Thursday, June 27, 2013

Baseball and Sports Parents

A post with no photo of the day, just lots of baseball pictures and some grumbling about sports parents.  

I love watching baseball games....for the most part.  I love the baseball, not loving the sports parents quite so much lately.  A little background...Billy is on a new team this season.  He didn't make the cut for the American Legion team, but he was asked to play on the Senior Babe Ruth team.  It's the league that he played in last year.  We were so happy that he had a chance to play for the same coach in a competitive league!  He had worked hard, had a great attitude, and earned the spot on the team. Then the email arrived that put a damper on the whole thing.

This team has typically been made up of juniors soon to be seniors in our city. Last season they decided that this year would be different, they would open it up to kids that graduated that didn't make Legion but were good enough to play Senior most of the cities in the league.  Cool!  Except the junior parents didn't think so.  Apparently emails flew amongst them...and to the president of the travel league.  Not fair to their kids, too many players on the team, they didn't want the 4 seniors that made the team to be allowed to play.  We were blissfully ignorant about it all until the email from the travel president came out to address it days before the season started.

Excitement about the new team quickly changed to questions about what kind of hornets nest we were walking into.  Swell.  A whole new set of parents to meet that didn't want our kids playing on "their" team.  They all knew each other from previous years, we only knew a few.  I have to say, a few of them were very nice the first night...and continue to be.  Others, not so much.  The biggest challenge so far has been figuring out who not to sit by...because some sports parents and their habits are sort of hard to handle.

Some fans are large and in charge.  They take over the managing everything, telling people what to do and where to be.  Granted, it is usually helpful and necessary...but sometimes it's done with such a self-important air that it's hard to stomach.  Last year the coach handled it all, it was nice having a line of communication with him directly.  This year, not so much.  Try not to sit by the bossy ones.

Some fans are just plain there to socialize with the other mom's.  Yackity yack, loud laughing, no idea that the game is going on.  Harmless...but I'd rather watch the game and not get in on all the talk!   Try not to sit by the really social ones!

I posted the picture below just to show how curly Billy's hair gets when it's longer. :-)

Some of the fans are just plain loud.  Last year the loudest one was a positive yeller...only shouting out encouragement.  Other than the volume, that wasn't so bad!  This year the loudest fans aren't so positive.  It's hard for me not to say something to them about it...but at this point I don't think it would do anything but make me look like a bitch.  I will just say that screeching at 17 and 18 year olds to "COME ON" and "GET IT IN!" before the ball has even gotten to them isn't going to do anybody any good!  Try not to sit by the really loud ones...try even harder not to sit by the negative loud ones!

Some worry about things that you can't the weather.  Is it going to rain, it's too hot, it's too cold.  Yikes.  Thank goodness for the rainbows!

I'm glad that the kid is geared up for battle and oblivious to the fans in the stands.  I do hope that he notices the ones that are quietly there supporting him.  His dad groans about the umpire's strike zone sometimes...but not about the decisions the kids are making on the field.  There are some very negative Nelly's in the stands.  Some groan about every kid except their own perfect son.  Some even groan about them.  Try not to sit next to the grumblers and groaners.

I think everyone needs to remember that even if they are 17 & 18, they are still kids.  They are playing a GAME.  There doesn't need to be exasperated moaning when the other team gets a hit.  At this stage, they don't need our coaching...but they could use our encouragement and applause when they make a good play....and especially when they don't!  It's baseball.  It's summer.  We should be focusing on the beautiful sunlight at the games.

And take pride in how our kids handle tough situations....and maybe take some time to learn a few things from them. Like accepting that not everyone is going to play as much as they'd like.  That not everyone is perfect.  That trying your best is what matters.

That having a young, hands on, encouraging coach is a good thing.  That mistakes will be made but that's where the learning comes in.

That the sport can get dirty sometimes but it shouldn't be played in a dirty or negative way.

That whether it's a hit or of the most beautiful things is a nice level swing...especially when it's your boy doing it!

That sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it rains.  Name that movie!  And sometimes there are bugs that catch the sunlight looking like fireflies in my photos!  And sometimes my boy looks like a giant next to the other players.

It's a short season.  I need to stop listening to the grumbling and negativity.  I really need to stop grumbling about it myself and just enjoy the game.  And cheer when this boy gets a hit.

And remember that even though they miss some calls...the umpire's are right most of the time.  SAFE!

We're in the final stretch of all this baseball playing.  It's bittersweet.  I won't miss some of the fan interactions.  I won't miss the laundry.  But I will miss the game and watching the boy play.  I think that my best bet is to quietly take pictures so I can remember the good times.

The warm summer nights, the soft lighting, loving this kid and wondering what is going through his mind when he steps to the plate.  Hoping that he gets a hit...for his sake and for the team.

And enjoying the fact that because of his hard work and attitude last year, he gets to play one last season this year...and I am grateful for that.  He likes his coaches, he likes his teammates, and he loves the game.  What more could we ask for?

There are all sorts of people in the world...for some reason kids sports brings out the best or the worst in them!  We just need to's a game!  I'll end with something that I read today...I think it's worth remembering. "There is one perfect child in the world, and every mother has it."   Humm...maybe that's where all the trouble starts!   Something to think about.  OK...rant over...the end...let's play ball!

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