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Work Ethics (an article for the Parents)
This was emailed to me. It is long but I suggest that you print it out and make everyone on your team or in your league read it. THE COACH

I've coached for a good while now...since my son started playing, and I was asked to coach the older guys before he was born and when he was a baby...

Sure..there is some 'Daddy Ball' going on...but I have to wonder though. Am I a Daddy Baller because my son plays SS the majority of the time? Even though before every tournament, all 5 coaches get together and make out what each of them thinks is the ideal line up, and my son always ends up on SS on all their lists?

Is it Daddy Ball because my son always bats 4th, and I don't even make the batting line up? This is not meant to be a bragfest. My son is only 9...yes, he's very strong and athletic for his age...and he LOVES baseball...but that doesn't mean he'll even play into HS...that's not what I'm saying.

I'm wondering how many times "daddy ball" starts off as one disgruntled coach or parent, and then spreads via the rumor mill? To the majority of parents really think that kids are just 'born' good ballplayers? I don't know how many times I've had parents and coaches compliment me on my son and his ability on a baseball field...most of the time, they will ask how, who etc...many will even comment "that's the benefit of being the coach's kid or some such BS"..

What about all the extra days he's on a ballfield? The nights him begging me to stay out a little longer, even though it was so dark I was afraid he was gonna bean me? Or the bucket after bucket hit to him in the infield? Or the days I would come home to find him on the porch, all our equipment beside him, ready to go? Maybe the fact the kid always has some sort of ball in his hand, throwing / catching or swinging a bat? Maybe the fact he's worn out 4 or 5 of the 'normal' "pitch-back's" so I finally made one out of heavy enough material to hopefully hold up.

If I had a $1 for every time I gave kids / parents the opportunity for extra practice knowing my son and I would be there anyway...well...I always got the same one or two who wanted to. Some of the kids WANTED to ...but the parents had better things to do...heck I would even offer to pick them up, because most of these kids needed the extra practice...it would have greatly boosted their confidence AND their skill...but nope...the 'family' had better things to do.

I don't know about anyone else but I want MY SON to understand that Working hard is a part of life. And that if you work hard, give it your best, no matter what the outcome, you can be proud. I want him to know that sometimes, the 'right' thing won't happen...but you can't let that effect you. You keep busting your butt, and the reward WILL come.. I want my son to know that if it comes down to two identical people and a job interview or on a ballfield...the one with the best attitude and drive will almost always come out ahead.

And if you think that 9/10 year old kids don't know what's going on....well...you're wrong. I coached 'rec' for more than a few years...and now I exclusively coach 'travel'...but my son plays LL as well (his choice ) and I keep the book and WATCH....here's what I've seen....

I've seen "coaches" that don't know the first thing about baseball. I've seen parents that get their kid there 10 min before game time, with the kid still munching on a happy meal, and then are the first to *** when their kid sits even one inning.

I hear parents spout crap about "it's about the kids" one minute, then go on a tirade when an Ump makes a call they THINK is wrong, just because someone else said so.

I hear the gossip of the parents about the better kids on the field. The other night I listened to a guy go on and on about my son...that "his parents must have spent a fortune on pitching coach's and hitting coach's...etc etc"...

I never said a word...personally I thought it was eye-opening and entertaining...finally the woman keeping score next to me turned to him and mentioned it was my kid.

The guy eventually asked who my son's 'instructors' were....I just said 'practice'.

I've seen parents who MOVED to a different area so they could play for a different league, just so THEY could be on the BOD / COACH.

I can give you example after example (as I'm sure most coaches can ) of things that were blown so far out of proportion it's scary.

What is wrong with making these kids EARN or WORK for their rewards, instead of just getting them?

I wonder how many potential HOF's will never see HS ball, much less MLB, because their parents put it in their head that they didn't have to work or practice...and they DESERVE this and DESERVE that?

I've worked one-on-one in private sessions, for free, with kids...who WANTED to get better. Only to have them tell me that their Dad or Mom won' even play catch with them.

And I don't want to hear the "Well I didn't play baseball excuse.."

One of my better players...his Dad played Hockey...that was it. The Mother doesn't have any athletic back ground that I know of. But at 5 years old, their son was in love with baseball. So you know what Dad and Mom did? They got books from the library...they got videos...they surfed the net...they learned the game so they could help their son be the best he could be. They didn't spend huge amounts of money...they spent TIME....and guess what...they've both come to love the game...because it's something they SHARE with their kid. The bad and the good.

I guess I shot all around on this topic...but this is one of my pet peeves...

Stop letting the kids think they DESERVE anything without working for it. You're only hurting the kids...

I don't care if the kids aren't that great of a ballplayer..case in point...

I've got a kid I coached for (4) years. He told me he wanted to play SS like a certain MLB player.....but then he finished by saying that he knew he wasn't good enough..and he asked me how to get better. I spoke with his Dad and apparently the two had a talk about it, and the Dad told the kid to ASK how to get better. I told the kid to be at every practice 30 minutes early.

He was...for 4 years....every "pre-practice" we worked on one thing. Ground balls...throwing...swinging...just PRACTICE.

Last year the kid moved. I was sad to see him go, because he had become a good player...not because he was blessed with natural ability..but because his parents had instilled a WORK ETHIC to give him the DESIRE to MAKE HIMSELF BETTER.

The Mom emailed me awhile back to let me know that he had tried out for the local LL and had made the older team. She said he still shows up to practice 30 minutes early, and he and his Dad PRACTICE.

Imagine that...Working hard paying off.

This is a short and precious time you get to share this "baseball experience" with your kid. I created Tips From The Coach.com to provide knowledge, videos, training aids and equipment that I have viewed and tested and found to have validity and value so that you have the tools to assist your son to have the maximum amount of success/fun possible playing this wonderful game.

Yours In Baseball
Bruce Lambin