Still a Kid at Heart: My Life in Baseball and Beyond

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This is when sport becomes work, not play. Pull your child from any team that makes the sport feel like work before he or she loses the love of the game. Find another team that makes it fun for everyone. As the baseball mom wrote, "I quickly figured out free isn't always better! I told my son all the fancy [equipment] in the world can't make better talent. Yes, team rules are important, and kids need to learn to respect their teammates without putting them down.

They also need to learn how to receive instruction from coaches without talking back and being disrespectful.

Still a Kid at Heart by Gary Carter, Phil Pepe, and Johnny Bench - Read Online

But when the rules go beyond the realm of sanity, it's time to pack your bags and run away. Rules forbidding parents from communicating with the coach just tell me the coach is a bully and doesn't want to be questioned or challenged. For sure, there are good ways and bad ways to approach a coach, but saying that parents can't talk with the coach at all is a bad sign. As the baseball mom told me, "We were given a long list of rules and we have a meeting every month to go over any that have been broken to make sure we understand that we will be asked to leave if the same people continue to break the rules.

Run away fast. Of all the things that happen in youth sports, this is the one that makes my blood boil most. If the coach didn't think your child could play, why did he select her to begin with? And if he wants her to improve, how, exactly, is sitting on the bench going to do that?

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No one ever got better at anything simply by watching others do it. If your child is spending most of her time on the bench, and the coach tells you that it's because she's not good enough to play, find another team where she will play.

That is the ONLY way she will improve. And, it is also the only way she will have fun. For at least one baseball mom, and her son, this story has a happy ending. In her last email to me, she said, "I sucked up my pride and confessed to his old team that the grass wasn't greener and they said they'd would be very happy to have us back and that they all missed us!

And she didn't make this decision alone: "I did have [my son] write down the pros and cons for going back to his old team last night and, on his own, his list of pros far outweighed the cons. Real Life. Real News. Real Voices.

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