When we entered the world of travel baseball, we had to come up with a parenting game plan. Since my husband was coaching, I left the coaching to him (as best as I could). My job as mom was to work on his inner player. To be his cheerleader. Even when he didn’t want it.
Whether they say it or not, our kids want to always have our support. Of course, we all cheer and clap on our players but there’s more to being supportive than cheering.
And when our players need it the most, when they are having difficulties, it can be hard to find the right words.
Tips for Being a Good Baseball Mom (and Dad)
It’s just a game. Hear me out. We all know winning feels good and we want our kids to play their best and win. But it’s not the be all, end all. Getting upset, yelling and screaming about the game, doesn’t change the score on the board. It just stresses your child (and everyone else) more.
Umpires are human beings. Who are also giving up their own time to be with their families. And, yes, they will make mistakes. Keep your comments to yourself and let the coaches handle what is going on out on the field. And, again, you will probably end up embarrassing your child as well.
Don’t feed into the negativity. I know this is hard when everyone around you is complaining or yelling. But don’t feed into it. Try and ignore it as best as you can. It won’t help the situation! Even if you hear another parent talking about your child, keep it to yourself…for now. Address the situation later when the kids aren’t around.
Know when to approach the coach. Depending on the age of your child, you should let your child advocate for themselves to the coach. If we are talking about kids younger than 8 years old, there may be a time and place where you should step in. When approaching the coach, do it in a positive manner. Don’t go in guns blazing. Remember, they really do want the best for each and every player on the team.
Don’t undermine the coach. The coach is there to do a job. Let he (or she) do it! If your coach is telling your child one thing and you are yelling another, they are going to get confused and not know what to do or who to listen to. Sit in your chair or on the bleachers and cheer your kid on!
Stay positive…even when you’re losing. I know it’s hard not to get upset, especially when it’s a tough loss. But your kid knows they lost and they are upset, they don’t need to see mom and dad upset too. This is the time to talk it through with them. Ask them what they think they did well and what they feel they need to work on. Don’t focus on all the errors. Focus on praising them for what they did well with and help them in the areas they need work.
Do not heckle. Can we all remember these are children playing on the field? It takes a lot of guts just to take the pitching mound or stand at the plate. They don’t need to hear a bunch of adults heckling them. It’s bush league and is tacky.
Stay in your seat. Once our boys reach a certain age, parents are asked to stay out of the dugout and off the field. Make sure your child is prepared before the game. If they need you or need something, remind them to talk to their coach first and ask to leave the dugout. And yes, this goes for injuries too! There have been a few times where my son has been hit and I wanted to run out on that field. But I waited. I let the coach get to him first, assess the situation, and then waited to see if he needed more or not. A lot of times, they will get up, walk it off, and be ok!
Being a baseball mom (or dad) is no joke! We all want our kids to do their best and succeed. By remaining calm and positive, you can help build a strong inner player. I know it won’t be easy but the pay off will be worth it!