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Readers Respond: Advice from Experienced Baseball Moms (and Dads)

Responses: 6


Updated March 24, 2013

When your child joins a sports team for the first time, it's a learning experience for both of you. What have you discovered, the hard way, as a softball or baseball mom or dad? What advice would you give to parents of kids starting out? Share your tips on everything from half-time snacks to post-game pep talks to dealing with crummy coaches or disappointing games. What do you love—or hate—most about being a softball or baseball mom?

Baseball Tips

Keep your son thinking positive! The more your child is conditioned to achieve, the more success will come his way. Start preparing for this year. Get all your equipment before the prices get jacked up and find a good fundraiser. One I like for this year is www.BasebandBracelets.com. Have a great season!
—Guest Baseball Dad

Be involved, supportive, and be quiet

Let the coaches be the coaches, don't argue with the umpire, and don't scream at your kid (or anybody elses' child either for that matter.) Stick around for practices, be prepared to help the coach if asked, and keep out of the way if you're not asked. All the things you want your kids to get out of playing a team sport (good sportsmanship, working as a team, etc.) are things that the parents need to display themselves.
—Guest Suzi

Warn the boys about puberty

Both of my sons struggled with baseball when they got to fifth grade. They relaxed significantly when I told them that there were some 7th graders playing who had the advantage of hitting puberty. They then lowered their expectations for their own performance and looked forward to the year when they would be the oldest playing.
—Guest zoe

Girls Play Baseball

Girls who prefer are entirely, legally allowed to play Baseball rather than Softball in any league or club or on any team that plays on public land. This includes all Youth Baseball organizations (i.e., Little league, PONY, etc.) as well as on teams that play in tournaments (i.e., USSSA, Nations Baseball, etc.) This right is protected under the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. In schools, a girl's right to play in an academic setting is protected by Title IX, a Federal law. But, the legal protection does not protect a girl and her family from the artificial barriers put up by the local leadership of a given, local branch of one of the leagues. That leadership may not actually look out for the interests of you and your child but, rather, is looking out for the interests of itself, preserving the traditions of gender bias. You and your child may have to accept the challenge, fighting for your daughter's right to play, despite ignorance.

Keep It All In Perspective

My son has been in Little League for years. It's so fun to watch your child grow and develop as a player, but sometimes parents (myself included) begin expecting too much. We have to remember that these are just kids, after all, and if we constantly nitpick and critique their performance we can quickly take the fun out of playing. I try to only give positive reinforcement, and let the coach give the performance pointers. It seems less critical coming from him. My job is just to cheer the kids on, win or lose!

let them compete!

i have anger issues with little league (vs what the gods made for children- pony ball). i hate little league. :) i love baseball though. i think that there is a time and place for our children to learn how to lose. and to learn how to play the game correctly. i think little league shields our kids from that. they don't let you keep score. they want all the kids to feel good about themselves and not worry about the score. but the kids usually want to know if they won the game or not, and i just don't think it's realistic for our kids to feel great about themselves all the time. sports are the best way to teach kids so much about LIFE in general. but when you start shielding them and wanting for them to be happy all the time, never lose--what are you teaching them about life? that they'll never lose in life? that life won't "keep score?" we should use the opportunity to truly teach kids. and of course, have fun as well. and provide it all in a safe environment.
—Guest jennster

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