Some Perspective From the Cheap Seats

Good gravy the rumors have been flying around this city faster than a forest fire.  I should know because I heard someone ask me if I had heard what was going on.  First of all, yes I know what the rumor is & second, no it's not true.  I know you wondering what this is all about.  I'm going to give you a few minutes to...

...a little more... know what it is...'s the one thing that can make the most rational person totally crazy...
...think a little more...'s little league sports.

Here's my take on little league sports, of any kind, both girls and boys.

  1. Little league sports are to teach basic knowledge of the game.  In football it's blocking & tackling; baseball/softball it's hitting & fielding; basketball it's dribbling & shooting;  lacrosse it's throwing, catching & shooting.  Your football player learns that a 42 draw is the tailback (or fullback) going through the hole on the right side in-between the center & guard.  He learns that everyone on the field has a job & they have to do their job or the play won't go right.
  2. Little league sports are to help develop a love of the game.  When I coached diving I made it my goal for the kids to learn to dive well & more importantly, want to dive again next year.  I think coaches forget this rule.  Some are so focused on winning they forget that developing a love of the sport will last long after the child has stopped playing.
  3. Little league sports help develop character.  It can be just as hard to be gracious when you win as it is to be classy when you lose.  Hey coaches & parents, your children are watching you, and they are great at mimicking your behavior.  Show them, don't just tell them what good character looks like.  
  4. Little league sports can ready you for real life.  Have you ever been trucked, blindsided or hit when you're already down by life?  I have.  You know what little league sports teach you?  Get up and try it again.  If you mess up; learn from it & move on.  Don't replay the mess-up, get over it.
  5. Little league sports teach you how to work with a team.  You know why I love football?  (besides the fact that I live in the south...) If one guy messes up on a play, it affects everyone.  Ever seen one guy jump offsides?  Back'em up 5.  One guy get called for pass interference?  15 yards tacked on from the end of the run....  I can keep going, but I think you get the idea.  What you do in a group matters & when you're on a team (and in real life) it's not all about you. 
  6. Little league sports give you as a spectator a chance to praise your child.  Stop  yelling at your kids.  Let the coach talk to them if they mess up.  (I feel yelling as a coach is ok when they get 8th grade & up)  I admit, this is a hard one for me especially since #4 will mentally wander.  Yeah, it drives me crazy, but I've tried to talk to the coaches & let them know what's going on so they can bring the wandering mind into focus.  The good ones do, but the bad ones...well, we won't go   
  7. Stop treating little kids like professional athletes. Your job does not ride on a bunch of 10 year olds winning your next game, so quit acting like it does.  Please, please, please listen when men, like Dr. James Andrews, give advice.  He's not just blowing smoke and trying to hold your child back from making the bigs one day; he is trying to keep your child safe from hurting themselves.  Besides, he's only one of the world's most renowned Orthopedic surgeons, but I am SHOCKED how so many moms & dads poopoo what he says.  
Now that I have gotten that rant off my chest, I have to say that if you are not doing or following at least a few of the 7 things from above, you might want to ask yourself why you are coaching or allowing your child to play little league sports.  Because you know what mom & dad, it's not about you anyway.  It's about your child & as soon as you figure that out, the better off you'll be. 

You might wonder where I came up with my 7 points?  I've had my fanny in the stands or working different sporting events since my brother was 5 years old.  The year he graduated from high school was the spring Hop was old enough to start playing little league.  30 years I've been watching someone in the fam play sports, and that's a long time.  I've seen some really great coaches & I've seen some pretty horrible ones.  Fortunately, there have been more good ones than bad.  I challenge all coaches to step up & be THAT coach!  The one that teaches knowledge of & a love for the game.  Your players will respect you & thank you for it.

This was my perspective from the cheap seats, so you can take it for what it's worth.  :)

Celebrating life & good, clean sports,


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