Often, the only motivation is nothing but a smile.
I have said this to more than one baseball coach, who coaches his or her own son or daughter, "Give the instruction responsibility for your own child to the other coaches. It may be hard, but it is for the best that you get out of their way."
I see it all the time while teaching youth. Youth ballplayers listen to me (their coach), nod in agreement, and try what is suggested. On the other hand, their parent says the exact same thing to the young player; they look away in disgust or tell the parent to be quiet.
The ironic thing is that they are great kids, who dearly love their parents. They just do not want to hear how to play baseball from mom or dad, and especially when they become teenagers.
That is the time when parents must realize the sounds of silence has meaning in baseball.
Most athletes are motivated, with some more than others are. If parents just stay out of it and keep to the sounds of silence, players maintain that motivation and keep playing. However, when parents keep insisting on coaching when it is apparent their child does not want their input, it often spells the beginning of the end of their motivation to play.
Parents should realize that it is just the way it is when dealing with one's own child and that the sounds of silence is often the best motivational tool they can use.
As mentioned, I often tell coaches, who coach their own child, the same thing; silence is best, and let other coaches coach your child. The best way to coach one's own is to act as if your son or daughter is not your child on the field, but just one of the members of the team.
After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball since 1988 and offered valuable coaching training too. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching training advice.All Jack Perconte articles are used with copyright permission.
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