So this is my first year as a Little League Dad and we’ve had our ups and downs already. On the upside we’re 4-1 on the season so far and beat the only remaining undefeated team in the league. On the downside we can’t seem to make the transition from Minor League everybody-swings-til-they-hit to the 7th graders throwing heat. I’ve actually overheard other Dads scoffing at the very idea of their boys ‘playing’ in the Minor Leagues because they don’t learn anything.
I can see their point now, but they need to learn to have fun first and no one should be excluded at that age. Not every 8-9 year old boy is an avid baseball fan who can talk stats back to the 70’s and explain the infield fly rule in detail. Some kids just like to get out, hit the ball, run the bases and have fun; it’s just that you have more fun in Little League if you win. And you win by playing well and knowing the rules.
My kids wear their Yankee shirts (sorry Mom & Dad) and cheer when they win, but neither of them can tell you what a ‘hitter’s count’ means. The coaches have been great so far. It has to be difficult to have to Teach the less experienced kids while Coaching the older ones. Last night my son was complaining that he only played 2 innings (of an extra innings game of eight) when I asked if he wanted the pressure of potentially being responsible for making that last out to win the game. He smiled sheepishly and said no.
Bad parenting moment? I don’t think so. I’ve been keeping an eye on him and he seems happy if his team wins regardless of his performance. I’d much rather that than be the Father of the kid who goes to sit in the car because they take him off the mound before he’s ready. I’ll take a happy kid over a sulking one any day.