10 Tips For Baseball Parents

Wednesday, Dec. 19th 2012

David Keesee is a self-asserted “world-class coach, motivational leader and former professional player.” Keesee is the proprietor of AllAspectsBaseball.com, in which he offers training tips for on and off the field. This weeks youth hitters blog subject will focus on a blog post that Keesee made and is entitled 10 Tips for Parenting in Baseball. While Keesee does not directly write his post for youth hitters, the post is an article that all baseball parents should read and keep in mind for their child’s formative baseball years.

Keesee’s 10 Tips for Parenting in Baseball all revolve around the idea of perspective. When I say perspective, I mean to say awareness. Be aware of the importance baseball has for your child, and not you personally.  Keesee does not categorize his ten tips in any order of importance but does end his list with (10) leave the ego out. Keesee says, in order to reinforce the perspective that is necessary when you are a parent of a baseball player, “Remember, this is not about you.  It’s about your child.  Its about them having fun playing the game and using the game as a vehicle for learning life lessons.” Although this is Keesee’s last piece of advice, it is the structure for his lesson.

Keesee uses his first nine pieces of advice to either directly or indirectly stress the importance that a fun atmosphere can have on a baseball player. (4) Create a free environment, (5) Make sure they want to play, and (7) Have a good attitude are the direct ways that Keesee tells parents a positive atmosphere can have profound effect on their children. (1) Find a personal coach, (2) Get involved, That’s right! Get involved, (3) Learn with your child, (6) Make sure they are put in positions to win, (8) Don’t always blame the team coach, and (9) Make sure the priorities are in line are indirect ways that Keesee believes a positive atmosphere can be created around children and improve their baseball abilities.

Lets analyze an indirect, and commonly overlooked, way that Keesee believes a positive atmosphere can be created by a parent: (6) Make sure they are put in positions to win. Here are two examples. One, a parent decides they want their child to pitch. The child goes out to pitch, struggles, and decides they don’t want to pitch anymore.  Two, a parent decides that they want to play their child up a level with the thirteen year olds when they are only twelve so they can gain more experience. The child struggles at a higher level and doesn’t want to play baseball anymore. What do both situations have in common? In each case, a parent’s lack of perspective about their child’s abilities creates a destructive atmosphere. A better approach: Have your child try and pitch, but suggest to the coach that you might want it to happen in a game where the team will surely lose. What’s the difference between a ten run and a fifteen run loss? I doubt your child will be able to tell if they give up the last five runs.

Perspective, Perspective. Perspective. As a parent, make choices that will create a positive atmosphere around your child and set them up for success. David Keesee’s 10 Tips for Parenting Baseball are not age discriminative, but are applicable to all ages of baseball players through its overarching theme of creating a positive atmosphere through the use of perspective. Yogi Berra said, “Ninety percent of the game is half mental.” Parents should want to help their children with the largest part of the game, and David Keesee’s advice is one way to start.

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