Thursday, April 7, 2005

Behind The Scoreboard
By Claude Vinson

Being model for our kids

Youth baseball season is here.

I’ve always enjoyed seeing the youngsters enjoy the game. That is what it is all about.

Here are few things to remember, taken from Little League Baseball Inc.

Local Little Leagues are entirely volunteer organizations. Each league depends on adults like yourself to organize and conduct every aspect. Not only do adults serve as administrators, volunteer coaches and umpires, they also help with field maintenance, fund-raising, concessions and numerous other special projects.

Without a doubt, Little League is a family affair that gives parents and children a common ground for spending time together. Whether you are coaching the players, selling popcorn to the fans, or bringing soda for the team after the game, your family will enjoy being a part of youth baseball in your community. Most of all, your child will appreciate the benefits of your enthusiasm and involvement in his or her activities.

When winning is kept in perspective, there is room for fun in the pursuit of victory or more accurately, the pursuit of victory is fun. With your leadership, Little League can help your child learn to accept responsibilities, accept others and most of all, accept her - or himself.

Are you able to keep winning in perspective? You might answer with a confident yes, but will you be able to do so when it is your child who is winning or losing, when your child is treated a bit roughly by someone on the other team, or when the umpire makes a judgment call against your child? Parents are sometimes unprepared for the powerful emotions they experience when watching their sons and daughters compete.

One reason that parents’ emotions run too high is that they want their children to do well; it reflects on them. They may also believe that their children’s failures are their own. Parents need to realize that dreams of glory they have for their youngsters are not completely unselfish, but they are completely human. Parents who are aware of their own pride, who are even capable of being amused by their imperfections, can keep themselves well under control.

Flying off the handle at games or straining relations with the coach or other parents creates a difficult situation for your child. Just as you don’t want your daughter or son to embarrass you, don’t embarrass your Little Leaguer.

It’s no secret that kids imitate their parents. In addition, they absorb the attitudes they think lie behind their parents’ actions.

As you go through the Little League season with your child, be a positive role model. How can you expect your child to develop a healthy perspective about competing and winning if you display an unhealthy one? Remember Little League is supposed to be a fun experience for your child, and one in which he or she will learn some sports skills. Winning will take care of itself.

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