December 04, 18 | admin

Baseball Parents Code of Conduct

So you’re the proud parent of an aspiring young athlete who is working hard on baseball dreams, congratulations! Team sports set a kid up for life skills. A team can be an invaluable way to figure out how to deal with the ups and downs of life, as well as navigating the people that go with it. You want your kid to have the BEST TIME EVER all the time, and you want baseball to be a positive experience, something that they will remember the rest of their life. However, life and baseball isn’t all roses, far from it. Your kid will sometimes have an awesome day at the ballpark, and other days will be filled with tears, impatience or the dreaded boredom. Your kid might say “Eh, I’d rather go play Grand Theft Auto 453 than go outside in the fresh air and play.” If and when your kid says those dreaded words, it’s time to get serious about your first and foremost role as a baseball parent: help keep them stay engaged and interested in playing baseball.

Don’t Panic

First of all, don’t scream and cry and throw a tantrum and freak out on your kid, because kids and teenagers change their minds hundreds of times in a day. Of course you devoted a lot of time and money on training, gear and pizza, but if you freak out, they’re not going to hear you. Be mellow, hear what they said and sit back and see if they change their mind again in a few days. Encourage them to see it through for the rest of the season, at least, but without being too forceful.

Be Supportive

Do your best to be strong and supportive, even if you feel like tearing your hair out at their lack of drive, indecision or attitude. Your kid might have a really good reason to not want to play baseball, you need to listen, be open and calm and hear them out. Your kid needs to be able to make mistakes or decide not to play baseball and feel like you have their back.

Be Present

Have you been missing games? Do you know what your kid is doing on the field? Some parents have a tendency to want to “fix”things and direct their kid how to play. Try not to do this, but ask plenty of questions, encouraging your child to set goals and enjoy achievements.


Don’t be a ShowBiz Parent

Speaking of achievements, don’t plop your own failed high school sports career on your kid, your kid isn’t YOU! Help your kid with their goals, not yours, don’t push them, they have a coach for that. Hollering and yelling instructions from the bleachers is just the worst, it mortifies your kid, and makes them feel ten times the pressure they’re already feeling. Guess what, coaches do not like that either! Stress and pressure-packed situations kill the fun of the game, so keep quiet unless you’re cheering, and make sure to cheer on other kids as well as your own.

Keep insights for after the game, and if the information isn’t constructive, just don’t say anything. They can only view your ideas about the way they play through an emotional lens, so don’t go there. Whether your kid played an excellent game or a terrible game, they just need to know you have their back no matter what.

Let the Coach Be the Coach

If you didn’t sign a contract that says you are the coach… you are not the coach. This means if you don’t like the line up, or if you have direction for the team, or if you don’t think your kid got enough playing time: TOUGH. This is hard, but repeat: “I AM NOT THE COACH.”If you have to have something to do during the games so you’ll stop meddling, go be on hot dog patrol or volunteer as game announcer, ANYTHING to keep you from distracting the team or becoming “that parent”automatically setting off a slew of eye rolls from other parents when you enter the vicinity. Be the parent other parents love to volunteer with, who know that you grill the best hot dog in town.

Love Winning, Love Losing

The key word here is LOVE for the sport. No other sport embraces failure as much as baseball. Winning is fun, sure, but it’s not everything, so make sure your kid knows that losing isn’t the end of the world. We don’t always get what we want, but that means that sometimes when we’re sad… we get a hug, or words of encouragement. Sometimes we even get ice cream.

And when we win, sure, we feel great, but you can show your kid that there’s a difference between winning and gloating, that sportsmanship is about consideration and grace. Showing how winning and losing in big and small ways is the biggest and best way to keep your kid engaged, and will lay the groundwork for their social skills in the future.

Be the “Baseball Parent”, for the phrase itself carries responsibility and pride!