Ponderings on Teeball

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DSC_4529 Teeball season has begun and Xander is enjoying every second of it.  In our league, they start the little ones off with one to two weeks of practice and then two games a week for the remainder of the season.  Teaching kids this age how to play a team sport is a bit of comedy and a lot of patience. This is Adrian’s first year as an assistant coach and he is learning a lot.  

Last year I enjoyed my first season of being a teeball mom behind the bench.  I met a few of the other moms on our team and formed a great friendship with Jessica over the course of the season.  Sadly in our county league teeball teams do not remain the same each year.  This year is a whole new set of kids and parents and it couldn’t be any more different from last year.  A large percentage of the team are siblings, so there aren’t as many parents on the benches.  Plus I am chasing after both Noah and Ryker during games, so I don’t have time to chat. 
What I have noticed this year so far is that there are a few different types of sports parents.  I could quote various articles and blog posts written about sports parents, but I won’t.  These are my own personal thoughts from a mere season and a few games into the second season.  
The first type of sports parent sits on the sidelines and encourages his or her child.  They cheer for them when they are up to bat and become excited when their child attempts to make a play in the outfield (because let’s face it teeball is for digging in the dirt, no?).  Another type of parent is the “why didn’t you” parent.  You know the type I’m talking about.  The parent that stands on the sidelines, hollering at their child “Get up.  Stop digging in the dirt.  Run faster.  Pay attention” and on and on.  This type of parent may even ask the coach to move their child closer to them in the outfield, so they can “keep on them”.   Each time I hear a parent yelling at their child from the bench I want to yell at them “Get off your butt!  You are doing those dishes all wrong!  Stop scrubbing that plate like that!  Move it!!”.  But the respectful, timid person in my says “No, that’s not a good idea.  Let them parent their child and I’ll parent mine, even if I think their way is the wrong way.”.  
As parents we are human and all make mistakes.  We want our child to succeed and try their best.  We secretly or not so secretly want our child to hit a home run or steal a base.  Yet how can we teach our children to be a good teammate, without showing them some respect? After all this is just tee ball.  They are little with tiny spirits.  Nurture their spirit and let it fly.  Even if they have a bad day and dig in the outfield for an entire game, give them a hug, a high-five and tell them they did a great job.  When you tuck them in at night, tell them how proud you are of how they played as a member of their team.  Positive words of love and encouragement will take them a lot further in life than put downs and heckling.  

I still want to speak up and snap back or just go give a few of these kids a huge hug.  

Linkin up to Mama Kat’s weekly Writer’s Workshop.

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  1. says

    I absolutely cannot handle listening to parents yell at kids during a GAME. It’s supposed to be fun and they’re children and they’re LEARNING. Drives me crazy!!
    Kat recently posted..Just Like My MomMy Profile

  2. says

    I an the Senior Director of Sports in Texas. And the stories I could tell you…… I wish there were more parent’s like you.

    I will tell you a little secret, tee-ball is for training parent’s not the kids. lol Show up on practice on time, get their uniform ready, sign up for snacks. And a lesson they don’t always learn, how to cheer for their child.

    Here we allow teams to stick together year after year. I have friends from 20 years ago, parents of other kids that played with us. You will miss watching your kids play when they are older. I do.
    Teresa Federspiel recently posted..Quick and Easy Chicken PastaMy Profile

  3. says

    Teeball is a joke, it’s always good for a laugh to watch those games. Parents should remember it’s just little kids trying to have some fun together–not pros. I think parents should just work on some basic skills like throwing and catching with their child for a few minutes one-on-one. That would be way more productive than yelling at them during the game. Don’t coaches have parent meetings at the beginning of the season to give parents tips on how best to support the team and their kids? If not, they should!
    Karen and Gerard recently posted..Cake Auction Time AgainMy Profile

  4. says

    awwww this made me laugh because you are TOTALLY right! And no coaches rarely even ‘coach’ these kids. It was pretty sad this year and it was my daughters first year, she was in t ball and i thought at the practices they would teach her the game, how its played, ect. they didnt teach any of the kids. so my girl we had missed signups last year so we’ve been practicing for about a year now and she knows how to throw and hit, and one other girl knows the bases, how to make plays ect. but yes the rest of the girls, its pretty adorable to watch. I have to be honest and say I AM guilty of being that mom on the sidelines yelling “get ready girls’ when they are in like the last inning and not even watching the batter lol If my daughter is going to participate in something, anything, i want to do all i can to help her exceed. plus, scholarships can never hurt! :) but more than often im the mom on the sideline screaming go Star Studio, Go Lillian, Great hit, Nice try! ect ect and i have to say no other parents really even cheer for their child :( its kindda sad.
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