--- this is a "letter to the editor" I wrote to my local newspaper ---
--- anyone with kids in youth sports might be interested ---
Spring is in the air. Thus, another season of Findlay Youth Baseball is upon us. The smell of fresh cut grass; the “ping” of aluminum bats; fathers & sons playing catch; perceived unfairness (by coaches & umpires); bickering parents; “no-show” parents: oops - this season took a wrong turn somewhere.
I just wanted to make a few notes about the coming baseball season. We, as parents, can get too caught up in the winning. Or, how much playing time our kid gets. Or, what position they play. I am probably as guilty of this as anyone in some respect. We all want our kids to do well & be successful. But, what does that really mean?
In reality, youth sports is not the World Series but to many of these youngsters it is. Many of them mark their calendars waiting for their season to start. They dream of being the next homerun king or even a Cy Young award winning pitcher. The reality is that we (parents, coaches & umpires) are there to teach these kids the game. Not only are there fundamentals of the game to be learned but there are also life lessons we can teach them. Lessons that will be with them long after youth sports & they enter adulthood. Hard work, teamwork, commitment, dedication, respect, responsibility, punctuality - all are lessons youth sports should teach our young people. Although little league should be fun playing youth sports is not recess & those who treat it as such hurt their teammates.
I would encourage all parents & grandparents to be involved with their youngster’s sporting activities. It has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever been involved with. Through the course of the last nine years several kids have had an impact on me & I hope I’ve had a positive impact on them.
To all the coaches, umpires, parents & of course the players: Good Luck.