Dec 282012


Sox Bench

Sox Bench (Photo credit: Oberazzi)


For years your kids have played organized sports. The focus has probably been on having fun, on feeling good and maybe learning something about the game. On building confidence. And, of course, on self-esteem.


But are these leagues being used to teach attitudes, skill and lessons that will serve them later in life?


I remember watching a friend fill in for an absent youth league baseball coach. I don’t think it was the ’substitute teacher phenomenon’ that rendered one of our young team members absolutely incapable of controlling himself. Especially his language. It became completely inappropriate. Rude, crude and downright abusive – and it didn’t seem to matter whether it was directed at his peers or the adults involved.


The substitute coach asked him to stop. Then he told him to stop. Then Coach explained very clearly. “This is the last time I am going to tell you to stop swearing. If you do it again – even one more time – you won’t get to play today.”


Of course, our young friend, fully schooled in his own ’star power’ couldn’t imagine such a scenario. As a result, he was very surprised when the next curse word resulted his being removed from the bench.


How would you react?


You could join in with the kids’ complaints about the coach’s unfairness. You could complain to the league or to the other parents. Or, you remind the kids who you are close to you that, with his behavior, the young ’star’ chose to be in the stands rather than to help them win the game.


Maybe you could even thank the coach and ask if he’d consider becoming more involved. After all, don’t your kids deserve someone who will model doing the right thing instead of the easy, popular thing?




  2 Responses to “The ‘Ogre’ On The Diamond”

  1. This is funny to me. When parents take on the role of “SUPER STAGE-PARENT”, they tend to forget that they have to teach their kids some morals along the way. The parents are so caught up in their child’s “Magnificence” that they don’t even realize that they are helping to create a MAGNIFICENT MESS!!!…..You have to teach kids to be humble and that things can be taken away from them if they just so decide to get a head of themselves. As i grow, my granny always keeps me humble. “You ain’t no Mr.Big Time boy. And if you don’t pay attention and bring your head down to the ground,then somebody will take all of that from you. You better watch yourself and be humble. I love you and I ain’t gon’ tell you nothing wrong”…WORDS I WILL NEVER FORGET

  2. I applaud the coach. Consistency and follow-through are key to raising a productive and happy adult. Lucky for me, my parents excelled at this principle. Kids will test you. They know what they can get away with and with who. Things a kid would do or say to one adult he might never do with another adult. It’s not just the parents who need to provide consistency – it’s all adults and all their interactions with kids (and even adults that still act like kids!)

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