Some of the biggest concerns that a baseball dad has when trying to be a coach and a parent is clarity.
They may struggle exactly how to approach guiding a baseball player effectively when that player is a family member.
It can be difficult because personal emotions are usually involved. Things can be much more easily taken for granted.
Being a baseball dad and parent is a relative process though. There really is no ultimate formula for doing so. There isn’t even an “adage” such as “you’re a baseball coach first dad second”….or vise versa.
With that being said there are a few things you can do to get the most out of your son by keeping him motivated and his eyes on the prize.
But wait! For you baseball coaches out there who have yet to coach you’re own “mini-me”, you can still get something out of this.
Coaching young players isn’t completely different from raising children. You’re still responsible for their development. There is just less risk involved….as long as you’re not including disillusioned parents who think their kid is the next Bryce Harper:)
Seek first to understand then be understood
Young players are always on the cusp of a great break through. Whether it’s a skill that will help them to better deal with peers or a skill that helps them turn on a 96 MPH fast-ball, these skills are always at the surface waiting to be brought up to the air.
As a baseball parent, you have to be willing to put the ego aside and transcend the need to be seen as an authority figure. If you truly feel you have fatherly advice to give, a player will always respond to the guidance more effectively from a genuine source.
By seeking first to understand before being understood, you’re paying attention to the real issue.
It’s not about you….it’s about you’re kid……and that requires that you listen much more than you speak. Ask open ended questions and attempt to delve deep into the process of your kid’s emotional and mental state. This is the best way to inspire a blossoming player who just needs someone they can trust.
Always be teaching
Never assume that coaching baseball ends at the ballpark with you’re child/player.
Whether a kid knows it or not, they’re always learning and when it comes to your behavior, they will attribute whatever example you’re demonstrating as being an adult.
Why is this important?
For example when you show a lack of poise in a “slow line” at the grocery your’e showing that it’s expectable to be impatient. Now I know emotions are natural and a part of being human, but why not take opportunities like these to show a level of patience that they can utilize when they need patience and poise in a key at-bat or defensive situation?
Everything is connected and there are no “ordinary moments”!
Don’t die with your music inside you
You’re a father who took up coaching for a reason. Whether it’s because you wanted to spend more time with your son or you wanted to give him the best opportunity to succeed, there was a genuine reason for taking on the mantle of Baseball coach/dad.
Do your son a favor and make that reason apparently obvious. When you do things with purpose every action become magnified and more convincing.
Teach and coach with passion and other people will be drawn to you as well and will ask “where do you get the energy to do what you do”?
Say yes to failure
You’ve probably heard me say this so many times that I’m sure you’re sick and tired of hearing it.
Failure is a good thing. The biggest lesson that you will ever give your player is that in order to succeed you must first fail.
Looking at failure as purely a feed-back mechanism will allow him to take bigger risks, become increasingly resilient, and have the ability to perform at his true potential when the pressure is on.
Playing with failure is what makes baseball different from every other sport simply because you fail more than you succeed.
Give your son the greatest gift by encouraging failure followed with the correct response.
Remember….it’s impossible to fail if you decide today that you will never give up.
Your son can be a reflection of your values…..demonstarte those values with purpose and you’ll find that your player/child is slowly starting to stand out from the other players…..and you’ll know why.
Are your a baseball parent? Did this article help? Tell me what your biggest take away was in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!