Playing time, enjoyment, and how parents can make it better April 20 2015, 0 Comments


My 10-year-old son has been playing baseball for two years, which in our area equals out to four seasons of play (fall and spring). We play in a "Pony" league and in the Spring the teams are divided into two levels of ability. My son is about to enter his third Spring season and has once again been selected for one of  the "lower level" teams. He loves the game, works hard, has heart, listens to the coaches, but is consistently just a mid-level player. All of his friends have moved on to the higher levels of the game.  We are considering moving him to a different league in town; we understand the politics will be the same, but I wonder if a new season in a different league will help him learn differently? It feels like at this point he has an unshakeable "rep" and the coaches don't really work with him, they just dump him in the outfield and say "catch the ball" (which he usually does). It's so frustrating to watch your kid get down on himself. I'm really at my wit's end.

Thanks so much.
Stacey J

I can understand the thoughts and even the frustration you have as a parent.  But there are certainly a lot of factors that go into a boys success at anything and in this case we are talking about his baseball team and playing baseball.

What we need to do is create a situation that the boy is the dictator of what he wants to do, we as parents sometimes get in the deal and want something different than the boy wants.  I will tell you it is hard to get him to tell you what he really wants over what he thinks that you want to hear.

The first question I am going to ask, and please take this as a question not a criticism.  How good a player is your boy, I had a son that worked hard and tried but when it really came down to it he could not keep up athletically with the other players and moved over to another sport, and was successful.

If we want to make the boy a better player, then you and he have to do the little extra things outside of games and practice.  The throwing drills, fielding drills, hitting drills, all of which you can find on the web.  The main thing is that he enjoy it and is asking you to do these things not you tell him to do them.  He has to want to get better and spend the time.

As far as moving him, that is a personal decision it can be a chance to start anew with different people and different coaches, but there is a down side to that and it just that new teammates, new coaches, new situation --- he has to socially learn to fit in and earn his place with them.

I can not really tell you yes or no on moving as I don't know the personal interaction he is currently in or what it will be like with a new team.  But normally geographic change does not create success, what creates success is work, learning the right way, and wanting to do it right.

Remember it is a game and the boy will be successful with or without the game.  You need to support him and help him do what he wants to do.  The real trick is to find out what that is and then do it right.

Coach Arnald Swift