I have written before about how I can tie anything and everything into baseball talk. Here I go again.
It is youth baseball time of the year again, and this Bible verse helped me sum up the situation:
There’s a season for everything
and a time for every matter under the ballfield lights,
A time for hits and a time for outs
A time for strikeouts and a time for dingers
A time for practice and a time for games
A time for meaningful coaches and a time for over-zealous ones
A time for understanding parents and a time for obnoxious ones
A time for winning and a time for losing
A time for kids who have fun and a time for those who do not
A time for tears and a time for joy.
And the Time for Change and a Time to Do something
Yes, for good and bad, the season is not all gravy, but it is all baseball. Good and bad times come and go for all baseball players and parents. Usually, the time goes depending on how well kids are doing at the time, if they are winning, and if the adults are satisfied with the amount of both.
I am not one of those that think things were always better back in the day. But I have been around kids and the youth games for the past twenty-seven years and realized a lot of stuff can be better. We have to face the fact that the games are less and less about the youth these days, and more about the adults. As unfortunate as that is, it is the current reality. Everyone needs to do better – the youth sports leagues, parents, and coaches.
Most people understand the impact of coaches in sports, but times have changed. Coaches are no longer thought of as a role model and are more as a means to an end. Unfortunately, all too often, kids look to the all-star professional athletes to be their role models when they should not have to look any further than their homes and their games.
Many of the problems come about because of the common phrases everyone around sports use. Words like, “Just have fun,” “Keep it in perspective,” “Be a good sport” and “Do your best” “Respect for the Game” are spoken. But most people have no idea what they truly mean or how to put them into practice. Furthermore, everyone has a different view of what each phrase means.
“Keep it in perspective” doesn’t state whose perspective, so it often means to win at all cost, and it’s OK to disregard others’ feelings.
“Be a good sport” has little meaning because of the current meanings of the two statements above.
“Do your best” is only good enough now when one has the attitude of “Never quitting,” “No pain, no gain” and “Keep working when the other guy is not.”
“Respect for the Game” is slowly disappearing in this era because of the above situations. Let’s not let the players at the highest level define what it means, adults involved with the youth sports game must provide that.
Baseball Bible verse – A time for understanding parents and a time for obnoxious ones
It is for those reasons that I write. I know a lot of good comes from youth sports, and a majority of people have good intentions, but the knuckleheads out there have a way of ruining things for everyone. I want to do my part to change them, so I wrote the book – Raising an Athlete: How to Instill Confidence, Build Skills and Inspire a Love of Sport. I began writing feeling like if I even helped one parent find a better way to help kids through their sports experience, it would all have been worth it.
Baseball Bible verse – A time for meaningful coaches and a time for over-zealous ones
I am publishing another book with the same goal but for coaches. If I help one coach provide and have for themselves a better coaching experience, great. The best part of that is that one coach affects many kids, so the multiplying effect is tremendous. Creating a Season to Remember: The New Youth Sports Coaching Leadership Handbook gives coaches the means to make a difference and be the role models they set out to be.
Baseball Bible verse – A time for strikeouts and a time for dingers
It’s hard to believe that my hitting book – The Making of a Hitter: A Proven and Practical Step by Step Hitting Guide has been out six years now. The good news about that is that the fundamentals of hitting do not change from year to year. There are still some basics that all players must do with a bat in their hand. It is now selling for $5 until supplies last. It is important to remember that you cannot steal second base without getting on first – this is a steal of a deal.
Baseball Bible verse – A time for every matter under the ballfield lights
Now, I and a friend, Sam Zagorac, the owner of Diamond Edge Academy are adding a bi-monthly podcast – Something worth Catching – Like a Baseball to begin soon. We have the same intention of helping ballplayers, parents, and coaches. We plan to discuss any and all baseball and softball topics and encourage questions from people. I believe you will find it interesting and look forward to delivering enlightenment, or at least ideas to help define the games of baseball and softball in a productive way. Stay tuned!
Jack Perconte has dedicated his post-major league baseball career to helping youth. He has taught baseball and softball for the past 27 years. His playing, coaching and parenting stories create better experiences for athletes and parents. Jack has written over a thousand articles on coaching baseball and youth sports. Jack is the author of “The Making of a Hitter” and “Raising an Athlete.” His third book “Creating a Season to Remember” is in the works. Jack is a featured writer for Baseball the Magazine. You can also find Jack Perconte at YouTube with over 80 fun and innovative baseball instructional videos.