One of the most important times in a young player’s career does not occur during the game or even directly after the game. It occurs when the baseball bag is thrown into the trunk and the young player climbs into his seat and drives home with mom or dad.
This ten minute drive could prove crucial is any young player’s growth. Below is a short list of useful tips to talk about when you are driving home.
- Let them know that you loved watching them play. This magical word essentially tells your kid that your love is not performance based. Your love is much stronger than a homerun or a strikeout.
- Ask them what their favorite part of the game was. Too often, as parents, we want to dive right in and start explaining all the pent up anxiety, frustration, and exuberance inside our body. Their responses will often remind us that they are a kid and often it will bring us back to our own childhood.
- Focus on their effort. Stay away from the intricacies of the game, swing, or pitching technique. Let them know how important hustle and effort is, not only in baseball, but in all aspects of life.
- Ask them what the coach talked about after the game or during the game. This allows you as a parent to be on the same page as their coach. Even if you do not agree completely with what the coach has said or done, try not to tell your kid that the coach is wrong or incorrect in that moment.
- Try and pick out a few moments that other players or friends on the team did. Let your son or daughter talk about other players.
- Don’t talk about the lack of playing time. Whether you know it or not, when your son or daughter does not play that much, they are hurting and you venting about it only deepens their personal hurt.
- Every once in a while, don’t rush home. Go and grab something to eat. Sit and enjoy a meal out with your son and daughter in their uniform. Don’t just go out to eat when they have done well. It teaches them that your gifts are performance based. Whether you know it or not, they are always trying to impress you and treats only for good performances enforces a negative thought process.
- Ask about their next game or practice or any special information that was given before your son or daughter forgets.
- If you are too angry – just put on some music. Silence in the car is often as painful as yelling at them.
- Remind your son or daughter that you love them.
I hope this information is helpful. The ten minute drive home is essential and you only get that chance. Don’t waste it by telling them everything that they did wrong. Baseball has weird way of teaching all that is needed.
Until next time.