Little League

Brian in Montana

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Jan 20, 2017
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897
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Ramsay, MT
Man, I can hardly watch. My son is alway on 3rd base or outfield while the coaches' 2 shrimpy little boys who aren't very good are always pitcher and 2nd base. Sean is a much better infielder than either of them.

Probably every dad thinks that, though. I'm actually sitting in the pickup because I don't want to talk to the coach. Not sure what I might say. It is frustrating.
 

MTTW

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Apr 1, 2016
Messages
540
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Montana
That is one of the lessons that sports teach kids. A valuable lesson, but frustrating for sure. I am not convinced that sports are net positive.

Many parents can't actually see what is going on because of bias. Many coaches are the exact same way. Practice biting your tongue.
 

WyoDoug

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Apr 8, 2019
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186
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Cheyenne, Wyoming
Too many sports fail to teach sportsmanship or competitiveness anymore. Schools all do participation trophies and ribbons so everyone who participates gets the same recognition. Life is not like that and neither should sports or school.
 

cedahm

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Sep 22, 2015
Messages
442
Location
Colorado
I've been through this for several years already. What I keep saying (and, luckily, our team's head coach violently agrees with me) = 'Love of the game' should be the major tenet at Little league age (9-12 - since a lot of places aren't affiliated with Little League per se anymore). That's the same message I give my son.

We actually had a faction split last Fall season where some of my sons (10yo) team - led by the assistant coach - wanted to form a fancy 'travel' squad with one of the local training centers. Parents leading the charge held several team parent 'info sessions' about it. 2/3 of the team joined the 'fancy' team (and, predictably, they've lost every game by an average of >10 runs). The shine wore off quick for a lot of them.

I played the game at a fairly high level (D1) and it was very uncommon to 'specialize' until High School (excluding catchers and Lefty's by default). For me - 10 years old is not the time to be training to be a fierce competitor and strategize/set lineups to win at all costs. It's the time to ingrain and refine fundamentals, reinforce love for the game and get an understanding of how teamwork makes things better. Those 3 things together are going to make W's happen anyway and I get as much pride of my son playing out an entire playoff series in the backyard or being mesmerized by MLB network analysis as I do when he's in a 'real game'.

Sometimes it's as simple as mentioning it to the coach in a non-confrontational way: "Sean would love to get some time in middle infield/on the mound in the next one,". If that's met with resistance, maybe time to seek another nearby team (if that's possible).
 

Ajax2744

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Feb 8, 2018
Messages
98
Location
Northern Colorado
Well in all fairness your best infielders play short and 3rd haha. Honestly little league I wouldn't worry about what position your kids playing. Until he gets to a competitive level (high school) I would just focus on him having fun and getting fundamentals down. If you have a kid who can effectively play infield, pitch, catch, and play outfield, he has a dang good chance of making varsity for a few years and potentially the next level. It's pretty well documented that the world's highest level athletes didn't play one sport and one position. They played every sport and multiple positions. I'd encourage him to play hard at whatever position coach puts him at. It'll help him way more in the end. And hell if the coaches kid sucks at pitching that's just more ground balls and pop ups your kid gets to field haha
 

AndrewOSpencer

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Apr 7, 2019
Messages
20
In our league, we can’t get people to
Coach. Im in my 8th straight year coaching out of necessity not desire. Ive been in your position and thats why I coach. Could be a couple things, based on what we have and it might help you sleep a bit.
1) the coach may not realize hes got guys out of position because he is baseball illiterate. He may have never played.
2) your son might be the only one with the arm strength to throw from third.
3) if you agree to head coach you can do what you want. For instance, my sons bat first in the line up because I want them to get the most at bats. They are good hitters, but not the best in some years. But Im planning the practices, giving up fishing and hunting trips, chalking the fields, giving kids rides home, listening to parents gripe.

The biggest excuse in our league for guys not coaching is that “I have a job and can’t coach” which is just weak. I take call every other night.

But really, just keep holdong your tongue and keep it positive for your little guys. As long as he’s playing and having fun its all that matters. Ive been there and know its tough.
 

Indianajoe

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May 4, 2019
Messages
6
I have been coaching little league for 10 years in a small town (about 2500 people). We cant get kids to come out because there has been to much dady ball in the past. The group of coaches we have now are fairly good and approachable, I would recomend having your son talk to the coach first. Honestly our only daddy ball now is our high school coach. We may not even have a team next year because of it. My attitude is that I will coach anyone that puts in effort. I even have a physically handicapped boy on my team; he is doing great and having the time of his life. Seriously COACH. You'll be a better person for it. And remember it's not about a win loss record as much as developing young men.
 

88man

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Jan 31, 2011
Messages
406
Location
Pa
I have a 14 year old softball Player who is dedicated to the sport. Anyways regardless of the age group or level of play you will at sometime have too overcome some level of politics. The parent & the player. It is not in the players best interest for the parent to identify all the team issues and unfortunately many parents simply do this every game. Its a sport so the players gotta have fun and like the game and the team environment.
My daughter once played on a tournament team that had 5 coaches and one of the coaches had twins!! 6 players were coaches daughters on a 12U travel team!
 

mplane72

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Messages
276
Location
Iowa
In our league, we can’t get people to
Coach. Im in my 8th straight year coaching out of necessity not desire. Ive been in your position and thats why I coach. Could be a couple things, based on what we have and it might help you sleep a bit.
1) the coach may not realize hes got guys out of position because he is baseball illiterate. He may have never played.
2) your son might be the only one with the arm strength to throw from third.
3) if you agree to head coach you can do what you want. For instance, my sons bat first in the line up because I want them to get the most at bats. They are good hitters, but not the best in some years. But Im planning the practices, giving up fishing and hunting trips, chalking the fields, giving kids rides home, listening to parents gripe.

The biggest excuse in our league for guys not coaching is that “I have a job and can’t coach” which is just weak. I take call every other night.

But really, just keep holdong your tongue and keep it positive for your little guys. As long as he’s playing and having fun its all that matters. Ive been there and know its tough.
THIS, Don't like it step up and take control. I've invited more then a few parents to take my place. That being said politics are the worst in baseball and one of the reasons, but not the main reason, I steered my youngest son away from it after a couple years.
 

Nameless Range

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Jun 6, 2013
Messages
2,705
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Western Montana
You should coach. You seem to care.

I have a vivid memory burned into my brain from when I was 8 or 9, my soccer coach lost his chit on a 15 year old referee and got physical, and was subsequently banned from the YMCA for life. Parents can be ridiculous.

I have coached my kids in sports, and will do so in the future. I know what it is like to scramble to make it to practice, only to have 2 out of 8 kids show up. Thankfully, I have never had real problems with other parents.

If your kid is having fun that's what matters. If he wants a different role on the team, encourage him/her to do better and earn it, whether they have earned it in your eyes or not. If I were you I would never let my kid hear any complaints I have about their coach/teacher/whoever. I've seen parents do this, and it gives kids the attitude of a victim where everything is always someone else's fault, and it lasts their whole sporting life.

The world needs volunteers in a thousand arenas. Almost everyone, including those who volunteer, have a plethora of excuses at their disposal that are valid that they could use to justify their position on the sidelines. The difference between people I often admire and people I don't is largely contingent on whether or not they choose to voice those excuses, or step up.
 

375H&H

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Nov 16, 2017
Messages
887
Location
Northern Wyoming
What’s wrong with 3rd base? It’s called the hot corner for a reason.

I played baseball up into college and was mostly a pitcher but when I wasn’t pitching I played right field. Why? I was one of the few kids who could no hop home plate from right field fence. I thought playing right field sucked until I threw a few guys out at home and people were quite impressed. So regardless of what position you are playing a great play is a great play and will get noticed.

Having said all of that, when my baseball days were over, I quickly learned that none of those things matter in life (where you played, how many hits, strikeouts etc) except the life lessons, teamwork, self improvement, and discipline that should be learned along the way. Truly, sport specifics do not matter and this is from someone who played baseball year round for over 10 years.

Enjoy the time with your son as he will remember that long after he felt bad about where the coach made him play. And I say that from personal experience.
 

Cheater

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Jan 22, 2013
Messages
122
Like others have said, I'm a firm believer that if you don't like what's happening, step up and do it yourself. I've witnessed what you're talking about, but have a hard time griping because at least the coaches are putting in the time. It's a pain in the butt to organize practices, leave work early, and work around vacations. Then you've got to manage kids of extremely varying skill, desire, and attitude.
 

bobbydean

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Apr 5, 2001
Messages
1,891
Location
New Mexico
I grew up in a rural farm community. All the coaches were farmers and all had kids on the team. Some were the best player on their team and others not so much.

If the dads put the time in for their kids; of course, they played. Was not a big secret. It was what it was. Even as a 11 or 12 year old, I did not have a problem.

We needed coaches!
 

MTTW

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Apr 1, 2016
Messages
540
Location
Montana
I played little league 9 thru 12. When I turned 13 I was trying to decide if I wanted to move up to the next level. My dad said " or we could backpack to some mountain lakes this summer" Wow, that was a no-brainer. I never missed it for a minute. I ended up occupying my time with a lot of shooting, though not competitively.

I sat through 2 boys playing sports from tee ball through high school. Some parents are nuts. Some coaches are nuts. I think that sports make people nuts.
I would never tell a coach what to do for fear that he would hand it to me. I would never coach some of the kids I have seen, usually the ones with bitching parents.

My kids did pretty well, but I am not so sure that they learned any lessons that they wouldn't have learned with that level of parental involvement had they not played organized sports.

Now if the other choice was hanging out who knows where, then I would say sports are good.

My oldest son played golf in high school. He was and is good at it. He could out play his coach his freshman year, but it didn't matter. There is a sport where you know just how good you are. No fuzzy stats. No opinions. Black and white. Beats the crap out of baseball and basketball in my opinion. You can practice by yourself. It wasn't my idea, as I have played 1 round in my life.
 

Brian in Montana

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Jan 20, 2017
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897
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Ramsay, MT
There's no way I could take on something else right now. I've thought about coaching, but its just not feasible at this point. I have 3 kids all doing stuff and my wife and I both have very busy jobs. I'll relegate myself to helping my own kids get better and keeping my mouth shut.
 

Muskeez

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Aug 21, 2012
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NW Iowa
Sometimes thats all we can do Brian. My advice is be positive and don't run down the coach in front of your son. I saw that a lot and all it does is bring the kids to blame everyone else for things in life. I was there 10-17 years ago. I was starting a new business and my wife worked as well. I played LL is all, didn't even play HS ball, but another dad and I dove in and helped coach. It was THE BEST thing I ever did with my son and daughters, I was always coaching one or two of them any given year. It taught all of us a BUNCH of life lessons, both good and bad. My point is all dad's and mom's please consider it for next year and make it a goal to help in some way. You won't regret it !
 

VikingsGuy

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Aug 2, 2017
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Twin Cities
Not directing this to Brian in particular, just sharing more generally. I have had many years of coaching my son's traveling football and basketball teams & daughters basketball team - extremely fond memories. Also years of watching them be coached by others in traveling lacrosse, gymnastics, softball and varsity sports - extremely fond memories (but was challenging to shift from coach to spectator of football for the first few games). I've coached teams who have won state tournaments and had a nearly winless season - the memories are just as good for all. I have formed long term friendships with other coaches and parents, but have also 3 different times been coaching games where the police had to be called to remove another coach or parent (including one involving a gun used to threaten a ref) - once involving 4 years olds playing flag football. All of this has taught me a few simple truths:
  • The most important rule of youth sports - kids play, coaches coach, refs ref and parents cheer - never confuse your role. If you can't honor this, stay home (and frankly take a hard look in the mirror).
  • They are kids, let them be kids (even 17 year olds are kids). They are not there to validate your gene pool, relive your high school prowess, make you look good, save you the cost of college tuition or have success you may regret you never had.
  • The kids want only three things from their parents (1) be there regularly, (2) win or lose cheer and (3) don't embarrass them.
  • Very very very very few kids want their parents to add extra coaching after the game - just praise their effort and love them. If they want your guidance they will ask.
  • If your kid is athletically gifted enough to get a scholarship you can only screw it up. Their talent, not your prodding, will get them there if that is what they want and where they belong.
  • And the corollary, if your kid is not athletically gifted enough to get a scholarship your prodding will certainly make it worse.
  • Celebrate, honor, reward and invest in your daughter's sports every bit as much as you do your son's.
 
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