So my son Emmett, age 7, just started his fourth season of Little League, but his first out here in California.
He’s on the Orioles in A ball, which means coaches pitch 90 percent of the time, kids the other 10 percent. Emmett is a very solid little player—he makes more plays in the field than most, is an OK hitter, runs well. Blah, blah, blah.
Last spring, our last in New Rochelle, Emmett had a little bit of a breakthrough. He started hitting well, getting on base a lot, feeling great about himself. Much of the success came with a slight change in his stance—he started holding the bat closer to his body, with his elbow lowered instead of cocked back. It was terrific—he didn’t hit for power, but he hit for a high average. And, again, felt comfortable and happy.
I digress. We’re now in California, on the Orioles. And the coach—a lovely man who seems to know baseball—is insisting all the kids hit with their elbows cocked far back, sorta like this …
And Emmett is more like this …
I don’t want to be the jerk pigheaded father who demands things and insists he knows and blah, blah, blah. I also, however, see Emmett’s discomfort and confusion. I do believe he learned to hit well with the hands lower, and also believe (firmly) that different strokes apply to different folks.
So, dear readers, here’s the question: Do I (gently) say something? Request he let Emmett hit as he hits? Do I have that right as a parent, without crossing a line? Or do I just sit back from afar and hope it works out?
Thoughts genuinely appreciated.