He’s 8…He’s 9…He’s 10…He’s 11…He’s 12…He’s 13…
They are kids. They trip for no reason when they are walking. Their knees hurt because they are growing. They are starting to go through puberty. Their social life is becoming more and more important to them. They’re kids!
We as adults seem to forget this. They have a bad day, it doesn’t matter how much they train or who their coach is, it’s going to happen. It’s just that, a bad day. We have to keep this in perspective. If you played growing up, don’t forget how hard it was. If you didn’t, it may be hard to truly understand, maybe go out on the field and try to do everything they are doing.
These kids love the game. They just want to play with their buddies and have a good time. They train to be the best they can be and we take that very serious, but let’s not forget that this is a game. In the end, they should never have a bitter taste in their mouth because of a coach whose priorities were in the wrong place and treated their players like garbage. They should not hate Baseball because of how their parents talked AT them when they had an off day. It’s not easy to hit. It’s not easy to locate every pitch you throw. It’s not easy to field a ground ball on a bumpy youth field. IT’S NOT EASY!
I have been in the dugout for many games (who knows how many youth games and approx. 3,400 professional games) and unless your last name is Jeter, and you are on a winning team nearly every year, you WILL most likely see just as many losses as you will wins, over the course of your baseball life. It’s just a game. I love to compete, but I’m here to tell you, that losing is not the end of the world. They won’t win every game just as they won’t lose every game. In fact, the truth is, EVERY player will grow more from those loses than they will from success as failure is a much better teacher.
Coaches and Parents, the wins don’t mean anything AND the losses don’t mean anything. It’s the experience they are gaining. It’s them getting to do what they are passionate about. It’s them developing great life skills along the way.
Find a coach. Find coaches. Find a program. Find an organization that understands this. One that focuses more on the person than they do the win. Find those with a passion for the kids and teaching. Find those with experience and knowledge. Find those who have, and have proved to have, a mindset on development, no matter what time of year it is.
THIS IS YOUTH BASEBALL, not the big leagues. Keep your Expectations realistic.