Tips for Being Supportive Parents at Games
There is no greater feeling for a child than to know they have the support of their parents. Baseball parents cheering on their children from the bleachers is just one of the things that makes youth baseball so great. However, sometimes parents get caught up in the moment or want their child to do well so badly that they don’t express those feelings appropriately. Let’s take a look at some Baseball Parenting Tips for Being Supportive at Games that will help parents in those difficult moments during games.
#1 Just a Game
Parents need to understand that the game is not life and death. It would be nice to see their child win but it is not a necessity. Yelling and screaming about everything that does not go right will raise the anxiety of everyone in the bleachers and maybe a source of anxiety for the child. Calmly cheering on the team is the best way to help promote a positive environment in the bleachers and not become a distraction to the child.
#2 The Opposition is Not the Enemy
The other team is not the enemy. The teams are playing a game and are not at war. Flashing dirty looks at parents from the other team or worse, flashing dirty looks at players on the other team is unacceptable. Parents should always remember that they are all part of the same league and the purpose of the league is to provide fun, instruction and friendly competition.
#3 Umpires Make Mistakes
The umpires are not perfect and will make mistakes. Human error is a huge but accepted factor when it comes to the umpire in baseball. Umpires should not be ridiculed, verbally abused, accused of cheating or confronted by angry parents. The umpire has one of the most difficult jobs in the league. Most umpires do not get paid and the ones that do certainly are not making a living umpiring baseball games. Parents should always be respectful of the umpire and this will also teach their children to do the same.
#4 Ignore Negativity
There will probably be a time when a parent will hear someone say something negative about their child while sitting in the bleachers. “Little Johnny should have caught that ball.” A parent’s blood will boil after hearing a comment like that but it is important to ignore and not react. If negativity becomes an ongoing problem in the bleachers it is best to bring it up to a league officer for review at a league meeting.
#5 How to Approach the Coach
Parents may not always agree with what the coach says or does. If something really bothers the parent then it should be communicated to the coach appropriately. Parents should not attempt to engage such a discussion while the coach is busy coaching the team. Proper time will be needed to discuss the issue. Parents should also avoid email or text message to engage in this type of discussion because it is easier for a misunderstanding to occur by electronic communication. If it appears to be a major issue then it might also be a good idea to have a mediator, like another league official, present.
#6 Concerns About the League
Parents who yell and scream about how bad the league is from the bleachers are doing nothing but making matters worse. If there is a legitimate concern about the league then it should be brought to a league official’s attention appropriately for review.Concerned parents can also ask to voice their concerns at a league meeting.
#7 Don’t Undermine the Coach
Yelling to “Little Johnny” to run home from third base after the coach has already told him to stay on third is not a good way for the parent to have a good relationship with the coach. Right or wrong, the coach is probably doing the best job possible and being undermined by a parent is the last thing they need. Being on the same page with the coach will also allow for less confusion for the child.
#8 Remain Positive
Parents should remain positive during games. Kids will pick up on negative energy and it will take the fun out of their baseball experience. For the sake of the children, no matter how miserable they may be, parents need to turn the frown upside-down.
#9 Do Not Heckle
Heckling is one of the worse things that parents can do at a baseball game. Coaches, players and umpires under no circumstance deserve to be heckled.
#10 Do Not Step Out onto the Field
Parents should not enter the field unless asked to do so by a league official,coach or umpire. This includes the dugouts. Parents should not be sneaking into the dugout to sit with their child, attempting to warm up the pitcher without permission, running out to argue with a coach or umpire, etc. The field is more or less off limits unless you are a league official, coach, umpire or player.
Being a baseball parent can be difficult sometimes and some of the more difficult moments can occur at games. Remaining calm and positive can sometimes be difficult but better than the alternative. However, it will pay off with making a better more positive baseball experience for everyone involved