Cape Coral American Little League: Welcome











Monday, November 16
Tips for Parents

Tips for Parents


Work with your children. There really is little more satisfying than going out at least a few evenings a week and playing ball with your kids. This gives quality time, and helps your child improve his/her skills (and trust me, the better your child can play, the more she/he will enjoy the Little League experience!) Some day, your child will look back on the summer evenings spent playing catch with mom and dad.


Get involved in your local League. Little League is run on a volunteer basis, and they can use all the help they can get. Anything you can do to pitch in will make the League run more smoothly, and will help all the kids, from helping out at tryouts, to scorekeeping, to umpiring. If your child sees that Little League is that important to you, he/she will learn that is important to the kids too. The Leagues provide all of the training anyone needs. Some people worry that they are not qualified--I say if you make a mistake, you can offer to give back the money you earned that day (remember --it's volunteer work!!) Besides, even coaches and players make mistakes...the point is to learn and to have fun, and to teach kids that you care!!!


Different coaches have different philosophies. Some believe in having players play all positions, some want players to become good at one. It is IMPORTANT to remember that your childs coach is not being paid, he is working for the love of the game and the kids. Let him be the coach! Don't argue and criticize if you think your child is being treated unfairly (as parents, it is natural to be very protective, but most coaches aren't discriminating). If you think there is a problem, discuss it with the coach AWAY from the ball field; chances are that you will see his point of view. The important thing is not to make an issue in front of the players; along with baseball, they are learning to work as a team and to respect authority and not to ruin this teaching.


For heaven's sake, show up for the games AND the practices. In today's busy world it is sometimes hard to juggle schedules, but this is your child! I cannot begin to tell stories of kids, I've seen who never tried to excel at Little League, and invariably these kids were dropped off at practices and picked up afterwards, without the parent(s) ever watching a single practice. It's only a couple of times a week, a couple of months out of the year! The most irritating are the parents who don't ever watch practice (and, therefore, never understand the coaches philosophy), but will question (yell!) at a coaches decision during the game. Most people wouldn't dare to not show up for work and still tell the boss what's wrong with the company, but they will turn around and do just that with their childs' coach.

Also, support all the players, not just your own. There's nothing more irritating than the parent who cheers for only one player, their own. This is a team, support all the kids, and watch the whole game..not just your son/daughter. 


Respect the rules! This is what the kids should be learning. If you don't agree with an umpires call, keep it to yourself. If there is a team rule that bothers you, well, it's their team...not yours. If you think there is a serious problem, take it up with the coach or a League official on your own time, not your childs'. Rule of thumb: during practice or games, don't speak unless spoken to (except, of course, to cheer on ALL the kids).


Don't create pressure. Just about every father dreams of his son becoming a major league star, but they are only children. Don't expect more than they can deliver. Give positive encourgement, and be there when they need you. Besides, often a child in early years will lack certain skills, and blossom later on. Don't fight nature, or the kids. 


Ice Cream!!! No one likes to lose, but the nature of a team sport is that one team will always lose. Teach your child that he/she didn't lose, the team lost. And they lost to a team that just happened to play better that day. There is always next time, and the important thing is to learn from the defeats. It's okay to analyze why someone lost, and how they can do better next time. It's never okay to place blame! Then, go out and have some ice cream.


I can't stress this enough: VOLUNTEER...we need you. One of the biggest irritants I see is those who will not give their time, but are quick to criticize. If you can't be part of the solution, don't be part of the problem. If you think that something needs to be changed, get involved so that you can change it.


Cape Coral American Little League encourges parents to get involved...the more help...the better!! Thanks to all our coaches and volunteers for a fabulous 2009 season. The 2010 season is here and we're asking for your help! Team Managers will be looking for Team Parents and coaches to help. We also need volunteers for Opening Day Ceremonies, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 27th, 2010.