There’s a lesson to be learned’win or lose

Dear Editor: I wanted to take this opportunity to let you and our community know my philosophy on youth baseball. I believe that kids gain confidence and a love for the game through positive feedback from parents, coaches, other players and the community. Skill level develops at different rates for kids, but effort and having fun can always be achieved. I try to always provide positive feedback for effort. Youth baseball can be an exciting and fun opportunity for our children to learn new skills, make new friends, and have lots of fun. But as a mother of three kids in baseball and coaching one team with my husband, I’m finding a major theme throughout the baseball season is confusion. Part of this confusion, I believe stems from the parents’ need to win more so than the kids. By advocating the need for fun, I have unknowingly put myself in a position where people assume that I don’t think winning is important. Just to set the record straight, I love to win just like the next person. With all things being equal, it’s much more fun to play for a team that’s winning. But like most people who have played sports, I have been on both sides and most of the time the winning side is more enjoyable. As a coach and parent we have to look at how we emphasize winning with our team and be honest about whose ego is being inflated by having a championship team. In general terms, I believe that the joy of winning and being part of a special team can be ruined by parents and coaches who only have the goal of winning. On the other side players can feel like they have had a great season with out winning their league if they believe they have not only improved but had a fun season. I don’t think any of the kids enjoy the game or want to be told what they did wrong during the game. At these ages, one missed ground ball can ruin the game for some kids. If your child or someone else’s child misses a ground ball, tell them how proud you were of the effort they made to get in front of it. Strive to make them feel good about their contributions. I believe this will make them strive harder to do their best in all aspects of life. A few misses in life can put us on the path we were meant to be on, if we don’t sit around and dwell on what we think should have happened. Marlinda Davis Brady, Tex.

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