It’s exciting times! Your son or daughter has just decided they would like to step in the batter’s box, hit a grand slam, sign autographs, get chased by the paparazzi and sign a million dollar contract! OK, fantasy over! But hey without dreams where would Derek Jeter and Jimmy Rollins be today?
My advice (parent of a ball player) take a deep breath and enjoy the ride. The ride is the reward and if you can enjoy America’s favorite past time with your little leaguer you will have the time of your life.
So here’s my advice. It’s all about your child, not about you. Wash, rinse and repeat this mantra daily. Let them have their childhood and memories. You can eat the hot dogs and cheer!
A child’s first little league season is an exciting time for both you and your child, but it can be challenging too. Start off on the right foot and you will all have a great time. Here are 7 tips that new little parents should follow.
What parent hasn’t dreamed of the simple joy of playing catch with their child? Books and movies have been made about this very topic. In fact, Field of Dreams is one of my favorite baseball movies for families to watch together.
There’s nothing more satisfying as a parent than going into the yard and tossing a baseball around with your aspiring young players. It’s great quality time that you can spend together, and the practice will help improve their skills.
It’s true that no one likes to lose, but team sports are about the team. One team wins and the other will lose. Teach your child that they didn’t lose — his team lost and there will always be a next time. That’s the great thing about team sports, you can go out another day and play again. Now if your child gets hot and bothered about the loss, tell them to cool down under a sports umbrella that you have set up for the team on the sidelines!
Your child’s little league is just that — it’s a child’s game, not the majors. Don’t expect more of them than they can deliver for a little one their age. Best to give positive encouragement and be there when they need you. Your child will develop their baseball skills as they grow and continue with their level of interest.
Watching a little league baseball game in the summer heat can make anyone uncomfortable – even more so when, say, we don’t agree with an umpire’s call. Be a good parent and stay cool under a sports umbrella, like JoeShade, and you’ll be less likely to make a scene on the sidelines and save your child and team from embarrassment.
Young athletes are learning good sportsmanship, an appreciation for baseball rules, teamwork and respect for authority. Best to be a good example for your child. If there is something you think is a serious problem, talk it over with a trusted friend and as a last resort talk to the coach or league official on your own time – not on your child’s time during a practice or game.
Yes, we’re all busy, but if you’ve signed up your child for Little League, try to show up and show your support at the games and practices! Little League season is only a couple of months out of the year. If it’s important to your child, it should be important to you. At this point, I can hear what you’re thinking … “I work, have other kids and can’t be at two places at the same time.” I completely understand, but being there will make such a positive impact on your child. It would be a disappointment if your child’s enthusiasm drops because of lack of encouragement from the parent team.
For a parent, half of the enjoyment of little league games is sitting on the sidelines socializing with other parents. This is a great way to extend your circle of friends for your child and family. Having a group that you look forward to seeing will make you just as excited about going to the games as your child is!
Bring a cooler full of water and snacks with you to all the practices and games. And be sure to put your cooler under your sports umbrella for convenience when passing out snacks after the games. You’ve heard of snack after each game, right? Well, they don’t have to be elaborate. A cold bottle of water and an easy snack is all anyone really needs.
The right gear is a must for protection and making your child feel safe. Most teams will provide jerseys, pants and baseball caps. As a parent, you will be looking for a good pair of sliding shorts, protection, glove and cleats. Be sure to ask around as there will be plenty of people to give you advice. One item to make sure is on your list is sunscreen, which is a must for those days when the sun is intense. A good sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher will protect their skin from sun damage caused by the sun’s harmful UV rays. And a JoeShade portable sports umbrella will provide you with full protection from the sun enabling you and your family a full day of fun at the ball park.
Little League should be a positive experience for everyone involved – the kids, coaches, and your family. Keep the game enjoyable for them, and you’ll make lasting memories for your child.
Are you a Little League parent with tips to add to our list? Please post a comment below, we’d love to hear from you!