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Longtime coach dealing with HS Baseball as parent.

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  • Longtime coach dealing with HS Baseball as parent.

    At the risk of throwing myself out here to be lynched I thought I would share my anxiety over HS Baseball. Now that my son is playing for his HS team I have missed seeing him practice more than I ever did before HS. I would love to watch them practice but, would never dare actually going. It is natural to want to see your child succeed and to try and give them the best opportunity to do so. I just want to ensure that he understands what he is being taught and why… even if I do not agree with it.

    I am not sure how many parents out there are in the same boat but thought I would start a thread for others to share their experiences.
    Coop

    Don't forget to swing hard, in case you hit the ball. ~Woodie Held

  • #2
    I went to every HS practice until my kid got his driver’s license, and I think if they can, every parent should do the same. I can tell you, I learned a whole lot about the coach and the other players. There’s no secrets going on, and as long as a parent’s not interfering in any way, there’s nothing wrong with it at all.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

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    • #3
      My wife went to one of my son's practices when they scrimmaged the JV team. I can't lie. I was way envious. It did give me the opportunity to ask her if any other parents were there though. She said that her and my daughter were the only onlookers. Hearing that, I wouldn't want to be the only dad there. I wouldn't want him to be uncomfortable. If there were some others, I'd like to and I'm sure he wouldn't think twice about it in that case.
      There are two kinds of losers.....Those that don't do what they are told, and those that do only what they are told.

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      • #4
        There can be a fine line between attentive parenting and helicopter parenting.
        Attending HS baseball practices is the latter.
        Last edited by skipper5; 03-14-2012, 11:15 AM.
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        • #5
          We've kicked this around over the years many times....

          I asked parents not to come to practices. It's distracting for their son and the team. That said, those who did come I kept as far away from the field as I could. Practice time is so limited that any distraction hurts. You can see what is being taught from a distance.

          It's their time - not yours.... Go to the games and cheer like hell.
          "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
          - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
          Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by scorekeeper View Post
            I went to every HS practice until my kid got his driver’s license, and I think if they can, every parent should do the same. I can tell you, I learned a whole lot about the coach and the other players. There’s no secrets going on, and as long as a parent’s not interfering in any way, there’s nothing wrong with it at all.
            By being there, you are interfering. The coach is trying to create a TEAM. It occurs optimally in the absence of hovering daddies of INDIVIDUALS.

            I don't trust the motivation of the majority of dads who attend their son's HS baseball practices. Present company excepted.
            Last edited by skipper5; 03-14-2012, 11:25 AM.
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            • #7
              I am always amazed that a coach would have any concern whatsoever about what goes on outside the fence.

              On the other side, I have only wanted to see practice when my kid wasn't starting , or when they were in freshman tryouts/practice. It's amazing how you never have a thought of watching practice when your kid is starting.
              efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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              • #8
                In my parent meeting, I made it clear that I did not care if they sat on the hillside, in their cars and, yes, even around the fence along the field. It was whether I had something to hide or not, but rather I wanted them to see how hard their children were working so that they understood the experience that their child went through better. Yes, I understand the other philosophy as well. I went to my child's practices at the end. So, maybe 15 minutes before practice was over. I was rarely the first to get there. My child didn't need or want me there. I understood. It did bother me at times when I knew that she was playing injured as she so often does. Still, I had great trust in her coach. I think that there are ways for any parent to watch practice from a distance and yet, get their "fix" as they watch their child on the field.
                Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

                I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cannonball View Post
                  In my parent meeting, I made it clear that I did not care if they sat on the hillside, in their cars and, yes, even around the fence along the field. It was whether I had something to hide or not, but rather I wanted them to see how hard their children were working so that they understood the experience that their child went through better. Yes, I understand the other philosophy as well. I went to my child's practices at the end. So, maybe 15 minutes before practice was over. I was rarely the first to get there. My child didn't need or want me there. I understood. It did bother me at times when I knew that she was playing injured as she so often does. Still, I had great trust in her coach. I think that there are ways for any parent to watch practice from a distance and yet, get their "fix" as they watch their child on the field.
                  I remember a similar discussion on these forums several years ago, and I think you and I have pretty much the same opinion on this matter. Back when I was a player, I know I didn't want my parents being too close to the team as we were practicing, and neither did any of my teammates. Team chemistry seems to suffer when parents are within "instructional distance" of their children at practice, as some of the team will be following one leader (the coach, or perhaps a veteran player in some circumstances) while others will be following their parents. I have no problem with a parent volunteering to be a coach, so long as they do their best to be objective and not just use the position to try to make their child the star of the team.

                  I understand that it can be very hard for a parent to let go and let someone else instruct their child using methods they might disagree with. I remember having to beg my parents not to show up an hour early to pick me up every day. They obliged, but a few of the other parents did not. To be honest, we resented their children (our teammates) because of the baggage they brought along with them. Whether we like it or not, players do not consider their parents to be part of "the team", and they don't want anyone who is not on the team to be at their practice.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by songtitle View Post
                    I am always amazed that a coach would have any concern whatsoever about what goes on outside the fence.

                    On the other side, I have only wanted to see practice when my kid wasn't starting , or when they were in freshman tryouts/practice. It's amazing how you never have a thought of watching practice when your kid is starting.
                    Well look at the extremes... How about a dad yelling instructions to his son while you're teaching a class on something?
                    "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                    - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                    Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
                      Well look at the extremes... How about a dad yelling instructions to his son while you're teaching a class on something?
                      You and I are in total harmony here.

                      I'm all for saying "I welcome you at practice to watch and enjoy from a distance. No yelling. No talking to your kid, signals, winks, or anything. Don't bring them food, or drinks. If you do any of those things, I will close practice for all. So police yourselves."
                      Last edited by songtitle; 03-14-2012, 01:02 PM.
                      efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by songtitle View Post
                        You and I are in total harmony here.

                        I'm all for saying "I welcome you at practice to watch and enjoy from a distance. No yelling. No talking to your kid, signals, winks, or anything. Don't bring them food, or drinks. If you do any of those things, I will close practice for all. So police yourselves."
                        I had no problem adding (while coaching school ball) ... "If you do not trust what it is I am doing find another place for him to play ..."
                        "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                        - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                        Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

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                        • #13
                          "coops",

                          I have open practices for our HS team, and have only had one problem with that, when a couple parents started arguing in the stands about some fundraising, or how some money was spent or something (didn't really care to find out for sure). It took me all of about two minutes to tell them to STFU and to set an example of conflict resolution for the players on the field, or I'd close practices for the rest of the season.

                          The guilty parties apologized, said it wouldn't happen again, and nothing else ever came of it

                          This year is the lightest attended practices that I've ever had, with only one dad there on a regular basis, and the occasional other scattered throughout. All parties typically find a place as much out of sight as possible, and have never once been a disturbance or distraction to the team or their son besides the one time mentioned.

                          So, if you want to go......GO. Just be considerate of what is happening out there, and realize that much of the "coaching" is not your typical individualized instruction (time limitations), but rather team instructions/concepts of usually greater detail......bunt coverages (we have five), pickoff plays (we have four), and situational hitting/bunting and base running.

                          Also, understand that depending on school, sometimes the starting lineup may not look like what you might expect. For instance, if a player is late he does not start, if he misses a practice, he does not play at all in the next game. HS baseball is as much a teaching environment to help the players grow as responsible teammates, as it is about putting the very best team on the field.......at some schools at least.


                          Best of luck,
                          mud -
                          In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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                          • #14
                            Thanks to all I appreciate the candid responses. I understand the whole distraction thing and would not like to make my kid or any other kid on the team uncomfortable. Heck, I have coached over half the team and could see them being unsettled by me being there. I have no intentions of actually going but… That doesn’t mean that I do not want to. Through out the week when he asks for assistance or questions what his coach is doing I try to ask enough questions back to remain an advocate of his HS coaches at least until I get him back for summer showcases.
                            Coop

                            Don't forget to swing hard, in case you hit the ball. ~Woodie Held

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by coops View Post
                              Thanks to all I appreciate the candid responses. I understand the whole distraction thing and would not like to make my kid or any other kid on the team uncomfortable. Heck, I have coached over half the team and could see them being unsettled by me being there. I have no intentions of actually going but… That doesn’t mean that I do not want to. Through out the week when he asks for assistance or questions what his coach is doing I try to ask enough questions back to remain an advocate of his HS coaches at least until I get him back for summer showcases.
                              I coached my kids in baseball/softball and basketball through age fifteen. I coached my daughter's showcase softball team in high school. I never went to a middle school or high school practice in any sport with either kid. I was asked to be an assistant coach in middle school baseball and high school softball. I turned it down. I respected it was my kid's time with their teammates, It was part of letting go and letting them grow. The only parts of practice I saw was from the parking lot if I arrived before practice as over, until their teammates got licenses and cars.
                              Last edited by tg643; 03-14-2012, 02:01 PM.

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