I don’t give a shit that your kid hit a home run

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Yesterday, while umpiring my son’s Little League baseball game, I listened in to a lot of conversations between a lot of parents.

And now, my head hurts.

Out here in Southern California, adults take their youth sports crazy serious. And they take their Little League baseball crazy crazy crazy serious. Which sorta kinda makes me hope my son, age 8, doesn’t stick with the game. Because, even though I enjoy watching him play and I appreciate the togetherness of sports teams, I would consider myself a failure of epic proportions should he wind up one of these douche bag dads, barking at his kids from behind the cage.

Wait. I need to explain: If Emmett loves baseball, and finds fulfillment in it, I want him to play. Obviously. But if it starts beating him down, and if the pressures drain the fun, I hope he walks. I saw it yesterday, more than any other. One of the team’s parents were all over their children—barking with every pitch, yelling, “Swing!” or “Get closer to the plate!” or “What are you going?” At one point, a small boy, probably age 7, started crying at home plate, because he had two strikes. I prayed the pitcher would throw four-straight balls and I could walk the poor lad. But, of course, the next pitch was straight over the plate. I glumly whispered, “Strike three,” and he burst into tears. One of his coaches was sympathetic. The other was, well, a dick. “Stop crying and hit!” he said.

It’s weird, isn’t it? Your kids excel in science, you’re thrilled. Math? Thrilled? Lego building? Thrilled. But sports—it surpasses thrilling. You take it personally; you view it as a reflection on something you’ve done. I don’t get it. Like, at all. To live and die with my son’s at-bat; to add pressure atop his shoulders over something so trivial and insignificant? It’s odd.

I’m babbling.

3 thoughts on “I don’t give a shit that your kid hit a home run”

  1. It’s a shame what happens when adults get involved with kids sports. Back in my time in Brooklyn, you could always find a pickup game where we made all the decisions and got along great most of the time. We never missed the fact that we didn’t have cool uniforms or PA announcers or grown-ups watching us.

  2. sports parents are the absolute worst, overall. loud. obnoxious. basically it’s become a “look at me” parental parade.

    mom’s wear team gear. matching hair bows. and carry “I love (enter child’s name) posters/signs. then yell and scream nonsense at ear piercing levels.

    dad’s babble incessantly. whine constantly. bullshit with other dad’s exaggerating their own self worth and contribution to junior’s athletic prowess.

    everyone bitches about every call. it’s a moanfest worthy of the best college basketball coaches. I find it hard to sit in with fellow parents in the stands. my theory, as a parent, is act like you’ve been there before and provide an example of good sportsmanship to my high school son. no one paid admission to see or hear me.

    I remember being horrified at parental behavior in my hey day, late 80’s. and those were the Good Old Days of behavior comparitively. parents today are an embarrassment and I am almost certain most of our kids mock us to each other behind our backs….

  3. You’d think those parents would’ve learned by now. One of them drove his kid to kill another about 10 years ago near here. http://articles.latimes.com/2005/apr/14/local/me-baseball14
    Now the scuttle butt around here was that the pitcher had one of those hyper-competitive fathers and was dreading going home with the news that he’d lost. That the other kid, a sibling of one of the pitcher’s friends, knew this and started giving him a hard time in line for the snack bar after the game. So the losing pitcher snapped, pulled out a bat, and beat the other kid to death.
    The pressure was just too much.

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