Originally published 5/16/15
We here at Hip Daddy love to Coach. We love sports. We love teaching. We love America’s Pastime. And yes, we love to yell…sometimes. For the sake of this post, we are talking about coaching youth baseball (ages 6-9 years old.) So let’s begin…this is why Hip Daddy loves to Coach:
It’s A Good Workout.
You burn calories. This Hip Daddy loves to cheer and yell. If we aren’t vocal, then something is wrong. The kids need to hear reinforcement, they need to hear someone rooting for them, they need to hear the crazy Dads (and Moms) screaming their names, and yes, they need to hear a little scolding when something went wrong…sorry, but it’s sports. Cheering burns calories. Sometimes we literally feel like we just ran a marathon after a simple 60 minute 5 inning game…exhausted, and we barely even ran anywhere nor broke a sweat. It’s draining. If we aren’t using our vocal chords, the game might actually be boring…kids like a little Hip Daddy yelling.
The “Bad News Bears” Can Happen At Any Time.
No matter how good your team might just be, the Bad News Bears are always lurking in the background. They are young. They are still young. This means, they have their ‘off days.’ And yes, when those ‘off’ days surface, every Hip Daddy coach might just lose their mind! How does one player go from catching everything to dropping an easy pop fly? How does one player go from hitting everything to not even knowing what is happening at the plate? How does one player go from running the bases like Rickey Henderson (yes, we are old) to not even know where third base is? These things happen. They are kids. Prepare yourself. If not, you’ll be chewing on aspirin faster than you can say David Ortiz…#justsayin.
All Opposing Hip Daddy Coaches Suck.
Okay, they don’t…but they do…kind of. Every Hip Daddy coach wants to see their child succeed. It’s human nature. So that means, the opposing coaches are the enemy (but in a good way.) When you see the opposing pitcher throw high and inside, your blood boils and you want to let their coaches know about it. But in reality, it’s an 8 year old kid just trying to throw the ball over the plate (this isn’t the MLB.) So you get over it. But then, like today, you might see an opposing coach (who is filling in at catcher) try to tag out a runner at home…a 45 year old vs. an 8 year old…yes, this is when indeed the opposing Coach Sucks. All that said, we applaud every Dad (and Mom) that actually takes the time to coach…it’s a commitment. But human nature is what it is, so yes, you still suck. Ha.
Some Kids Simply Like To Pick Grass.
At this age, most parents simply want their kids to experience many different things, including team sports. This is a good thing. But sometimes, their child just isn’t in to it…and likes to pick grass. And picking grass isn’t so bad…it keeps the field cut, and gives their fingers a solid workout. Right? Ha. Well, as a Hip Daddy Coach, you need to recognize this reality and be the Coach you signed up to be. Nurture, teach, and build character…no matter what you are dealt with. Not every player on your roster will actually want to be out there. But leave them with a good taste…that’s all you can do.
Helicopter Dads Are Still Cool.
In case you missed our post on Helicopter Dads, read it here. So…coaching your child is a great experience. Not only do you get to ‘coach’ them but you also get to ‘hang out’ with them in a very fun environment for 60 minutes or so. These are sacred times. So cheer loud for them, yell at them when you need to, give them a high-five, give them a pep talk, tell them to cheer for their teammates, or maybe even tell them to take a ‘timeout’ at the end of the bench if necessary. Be a Helicopter, it’s okay in this environment. One of our favorite Hip Daddy movie scenes is during Parenthood when Steve Martin is talking to his son after a successful birthday…his son says “Dad, when I grow up, I want to work where you work”…Steve Martin says” Why Son?”…Son says “so I can see you every day Dad.” Tear jerker…no doubt. We might be crying. Ha. Point is…in the future, your child will indeed grow up and move on to other leagues where you won’t be able to Coach…and you will be relegated to being that boisterous Hip Daddy in the stands…yes, sad but true. Enjoy it while you can…be the Helicopter Hip Daddy Coach, it might just be a good thing.
So there you have it. Coaching your child is a beautiful thing…complete with ups and downs. Deep breathes will help. And at the end of the day, remember, they are just kids. Play ball!