It’s A Game
By Joe Joe Wright
You know every year for the last 30 or so years I have watched , listened and loved getting involved in ball. I have coached and officiated football, baseball, basketball and fast pitch softball along with short stint in soccer.
The one truism that has survived through time is that everyone says it is for the kids. Often times however, it is the adults who some how can’t seem to remember this little tid bit. Folks there is nothing wrong with a coach getting enthusiastic, or having some pride in the fact they did a good job with kids. That is after all human nature. To say otherwise would be comments best left to the participation trophy parents. I have been what one might called of the chain in years past. There is a line or two in the sand that should never be crossed when coaching kids, if you are not sure as to what that is you should not be coaching. Kids must learn constructive criticism and parents must learn to allow it. Your child is not perfect!!! If they don’t learn these lessons now they will fail as adults period. Laughing with kids is fine, but laughing at kids is a fine line be careful it doesn’t become personal and
a major issue. Basically remember the golden rule even when dealing with kids. They are very impressionable. I have made countless mistakes through the years and I have been wrong a lot. If you are a parent and hearing someone chastising your child bothers you check yourself . Also make sure the coach has done wrong before you speak. Coaches need education in how to be a coach. I have known many through the years that were very knowledgeable about the sport but knew very little about communicating with kids and parents.
I recently conversed with a lady whose son had bad experience at the ball field. She was upset and rightfully so and as she said, “ I am far from being a trophy parent.” As we move forward and your kids learn to play and parents learn to be parents of ball players( and yes that is a whole other class to be taught right there). Let us find patients in new coaches after all they are volunteers and learn to act and speak in a dignified manner to sports officials. Let us recognize as coaches that we can be wrong and if you need help or advice, I have found that to always be free.