Coaching is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life. It has given me a new level of patience, as well as a new understanding of the game. Softball is a sport that I love and something I love watching others enjoy. As a second year coach, there have been things that I've run into that make it extremely hard to do my best as well as helping the girls be their very best:
1. Parents coaching from the sidelines:
We understand the game is stressful and you want your kid to be great. That is what I am there for; it is extremely difficult to coach your child when you are telling them what to do. I am the coach, I do things the way I believe they should be done, it is hard enough to teach the girls to execute these skills correctly without you telling them to do it a different way. I volunteered to coach, and if you think you can do a better job, then you should have volunteered as well and had your own team. I know what I am doing, please let me do my job. You can relax and watch your daughter have fun playing the game that she loves.
2. Last-minute "my daughter can't make it to the game" texts:
I get it, there are other things going on in everyone's lives that have a priority over little league softball. But a lot of these things are planned ahead of time, which means you have plenty of time to let me know so I can find someone to fill your daughter's spot. It is very hard to make a line-up when there are girls missing last minute.
Attitudes toward me are unacceptable. I will sit the girls for copping an attitude with me, and I will let you know why she is sitting if you ask. If attitude is the reason, maybe have a talk with your daughter about it. She will not become a better player by being nasty to me or her teammates. I have witnessed first hand that positive attitudes result in a better game played and more confidence instilled in the girls. As a coach, I am not with the girls as often as the parents, so as I am trying to have a positive environment on the field, I need help with promoting positive attitudes when they are not with me or their team.
4. Yelling parents:
Please do not scream at your 12 year-old. I promise, she is not going to get better by getting yelled at constantly for every mistake. If there's anything I hate, it's hearing a young girl getting chewed out of for a bad throw or a strike out. You are discouraging your daughter, her heart is not in it now because the fun she was having is non-existent. She is too worried about making a mistake or being an all-star for you. If something is wrong, I am the coach and I will address it in an appropriate manner and we will fix it. Like I said before, sit back and enjoy watching your daughter have fun. Don't ruin it for her.
Softball is a challenging sport and it is my job to teach these girls how to play it and make the learning process easy and fun. It is my job to help them be their very best and move on to the next level. Next time you are watching you child play little league, please remember these four things and think about what you are about to do. Your job is to sit back, enjoy the game and watch your daughter fall in love with this sport.