Monday, July 6, 2009
Parents Need To Step Back
I just got back from a long weekend of watching summer collegiate baseball. Let me tell you folks, like the college game itself, there's some great baseball being played in these summer leagues. You need to scout out some of these teams and see for yourself.
But, that's not what this post is about. On our way back home, I saw a sign on the back of a mini-van that said "Baby on Board". Now, I thought that those signs were long gone from store shelves and had gone the way of those Garfield dolls. You remember those too don't you? Those were the stuffed toys that odd people used to suction cup on their car windows, thinking that it was a shout out to everyone on the road that they had a sense of humor. I heard that they are a part of the reason why are landfills are overburdened...but I digress.
The Baby on Board stickers are a sign of the times really...at least the sign of the late 80's and early 90's when they were more prevalent. They now represent the plethora of the same over protective, parents that are ruining sports today.
Most of those child "victims" of their parents advertisement of their presence in a vehicle are grown up and in high school now. Except that instead of being paranoid that every vehicle on the road was out to purposely ram their car, parents are hovering over coaches and administrators making sure that their "baby" is treated with kid gloves on a sports field.
Too many parents are just plain too over-protective when it comes to their child's treatment by a coach. They don't want a coach that yells too much. They don't want their child to sit the bench. They have this perception that right field is a bad position or that seniors should automatically play on senior day in the middle of a conference race and so on. It is getting way, way out of hand and it needs to stop.
We have heard more than a dozen times of how coaches were fired because a group of parents didn't like the way a coach was tough on their kid. And, ironically, it's usually the parents of bench-sitters that complain the most. Here's a news flash parents. Your son is sitting the bench because he isn't good enough to play...period.
Of course, not all coaches have a clue. Some ARE bad, but the majority of coaches that we know that were either fired, quit or retired in the past few years, were great coaches. They all left the game because administrators of schools are caving in to clueless parents that know zero about the world of competitive sports.
Parents today, want high school sports to be an extension of T-Ball. Everyone plays and everyone gets a participation trophy at the end of the year.
What are these parents going to do once their son actually gets to college and then enters the real world? Are they going to call the CEO of a large company and yell at them for not hiring their son? If that kid is lucky enough to find a job, are they going to write a letter to the company saying that their son's self esteem is ruined because he was given a cubicle instead of a corner office?
You know what this country needs? It needs more hard nosed coaches like Pat Murphy of Arizona State or Augie Garrido of Texas. Those guys will melt the skin off of a players face with their steely eyed stares and off colored remarks about a players ability. They know how to toughen-up today's soft kids. They know that the world is not a nice place and therefore they can be real mean at times...just like the real world. The guys that succeed in those programs will have a future in life...whether in be in baseball or in business, because they know what it takes to succeed.
These great players know that life isn't an entitlement. It's hard work and a ton of blood, sweat and tears at times. Did you ever wonder why Texas and Arizona State always seem to be in Omaha? It's because this method of coaching works. It may be painful for some of us to watch, but aren't any of us old enough to remember our coaches when they used to say..."no pain, no gain"?
Politically correct isn't always correct. There are times when our children need a good old fashioned kick in the pants. But, don't get us wrong...We encourage parents to get involved in their sons sports...just don't get too involved and try to control the outcome. Only your son and his true ability can do that.