To: Baseball Dad and Mom

By Dave Holt

Baseball Dad and Baseball Mom: The baseball parent I have found is the biggest problem in youth baseball and youth sports. I think we should get everything straight and out in the open before we go any further.

From here on out the youth baseball experience is going to be all about the kids. Nothing here is going to be about you (baseball parents).

My goals for the team are to teach the kids how to play the game of baseball the right way. I will be positive with them and hope to have an encouraging, uplifting impact on the kids.

(Coaches, ask yourself):
How will your team conduct themselves in all situations?
Are you coaching to win the pennant? tournament? All-Stars?
How will you and your players and parents react with umpires? opponents?
What kind of outfit do you want others in the game to say about the way your team operates?
How will we do our business in all situations?

What is The Role of Baseball Dad and Baseball Mom?
I think the biggest role for the baseball dad (and mom) is to be a quiet, steady source of encouragement.

You know, if you ask youth baseball kids what the kids would want their parents to do during the ballgames, you know what most would say?
Is youth baseball invented for youth baseball players or the parents?
Is really loud cheering best for the baseball players?
Can coaching from the bleachers help or harm your players?
Have you ever witnessed a ballplayer getting embarrassed by actions of their parents in the bleachers?
Is watching your kids playing baseball stressful?
Have you ever wanted to stick up for your kids when something doesn’t go right for them on the field?
Is it hard to turn over your kids to the coaches for a couple hours without interjecting your two cents?

These are the type of discussion points I will go over in my message to baseball parents.

Baseball Umpires Are Not Going to Measure Up
We know this going in that the umpires will not be very good. They will call pitches too high and low strikes but we will not bellyache.
The calls usually have a way of evening out with both teams anyway. Our baseball team and parents will not be allowed to show emotion toward umpires. We will not allow complaining about the umpires, dropping our heads and moping about the umpire calls. We will address the umpires by ‘Mister Umpire’ (or the umpires real name). We never call the umpire ‘Blue’. I will take care of saying things to the umpires when appropriate.

I am really trying to help make the job of baseball dad and baseball mom easy. I am taking all the stress and worry out of the equation.

Discussion points:
Do you know what your main job is?\
Ever just sat back and tried to enjoy watching your kids play ball?
Do you know the one thing I want you to ask your kids after you watch them play?
When you try and coach your kids from the bleachers and behind the fences you probably don’t realize the damage you can cause.
Do you know what the appropriate responses should look like when applauding good play?

I just want you to know how to let the kids go for a couple hours and trust me to do all the coaching and managing.

After finishing his professional playing career Dave spent eleven seasons managing in the Red Sox minor league system helping to develop several major league ballplayers. After leaving the Red Sox Dave managed and recruited in the Independent Professional Baseball leagues. He has also coached collegiate wood bat and high school teams. His site, coachandplaybaseball.com is a wealth of information for baseball players and coaches of all levels.

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