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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Coaching Youth Sports, Teaching Lessons In Life

The following story highlighted in yellow text was obtained online.  It was written by a father and coach of youth sports.  In light of Westfield Baseball's Opening Day,  the fact of the matter is some parents can't help but live vicariously through their kids.

Let the kids play and encourage good sportsmanship.  At this level, youth sports, there is more to learn than the winning and losing of a game.

As spring approaches and our kids are about to begin another sports season, I began thinking about the many catchy terms I've heard used in reference to the sometimes wacky world of youth sports. Some have been around forever, some are recent creations and some I may have even made up myself. But the more terms I recalled, the more they collectively started to represent another "lingo" of their own. As I started to write them down I could see that they were slanting towards a particular theme; a theme that represented an over-zealousness and loss of perspective from which most of us have probably suffered at some time. In the spirit of sharing, I thought I would list the index of our many "sins" defined by this lingo.
Here goes:.........

The Crazies -- Those who engage in any manner of overzealous behavior with respect to youth sports, segmented as follows:
Vocal Crazies -- Inclined to yell, scream, insult, criticize, argue or complain.
Physical Crazies -- Inclined to spit, throw stuff, slam stuff, shove or engage in fist-a-cuffs.
Obsessive Crazies -- Inclined to be constantly thinking about, constantly talking about and constantly worried about anything having to do with our kids' sports (especially how our own kids stack up against the other kids).
Daddy Ball -- Dads who coach teams on which their own children just happen to be the starting shortstop, point guard, quarterback, lead-off batter; not to mention, annually selected for every all-star roster.
Daddy Vision (or Mommy Vision)-- Parents who see their children as the next coming of Derek Jeter or Mia Hamm when the rest of the world sees a very nice kid with average athleticism.
"Duh" Coaching -- Describes any painfully obvious coaching directives shouted towards players on the field. Common examples include:
(e.g., after a dropped fly ball,) "Ya' gotta catch that, Jimmy!".....Duh.
(e.g., to a pitcher on the mound,) "C'mon Jimmy, throw strikes!".....Duh.
(e.g., to a pitcher who was up 0-2 in the count, but just threw two balls,) "Don't lose 'im, Jimmy!".....Duh.
First Son Syndrome (FSS)-- A condition suffered by parents of first-born sons in youth sports, marked by symptoms of obsessive worry over every bobbled ground ball, and excessive celebration over every successful journey to first base. (Symptoms diminish significantly with each successive sibling born.)
Glory Days Disease (GDD) -- A sad and pathetic disorder among parents who live vicariously through the athletic exploits of their children. Tell-tale symptoms include statements like, "Hey, when I was 12 years old we won the District 3 championship," while believing that others are actually emotionally moved by such information.
Kids as Commodities -- The practice of parents engaged in analytical commentaries about the relative athletic abilities of 8 to 12-year-old "players" (aka, kids), wherein their various skill-sets are compared and dissected in a manner fitting for ESPN SportsCenter.
Only Child Syndrome (OCS) -- A more severe form of FSS with no hope of diminishing symptoms over time.
"Oh C'mon!" -- A term used by Dads to express great exasperation over any bad call, missed tackle, dropped ball, or anything else they find irksome on the field of play (best delivered with head thrown back and arms thrown in the air).
"Heyyy!" -- A term used by Moms to express great indignation any time their son or daughter gets, bumped, checked, fouled or has the ball taken away (legally or otherwise, it doesn't matter).
"You gotta' be kidding!" -- A term used by parents to articulate their disagreement with an official's ruling on the field of play.
"Get your head in the game!" -- A term used to motivate a player who is perceived to be playing below par.

The chances are we are all probably guilty of one or more of these sins at least to some degree. As I list them in print, some of them are actually pretty hysterical when you think about it. Of course, I guess it becomes less funny to think that all of these terms represent words that are actually said and events that actually happen - all the time. The kids probably don't think they are too funny. So as we head off to those first lacrosse and baseball practices of the season it's probably good to look at this self-deprecating "lingo" and laugh. Because if we do, it means we realize how ridiculous we can all behave when it comes to our kids and sports. Better still, we might be able to catch ourselves the next time we start to transform into any version of....."The Crazies!"

The following website address was submitted by one of TFoTM readers: "How pushing a kid can push a kid out of sports"
Click on the following link:


  1. Youth Sports Parents BlogSunday, April 17, 2011

  2. Youth sport enthusiastSunday, April 17, 2011

    You forgot one:

    The pigeon holer coaches who pigeon hole a kid into playing one position his whole youth career. The pigeon holed youth players never learn any other position and either lose interest and quit, or never learn how to play properly to gain a love of the sport .

  3. "Have an open mind and a compassionate heart."

  4. What about " buddyball"? The parent coach picks all of his buddies kids to be on his /her team and play all the key positions.

  5. "Buddyball"....thats how Barney Dave and John do it...

  6. It is appalling and even worse in basketball. the cliques, the inside games between the coaches, I wonder sometimes if they have the refs in their back-pockets.