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July 15, 2008

Catching up on some Google reader-subscribed blogs, I came across a great post from my buddy Kwana

First off, let me say that if I saw her at one of Little IT’s games, we’d totally hang.  She’s cool, smart and funny as heck. 

No, she’s not a baseball guru. But she’s there for her kid, and supporting him and that’s what matters. 

Ah, do I miss those Little League games.  For what is supposed to be a kid’s game, it’s really played pretty intensely in our little village.  Little IT played t-ball for one year, and then spent another year in softball before she decided to hang up her glove.  I coached t-ball but was pregnant with IT Boy during softball year so I had to sit out.   This was on top of my 3 but really 2 years coaching her soccer teams. 

The experience was a blast and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Most of the parents were great, amazing really. Supportive of my giving my time as a volunteer and helping their kids.  There were just a few that really needed some attitude adjustments.  

There was one dad who showed up at practices, I believe, to criticize how we were working with the kids on the field.  At the suggestion of my co-coach, we called him in it, and asked him to come out onto the field and help us out.  He declined, and seemed to get the message about “put up or shut up.”

I remember calling the t-ball parents at the start of the season, and hearing that one kid’s dad was the softball coach at the high school.  I panicked, thinking he’d be on us every game about what a poor coaching job we were doing.  I got him totally wrong.  The experience was exactly the opposite.  Apparently, he wanted to coach, but couldn’t commit the time, so he felt horribly guilty about not being a part of the team.  He was totally 100% supportive of our role as coach, and only came on the field when we begged him to help out.  As a fellow coach, he understood how to help us do our job and work with the kids, and I’m forever grateful to him for that. 

As a coach, I also saw first hand how there can only be one coach, and if you’re the parent in the stands, you aren’t the coach.  Yelling and screaming at your child to go right, turn left, run the ball, throw the ball is distracting, and in the case of soccer often runs contrary to what the coach is telling the kids.  I remember one game where the dad was yelling at his kid to run after the ball, being very specific about when and how.  At next break, the girl ran up to her dad and said what he was telling her to do was going to put her team offside, so she’s just going to listen to the coach from now on and not him.  Out of the mouths of babes.   Your child hears you, so think about what you’re saying.  Be supportive, but don’t try to do the coaches job.  Heck, relax and WATCH the game.  Your kids are young for such a short time, be sure to sit back and marvel in the splendor of it all.  It goes by too damn fast. 

Now, I’m off to find Kwana in her car to talk about the new Philipa Gregory book…

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Kathy Nebenhaus permalink
    July 15, 2008 5:27 pm

    Having watched many Little League games, great words of wisdom!

  2. July 15, 2008 10:31 pm

    Thanks so much for the shout out Ellen. I loved your comment. Like I said it was so sad but so darn funny. I loved this post. You are so right about letting the kids be kids and letting the coaches coach.
    Yes, we must get together and talk books. You know I still have to read that Philipa Gregory book? 2 other sneaky books jumped the line. I’m off to San Fran for the Romance Writers of America conference at the end of the month. I’m so excited.

  3. July 16, 2008 5:32 am

    now don’t let kwana fool you, she knows a lot about baseball among many other things too. funny yes, spirited yes and playing fair. cross her and she will call you out, send you to the dug-out and you won’t even know it was coming. all in the name of love, of course.
    jealous that i cannot slip in her pocket for the romance writers weekend or at least be a fly on the wall.
    wonder if you will ever post on any refs?

  4. July 16, 2008 5:36 am

    love the new color – easy and soothing on the eyes.

  5. July 16, 2008 1:08 pm

    Calling out the refs? The only one I can mention is the one who turns water into wine before the matches. He’s my favorite – the only one who doesn’t look like a poseur in his uniform. Must be those macho knees.

    The new color scheme is much better. Lighter, happier, more summery. I do wish I had the time to tackle a self hosted wordpress blog, but I’m awfully lazy lately.

  6. July 16, 2008 11:30 pm

    Put A Catch of Consequence by Diana Norman on your list. I like her better than Philippa Gregory.

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