There are a lot of adults in your child's life, and most of them you will not meet more than once if at all. Teachers and coordinators have their obvious jobs, and as long as things are running smoothly, It is rare for you to spend much time with them.
Your son's baseball coach, however, is one of the few adults who can have a lasting impact on your child's attitude and outlook on life . As a parent (and a sports' fan), it is absolutely crucial that you get to know your son's coach early, are in frequent communication with him, and know exactly what's going on at practice. Your son's baseball success and health are on the line. Here are some things to consider:
- Make yourself known: Don't be one of those parents that your son's coach can't even recognize in the stands. Introduce yourself after the first team and parents' meeting and find out a little bit about the guy. What's his background? What are his main training strategies? How does your son fit into his plan for the team's success? The coach should know all of his players' strengths and weaknesses fairly early into the season-- ask for insight.
- Don't be a backseat coach: If you've talked to the coach and know that he knows what's up, only speak up for the big things-- if you think something's going to really harm your child, if he's getting benched constantly and unfairly, or if your son has valid complaints about what is going on during practice and at game time. Don't try to give the coach pointers or regale him ad nauseam about that one time little Billy hit a homerun in the third grade. The coach has a job to do--let him do it.
- Be honest: Being upfront will built a solid foundation for communication. Your child has asthma? Say something. You've heard from other coaches that maybe your son slacks off at practice once in a while? Offer some advice. Obviously, don't over inundate the poor guy, but give him a heads up, and ask how you can reinforce good habits at home.
- Find out how you can support the coach: In some cases, less is more. In other cases, there might be things you can do at home that will help your son's coach achieve his goal. Is there a type of apparel in particular that he recommends your kid wear, in addition to the uniform and gear? Are there any things you should watch out for in your son's diet, or make sure he's eating enough of? Opening the lines of communication and letting the coach know that you're willing to, well, "play ball", is a great way to ensure your child's success and make it known that you can work together.
If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a small metropolitan area to run a baseball team. Knowing what you can do to best help coach (or stay out of his hair, as the case may be) guarantees that you are doing all you can to get your son on the road to success on the field, in the dugout, and in the real world.