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Bloomingdale Baseball & Softball Association

Parent Tips

Ten Tips to Being a Good Baseball/Softball Parent

Perhaps you have heard some horror stories about the overbearing baseball/softball parents and coaches. A good baseball/softball experience for your child begins with us: the parents of each player. It is up to each of us to make being a youth player more enjoyable, and to make every baseball/softball season a greater learning experience for the kids. After all, no matter how much we enjoy it too, baseball is for the kids.


The Board of Directors would like to share 10 thoughts on how to make this a better experience for you. We believe that these ideas will help to make the next few months more fun for the children, more enjoyable for you, and a heck of a lot easier on those people who volunteer their time and skills.


For fun, rate yourself as a baseball parent before the season. Then after the season, based on the following 10 steps, rate yourself again. If your pre-season and postseason rating is the same, you did a phenomenal job. If your pre-season rating is higher than your postseason, then it's safe to say you lacked in one or more of the following 10 steps.

We hope these ideas can help!!


1. Work with your child. There really is little more satisfying than going out at least a few evenings a week and playing ball with your kids. This gives them quality time, and helps your child improve his/her skills. The better your child can play, the more she/he will enjoy the softball/baseball experience. Some day, your child will look back fondly on the spring evenings spent playing catch with mom and/or dad.


2. Get involved with the BBSA. The program is run on a volunteer basis, and we can use all the help we can get. Anything you can do will help all the kids, from helping out at registration or tryouts, to scorekeeping, to field preparation, to umpiring and more. If your child sees that baseball is that important to you, he/she will feel that it should be important to them also. Amongst the board members are those that have helped out contributing with field prep, scheduling, scorekeeping, umpiring, equipment and uniform management, snack bar operations, and fund raising. Everyone can find a place to help.


3. Show up for the games AND the practices. In today’s busy world it is sometimes hard to juggle schedules, but this is your child! We’ve seen many who never tried to excel at baseball, and invariably these kids were dropped off at practices and picked up afterwards, without the parent(s) ever watching a single practice. It’s only a couple of times a week, a couple of months out of the year! The most irritating are the parents who don’t ever watch practice (and, therefore, never understand the coaches philosophy), but will question (yell!) a coaches decision during the game. Most people wouldn’t dare to not show up for work and still tell the boss what’s wrong with the company, but they will turn around and do just that with their child’s’ coach.


Showing up on time and having your child to the game or practice on time is also very important. This shows your child that you respect their obligations enough to make sure they are with their team on time.


4. Respect the rules. This is among the most important element the players should be learning. If you don’t agree with an umpires call, keep it to yourself. Umpires never change their call, no matter how loud a parent yells. A parent arguing with the umpire is disrespectful and players do not need to see this type of behavior. Players need to learn to accept the Umpires calls no matter how wrong they feel the call was. Having calls not go your way is a part of the game and a part of life.


5. Don't create pressure. Just about every parent dreams of their son becoming a major league star, but they are only children and deserve to enjoy the game as children. Don’t expect more than they can deliver. Give positive encouragement, and be there when they need you. Besides, often a child in early years will lack certain skills, and blossom later on.


6. Losing is a normal result of competition, help your child learn to accept it. No one likes to lose, but the nature of a team sport is that one team always loses. Teach your child that he/she didn’t lose, the team lost. Explain that they lost to a team who just happened to play better that day. There is always next time, and the important thing is to learn from the defeats. One of life’s most interesting truisms is that we learn more in failure than in success. It’s okay to analyze why the team lost, and how they can do better next time. It’s never okay to place blame!


7. Have Fun! Baseball should be a positive experience for everyone: kids, coaches, support staff, and parents. Winning is nice, but losing is inevitable. Being a star is fun, but being a bench player is just as important.


8. Don’t panic if your child is injured. Although baseball is considered a ‘non-contact’ sport, there are occasions when players collide, or non-contact injuries occur. We are all concerned about our child’s safety, but if your child suffers an injury on the field, it's best to stay off of the field unless the coach calls you on the field. Let the coach handle the initial situation. Sometimes the injury is minor and the player will bounce back faster if the coach handles it on the field without mom or dad right there. If the injury is severe the coach will call you onto the field. If you witnessed the injury occur and feel it is serious then the best thing for you to do is get out on the field with your child.


9. The program only gets better if you volunteer. We can’t stress this enough ... VOLUNTEER ... we need you. One big irritant is from those who will not give their time, yet are quick to criticize. If you can’t be part of the solution, don’t be part of the problem. If you feel something needs to be changed, get involved so that you can change it.


10. Speak up if you think your manager is not being fair. One of the most frustrating things for a Board Member is to have a parent come up to us after the season and say, "Great program, but my sons manager kept doing something that really bothered me." A manager/coach cannot address problems if they don’t know the problems exist. Don't assume others know you are unhappy because they may have no idea. The coaches can’t resolve problems that they unaware of.


The majority of coaches will welcome your input. These volunteers are putting in a ton of effort and very much want every player to have a good experience. If you don’t make progress after speaking with the team manager, then speak with your Player Agent or another Board Member. Your issue will be dealt with promptly.

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