Excerpt taken from Matt Holtshouser, BFTGU Blog
The New York Times article by Benedict Carey exemplifies the importance of having support systems constructed around athletes. In youth sports, the support systems should include the coaches and parents. However, many forget that as players enter adolescence and adulthood, the support systems can easily fade away or transform into winning systems.
When coaches stress winning more than growth, parents sometimes adapt their methods of support to ensure their child continues competing. It’s a natural response for parents to want their children to succeed and not get hurt. However, the air of the game can get swept away by the very forces that should be encouraging healthy competition… To read more click here.
What are realistic expectations?
Baseball players should always do their best, and forget the rest.
The most beautiful thing about baseball is that it mirrors life more closely than any other sport. In baseball, there are many things that you can not control. For instance, a pitcher can make a great pitch where the hitter can gets jammed but gets a lucky bloop hit over the third baseman’s head that causes your kids team to lose the game. The real world mirrors this in many ways. One example is that maybe you get passed by for a promotion that you deserved because of office politics. The boss happens to be best friends with the other applicant even though you are more qualified for the position. These things happen everyday. In baseball they happen all the time!
Because there are so many things in baseball that you can’t control, a parent should not expect great results from their players. Rather, they should demand that a kid does his or her best. Strives to become the best ball player that he or she can be, and whatever ends up happening is not really all that important. What is important is that your child got the very best out of whatever natural gifts that they were given.
Why should we expect something?
When you teach a kid to expect more of himself, to expect himself to become better tomorrow than he is today. What you are really doing is creating a mindset that will lead to a successful life. A successful life is not limited to just a successful career, but also includes being a good parent, spouse, and citizen.
No matter what unlucky breaks or hurdles that your kid will inevitably encounter along the way, he will be able to overcome these obstacles with the proper the mindset that baseball can teach him.
How do we determine our expectations?
Being “open to growth” suggests that everyone should strive and continue to learn and grow as individuals. So as parents, we should continue to strive to be better parents, role models, and caregivers for our children. What does this mean in terms of baseball? Well, as parents sometimes we feel overwhelmed with our schedule, taking care of a family, and trying to continue our working careers. At times, this lifestyle is very hard and frustrating. But, as parents, we have an obligation to continue to develop and learn for the betterment of our children. Therefore, we need to be open to new ideas, information, and viewpoints. Sometimes, being open to growth will challenge our comfort level. As parents, we need to be open to this challenge because our family may be better off.
So how does “open to growth” relate to our kids playing baseball? As parents, we are obligated to do the best we can for our children. Right? So that means that we need to look for different opportunities, baseball related or not, to help our children grow into loving, caring, and skilled people. Really, this is the most important goal for parents. Therefore, we have to be open to new information, new opportunities, and new viewpoints that would potentially benefit our children. In terms of baseball, being open to new information may mean that what we have learned for so long may in fact be inaccurate or filled with half truths. Is this hard to recognize? You bet. But we owe it to our children to being “open to growth” not only in baseball related matters, but other matters as well.
At Baseball from the Ground Up, we offer an array of educational and instructional baseball resources and products that are sound and accurate. If you feel there is ever any way that we can improve, then please let us know. Email us! The only reason we have become better parents, teachers and coaches is that we keep an open mind and try to listen to other people.
We live this “open to growth” philosophy by offering Parent and Coaches Clinics, Baseball Camps, and Personal Instruction. In addition, check out BFTGU Baseball School or the Early Innings Baseball Instruction for the latest baseball instruction.