My son had his first high school game of the season earlier this week. He had a great game-2 for 3 with a walk, 2 RBI’s, a stolen base, 2 runs scored, and no errors in the field. On the way home, we talked about his game. Of course I had to bring up the one at bat where he did not get a hit. He stuck out. I had to point out that he was trying to pull pitches on the outside corner from a slow throwing lefty. Hadn’t he learned from all the baseball instructional videos, the lessons, batting practice sessions, etc that he should try “going oppo” in that situation? Shame on me. This is the same guy that wrote in his last blog that it is ok to strike out or to fail. Yet here I was getting on my son for 1 at bat in what was otherwise a perfect evening.
Hundreds of college and pro athletes were recently asked in a survey conducted by Bruce E. Brown and Rob Miller of Proactive Coaching LLC “What is your worst memory from playing youth and high school sports?” Most responded “The ride home from the games with my parents.” This same poll asked them “What did your parents say or do to make you feel great and amplify your joy during and after games?” The majority answered “I love watching you play.” I truly love watching my kids play sports. There is nothing that I would rather do. Why do I make them feel bad? I know I am not alone. I have talked with many parents that have the same problem. We just don’t know how to back off.
Seriously, I do not yell or scream or tell him he did terrible. Most parents don’t. I try to do it in a teaching or coaching way. The problem is- he doesn’t want to hear it then. He wants for the game to be over when the last out is made. He can then go back to being a student and a teenager. He wants me to go back to being Dad.
My son has another game this evening. It is an away game an hour away. I will probably sign a release to allow him to skip the bus ride back and ride with me. He can get home quicker to work on homework. I am going to try my hardest not to say anything about the game unless he starts talking first. If he does, I will not bring up anything negative. I promise. Tune in next week to hear about it.