, I think they do, but I don’t think parents have a clear understanding of those statistics, and furthermore, many believe that their child will be the next Mickey Mantle. It is not the belief that worries, it is what parents do with those beliefs that can make life miserable for many people.

Let’s be clear, the coach of the coach, the father of the parents, and the player’s game, every time these three things get mixed up and start stepping on their feet, it’s a recipe for disaster with the player losing and I don’t mean the game. . Let’s take a look at what happens when each person in the group above doesn’t know how to do their job, creates unrealistic expectations, and starts telling others how to do their job.

Coach Coaches

Sometimes training can be more difficult than teaching. When a teacher teaches, they are in a classroom with their students, and unless they are being watched by an administrator, no one is watching. A coach during a game and at times during practice could be being watched by a large part of the community in which he works. They do this job sometimes for little or no money, spend hours of their time trying to help improve the athleticism of someone else’s children, and can be mercilessly underestimated and criticized by parents and sometimes their parents. own players. Parents, I must add that you have unrealistic expectations of your own children’s abilities and talents. I realize that parents need to read and sign the handbook that sets out the rules of engagement and must realize their place during games, but all too often in communities where sports are the centerpiece, parents continually argue about the coach and unfortunately keep these conversations within earshot of their children. The coach becomes the subject of rumors and gossip and is placed under the microscope of the community with the parents nibbling the morsel for the coach to provide the evidence to support their belief. This all started because of the agendas of some disgruntled parents who believe that their child should play every game, even if their child is not the best launch option for the game that day. Teachers are hired for their expertise in a subject area and are left alone to deliver content to their students. When they are allowed to draw on their own creativity and are not intimidated by parents, and potentially administration, they feel more confident and relaxed while doing their work. Coaches are hired to train and must be left alone to bring their expertise to their players. Parents who interfere with the coach while he is doing his job put undue pressure on him / her and rob players of the joy of competition and camaraderie. So if you’re a parent, do your kid a favor and leave the coach alone. He was given the job by a school district or community that believed in him and his abilities to teach kids a sport and bring out the best in their players. Let the coach; coach and let him do what he likes to do.

Parents Father

Your son may be good at his sport, but unless he’s the next Bryce Harper, he won’t be a pro. So why put all kinds of performance-related pressure on this kid? By the way, if you ask any professional baseball player what their parents were like when they were in the minor leagues, they will tell you that their parents said just go out and have fun; for the love of the game and nothing else. In fact, that is why they came to the pros because of the attitude without pressure or expectations. Parents need to be parents and that means encouraging, nurturing natural talents, and balancing rules and regulations with compassion and understanding. Parents are the life coach of their children and need to guide their children in the right direction by instilling in them life-long values ​​and character training that will lead to future success. By the time baseball or any other sport becomes the benchmark for success, any failure related to the game will make the child feel like a failure in other areas of his life and lose the confidence necessary to continue. go ahead. So, be a parent, not a coach, leave the coaching to the coaches and work with your child to be the best he can be as a person, not as a player. If they are good people, they will be good players. Use sports as a vehicle to help your child show who they really are; someone with character and values, who respects his teammates and opponents, and who understands that there is only one person in charge in games and training sessions and that is the coach.

Players play

Players play; Think about what we call players who participate in sports teams. Not workers, players. What does it mean to play? It means you have fun, you do it willingly, and you can’t wait to start doing it. You enjoy it. Is that what our children experience today when they participate as players on a sports team? I don’t know, what I do know is that I’ve seen enough kids forced to go to soccer practice on Tuesday night and to games on Saturday morning. Nowadays, many children only play in organized teams and for them, once the game becomes something organized by adults, the word game does not enter the equation. Also, children don’t know how to play today. They don’t know how to organize and play pickup games. Often some leagues are in municipalities and the children live miles apart and have no one to play with and hone the skills they learned on the job. Children need to run together on their own and learn to solve problems on their own with adult training and not with adults hovering over them offering correction because their swing was bad or they don’t know how to catch a fly ball. So let the children play, if we don’t play, we won’t play anymore, it will be work.

So what do we do?

The solution is quite simple, let the children play and do not get between them; Easier said than done. Both teachers and parents have asked me for solutions to problems. My response has at times been “I’m going to tell you what to do, but you probably won’t.” They cannot or do not want to. Egos are too big and when there are people who have some power they use it to get what they want, even when it is not the best for the team or the group. School districts and communities are controlled by the minority who do not always want the best for a group. Sometimes parents don’t always want the best for their own children and live vicariously through them in the hope that they will somehow complete their own unfinished life. As a society, we have lost some true professional and personal wisdom and want to dismantle the playground because a child fell off the bars. Our children look to us for answers, but we are too busy arguing with each other. They then look at each other and their friends raise them by proxy, creating what Robert Bly called “The Sibling Society,” where the ground is level and no one is in charge.

As adults we have created this culture in a very innocent and unconscious way, and now we have to dismantle the Frankenstein Monster. We need to stop telling parents and children what they want to hear and be honest about their academic and sports-related abilities, regardless of unrealistic parental expectations. Moneyball’s Billy Beane was selected in the first round by the New York Mets out of high school. Scouts identified him as that five-tool player we talked about earlier. He played for a short time in the major leagues and then turned to scouting. He never made it as a player, but he became a successful general manager for the Oakland Athletics. He was successful, but not as the player everyone thought he would be.

When Bryce Harper hit the pros as Washington Nationals outfielder Davey Johnson, the then-team manager asked how he felt, Harper replied; “This is the most relaxed thing I’ve ever been in my entire life.” Harper knew that he had been struck by lightning and that he was one in eight billion who became a professional baseball player. It really did. Everyone else will have to keep trying, but in reality all children have the potential to be great people, but not professional athletes. Even if a kid gets a scholarship and is state in his sport, he will always be a big fish in a little pond, so let the kid have fun, let the coaches train, and help parents understand how little expectations realistic can do more harm than good. .

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