My First "What Do You Think?" Post. re: little league baseball

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Posted 3/15/2011 by Janeliz in NSBR Board
 

Janeliz
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Posted: 3/15/2011 11:37:26 AM


My husband coaches our daughter's baseball team. He's done so for a few years now, and the current team is made up of 9 and 10 year olds.

Anyway, we are a few games now into the season. My father-in-law has attended each game, which is nice. Here's what I am interested in getting opinions on, though---he insists on cheering for BOTH teams. As an example, in one game the other team's catcher almost gunned out our runner when our runner stole 2nd base. Our runner was safe, but it was close. So my FIL yells out "Good throw, catcher!" When the game ends, and the parents are clapping and saying "Good game, Yankees!" or "Good game, Red Sox!", he will yell out "Good game, BOTH teams!" I remember him doing this in past years--and in t-ball it's something most people will do. But as the kids get older and the games become more competitive, it's starting to strike my husband and I as...odd? Unusual? I mean, the other team has their own parents and grandparents to cheer them on. I can't figure out why he insists on playing "neutral" when it's his son and granddaughter out there.

I'm definitely not suggesting he yell out anything discouraging to the other team. I would never do that and wouldn't appreciate that. I just think it's so weird that he insists on cheering for both teams--and loudly. My husband brought it up to him yesterday and my FIL told him that if he couldn't cheer for both teams, then he wouldn't cheer for any at all. And then he didn't come to last night's game.

Please know there are no plans in the works to start a family war over this, lol. I think my husband and I will probably just let it drop and just ignore it in the future. In the scheme of things, it's not a major deal. I am just interested to hear others' opinions. Thanks!

AthenainCA
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Posted: 3/15/2011 11:40:47 AM
My son is a year lower in baseball than your daughter and the coaches themselves will cite a good play or hit by the other team.

A good play or hit is a good play or hit - especially at these young ages.

It doesn't happen on every play, but on the stand-out ones, coaches and parents acknowledge it be it on our team or on the other one.

I'd far prefer encouragement than the ragging some teams coaches and parents do.






ScrappinSportzMom
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Posted: 3/15/2011 11:43:16 AM
My days of Little League are long gone, but I did clap for well executed plays by the other team. I did when I was coaching little kids soccer too.

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Posted: 3/15/2011 11:47:18 AM
I remember when the kids played T-ball and basketball it was so nice when people from both sides would clap and holler for a great attempt at something no matter what side.

I am really into sportsmanship and even though it's uncommon as the kids age I still would think it's nice to yell out a "good throw catcher" every once in a while for the other team. On the other hand, the "good job BOTH teams" thing at the end of the game is a little weird, I'll give you that. Ok, maybe a lot weird. But I would chalk it up to good manners, wanting to appreciate and encourage kids on both sides and just crab about it my dh on the way home. I wouldn't say anything to FIL about it again. It's his business who he wants to cheer for I think as long as he is also supporting his grand kids.



hop2
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Posted: 3/15/2011 11:49:12 AM
I can't help clapping for a well executed play. For example my DD plays soccer and I can't help clap for a fantastic save by the goalie on either team. I try not to call out because you never know who gets annoyed at what.

mom2ja2
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Posted: 3/15/2011 11:49:19 AM
Hmmm...age 9 & 10, I wouldn't think twice.

In fact, it's almost 2nd nature for me to say things like "nice play, catch" or "great hit" or "what a stop" even if it's not my kids' team who made the play.

I played ball from the age of 5 & some div. 1 ball in college.

And sure, things get a little more intense but still, you acknowledge the success of another player. I pitched & played a lot of outfield & 3rd base. Being on that 3rd base line I can't tell you how many times players from the other dugout would say "nice stop 3" or in some other way acknowledge something I did. If the game was on the line & I just tagged out their leading base runner then yeah, maybe silence but the first few innings were a different story.

And it was often at the end of the game walking off the field someone's parent from the other team would compliment me, or the other team's coach...and our parents & coaches did the same.

I don't think there is anything wrong with it...and to me, it's very, very common. And sort of how a good sport, good fan behaves when the game hasn't hit that "for all the marbles" stage.


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MNshotz
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Posted: 3/15/2011 11:50:00 AM
My son is 15 and has been playing since he was 5, and we have parents on both sides who regularly compliment a player on either side for an exceptional play. However, we rarely cheer on an opposing team as a whole. But, congratulating someone for a good play, good throw, an amazing catch.. well, those are all things that we do. I think it shows our kids that you can be appreciate effort no matter who does it.

I see you frustration with grandpa.. and while he is setting a good example in some respects, he might be going overboard.


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penny4bob
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Posted: 3/15/2011 11:50:41 AM
I think you should appreciate the interest he shows in coming to the games and cheering the teams on.

I don't think it's weird at all. His cheering for both teams takes nothing away from his encouragement of his own grandchild. If he were cheering on the other team and not hers, well then I'd smack him on the head!!! But to cheer for both... I see that all the time here, and my kids are DD-9 (Fast Pitch) and DS-10 (Mustang League). I also saw it a lot when my older two kids played (DS from 4-18 and DD from 15-17).

I will say it's mostly the older generation that I see doing it... grandparents and such. I wonder if they are not AS invested in who WINS because they are a little more detached as it's a grandchild and not a child. Whatever the reason, I love seeing it... I think it models great behavior for the kids. I am the first one to say I hate the attitude of 'everyone's a winner' because that's just not the case, and not how life works... but that's also no reason why good performance shouldn't be acknowledged whenever it happens -- no matter which team it's on. I love that some parents and grandparents are willing to stand up and applaud excellence, even if the child or team isn't 'theirs'!!!!


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Posted: 3/15/2011 11:59:08 AM
My dad does that too. I will admit at first it made me go hmmm. After a few years of it I realize that is just who he is. Of course he is also the grandad with the cowbell and the big sign he reserves just for us. We still love his enthusiasm. We just chalk it up to grandpa.

Janeliz
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Posted: 3/15/2011 12:02:04 PM
Thank you for sharing your perspectives with me, ladies. I truly appreciate it.

I do agree that good sportsmanship is important. And I know coaches on most of the teams out there do make a point to high five the kid who just hit a home run or compliment a pitcher on a great inning, etc.
I think, for instance, the "great throw, catcher!" thing just stuck in my head because the rest of us were going "great hustle, so and so!" to the kid who just stole the base, lol. As I read your stories and opinions, though, I can see that I simply may be overthinking it.

julieberg
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Posted: 3/15/2011 12:03:41 PM


I think it is a wonderful example for the kids AND the parents.

Peabay
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Posted: 3/15/2011 12:06:16 PM
Julieberg took the words right out of my mouth: what a great example he's setting.

Come on, these are little kids. They all need encouragement and applause.

I always cheer for great plays from either side. I might cheer a little more for my kids' sides, but a great catch or throw or basket or goal? Doesn't matter what side it's on.



KS CropPEA Chick
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Posted: 3/15/2011 12:17:16 PM
My kids play in a city league and most parents are this way! Sportsmanship is very important in our league, at the end of the season one team in each level is awarded a Sportsmanship Award. Parents and spectators factor into which team receives the award so that plays into it. After watching few parent melt down and scream obscenities at tee ball games (and being the coach they are directed at), I think that it is awesome when someone is positive to each team. As a coach, I always congratulate the other team's players on great plays or hits, at the time of the play, I will call out to them, then mention it again after the game! Also I think because it is a small community, we feel vested in kids that aren't ours, our kids' friends and and kids of our friends!
Grandpa is setting a fabulous example!


~Melissa~

jlynnbarth
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Posted: 3/15/2011 12:18:15 PM
My son is at the Varsity High School level and our coaches and team members will always give kudos to the other team for a ball well hit or well played. They respect the game no matter who's at bat or handling the ball. Of course they don't always "like" that the ball was hit or whatever, but if it was a great hit or a great play they still appreciate it. Does that make sense?

I think it's great sportsmanship, which is more important than anything else.



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Posted: 3/15/2011 12:20:06 PM
I would only have a problem if he was yelling out BAD things about the other team - not good.

Like others said, he's setting a great example.


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Posted: 3/15/2011 12:20:18 PM
I always had a tendency to cheer for both teams. A lot of parents did. I like to encourage all kids when they do well, or when they need encouragement. Its what makes Little League so much fun.

Tango1*
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Posted: 3/15/2011 12:20:46 PM
Its pretty common in my experience. I have twin 11yo boys and I see people from both teams cheering good plays in baseball and basketball too for that matter. I would automatically cheer an exceptional play myself! The other thing is that my kids have been playing sports for so long that I likely know many of the kids on the opposing team so its like cheering for friends.

ketsmom
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Posted: 3/15/2011 12:31:38 PM
Your fil sounds like a great guy and he is setting a great example for all the negative parents out there. We had some really bad experiences when my two ds were playing sports. Both were pitchers and the things that were yelled at them by adults were just disgusting and so immature. No matter how good you think your child is, most kids dont go beyond playing in high school, if they do that. So, imo, they should be focusing on teamwork and sportmanship not necessarily how good they play the game.

ketsmom
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Posted: 3/15/2011 12:31:40 PM
Your fil sounds like a great guy and he is setting a great example for all the negative parents out there. We had some really bad experiences when my two ds were playing sports. Both were pitchers and the things that were yelled at them by adults were just disgusting and so immature. No matter how good you think your child is, most kids dont go beyond playing in high school, if they do that. So, imo, they should be focusing on teamwork and sportmanship not necessarily how good they play the game.

momocarly
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Posted: 3/15/2011 12:43:47 PM
I think in a lot of ways it depends on your league.

In all of our leagues it is awesome and expected for parents to complement the other team's players for exceptional plays. We will frequently applaud a difficult catch, or a great throw by the opposing team.

Beyond that parents cheer for their team. We applaud if someone from either team is hurt and gets up and walks off or shakes it off. We applaud at the end of the game but the yelling "Great Job Both Teams" would get some really odd looks at our league at that age. T-Ball, FFPS soccer, yes, older ages - not around here.


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mom2ja2
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Posted: 3/15/2011 12:49:45 PM

think, for instance, the "great throw, catcher!" thing just stuck in my head because the rest of us were going "great hustle, so and so!" to the kid who just stole the base, lol.


Ahhh, so maybe he has a bit of a timing thing?

I could see now where that could be awkward. Yelling "nice play, catch" when a 10 year old stops a wild pitch is fantastic & always a great idea.

Yelling "nice play, catch" when one of your boys & your fans are totally bummed because your player just got tagged out at home may not be the wisest decision...he needs to be taught the polite golf clap for those situations.


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pookiethebear
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Posted: 3/15/2011 1:22:01 PM
Is it little league (kids pitch) or minor league (coach pitches)? My son was always afraid of other kids throwing at him so he never went past minors. There we cheered for all the players and a little harder for our team/kids. When the kids would ask the score we all would tell them it is tied (regardless of the actual score). In the minors it is about having fun and learing the fundamentails of the game. In little league it is a lot more competitive but still there is a good bit of sportsmanship for all the players all around.

I don't see a problem with grandpa cheering for everyone.


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Posted: 3/15/2011 1:27:12 PM
As a league executive, all I can say is that I am thankful there are still folks like your FIL around!

And thank your DH for coaching too!


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megmc
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Posted: 3/15/2011 1:28:52 PM
Tell him to sit in the middle of the bleachers!

other than that in the nasty world of little league he is setting a great example.


sweetandsour
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Posted: 3/15/2011 1:50:42 PM
I would rather your FIL be in attendance at my kids' games than the ones that yell out belittling words

There's nothing wrong with yelling out encouragement for the opposing team at their age. My DS's 9 year old (rep) hockey team lost a heartbreaker 1-0 game in double overtime in the playoffs and as they were coming off the ice, the winning team's parents said "Great game Red" (our team colour) and I thought, now THAT's sportsmanship.


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sharonmnc
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Posted: 3/15/2011 1:55:31 PM

But, congratulating someone for a good play, good throw, an amazing catch.. well, those are all things that we do.
My son's team went to AAU Nationals 5 times and the AABC World Series where they got the sportsmanship award (we called it "Miss Congeniality ). No matter how tough the game was, we still appreciated a good play and applauded the player who made it.

My in-laws lived 5 minutes from the ballfield and never attended a game. It just "wasn't their thing." You should be on your knees thanking God that your FIL takes such an interest and sets such a good example for your son and for the rest of the parents.

It's only Little League baseball. There is no prize money. The best thing you'll take away is what it teaches your kid about perseverance, work ethic, grace under pressure, teamwork and the many other lessons that too many kids and parents just don't get. You can win AND be a good sport.


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Posted: 3/15/2011 2:02:01 PM
I swear reading this thread is bringing back horrible memories of my then 10 year old dd pitching a terrible game. This was a house league of girls just learning how to play softball - not Little League, not travel - there was nothing riding on this game.

So, my dd hit a pitching slump. Walked a couple of batters. And a dad in the stands screams: "HEY COACH! PULL THAT KID OUT, WILL YA?" The look on my dd's face was soul-crushing.

The coach (who will sit at the right hand of God, imo) walked off the field and into the stands and said to the guy: "Look at that kid's face. You want me to pull her out? You do it. You walk up to that little girl and pull her out of this game." The dad was so embarrassed and his wife moved away from him in the stands, lol.

The coach called a time out, walked up to my dd, talked to her on the mound for a few minutes and she was able to finish out the inning.

Encouragement and cheering - for all kids - is necessary at this level. Pretty soon your kids will be at more competitive levels (as this same dd of mine was - she made the HS softball team) and you'll see that level of unanimous support drop pretty sharply.

And if that coach had allowed that negativity to go on, I doubt my dd would've played another game of softball.

I don't know why I felt compelled to share that story because of this thread, but I just feel like your FIL is doing such a nice thing. It could be the opposite...



kimberly38
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Posted: 3/15/2011 2:02:25 PM
My daughter is 12 and plays softball. She also did soccer for one year.

I have found myself clapping for the other team at times! Sometimes, I am so focused on the game, I forget which team is which! But, when I see a good play, I cheer for it, no matter who the team is.

Now, I do yell a bit louder when my daughter does good.

I mean, really, what happened to good sportsmanship? We teach all of our kids to clap hands at the end of a game or high give to be good sports. I finally realized one day when we were at a local minors game, that they did not do the same after a game. Just walked off the field. I cannot rmeember if our home team won or lost, but I thought it was such a let down that they did not do so. I even asked about it and was not really given a concrete answer as to why they dont' do this at the end of a game.

m2b
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Posted: 3/15/2011 2:06:17 PM
We have 4 or 5 teams of kids just from our town. DH has coached them at one time or another so yes, I end up cheering for all the kids because I have gotten to know most of them.

Even at my son's hockey games where I don't know anyone from the other team I have been known to yell out nice save to the opposing goalie... I do get a few stares from my fellow hockey parents.

peaburt
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Posted: 3/15/2011 2:26:20 PM
Through several years of soccer, cross-country and track my DH and I still cheer and congratulate the other competitors.

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Posted: 3/15/2011 2:41:18 PM

I think, for instance, the "great throw, catcher!" thing just stuck in my head because the rest of us were going "great hustle, so and so!" to the kid who just stole the base, lol. As I read your stories and opinions, though, I can see that I simply may be overthinking it.


OK, in full disclosure, both of my sons are catchers, so I may look at this differently. If it was close at 2nd, especially at this age/level, that is very impressive. It takes way more skill on the catcher's part of that play, than the base runner. All the base runner has to do is pay attention to the coach, and be able to run fast. My son has been complimented by coaches for throwing out the coaches own son...

Also, sometimes I tend to cheer for the kid who seems to "need" it more. If everyone was cheering on the runner, I may have encouraged the other player, just to balance things out.

I think it's nice that your FIL comes to the games and participates and I can tell you do too. We live in another state, so my kids rarely get that opportunity.

Janeliz
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Posted: 3/15/2011 3:06:46 PM
Pookie Bear, you asked if it was coach pitch or kid pitch---it's kid pitch.

I'm so glad I posted for opinions, because you all have given me a lot to think about and a new way to look at things.

As I read your replies, I realized that I see what my FIL does as unusual because it's just not something I hear anyone else doing. Trash talk is not tolerated, of course, but I wouldn't say there are a many people out in those bleachers following in my FIL's footsteps. I can see that, ideally, what my FIL does should be the usual, rather than unusual.

Thanks, everyone.

hockeyrocks
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Posted: 3/16/2011 8:56:10 AM
I think I like that your FIL cheers for both teams.

My DS has hit the age where he competes against a lot of his friends in school sports (they all go to different schools) and usually it's a friendly rivalry between the boys, just bragging rights on the line, nothing more, really.. But I have friends who simply cannot CAN NOT cheer for anyone who is opposing their boy. not for any reason. doesn't matter if they play absolutely spectacular, they will not cheer for a good play by the opposition.

I cheer for my DS, his team, and his friends on opposing teams. These are the same kids who are coming over to hang out after the game, so how can I possibly not cheer for them?
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