I manage the Atascadero AAA Indians Little League baseball team. Coaching 9 and 10 year old boys is very rewarding, especially when we’re playing as well as we have been so far this season.
I work the kids hard in practice working on skills – throwing, fielding grounders, catching fly balls, base running, hitting, bunting, pitching and catching. My job as a coach is to find a way to help every player on the team feel comfortable and safe, improve and ultimately develop a passion for the game.
Yelling at a young player when he commits an error hurts the team. Kids are smart. Way smarter than a lot of coaches realize. If one of my players commits an error I ask them “what happened out there? What would you do different next time?” Nine times out of ten they’ll give me the correct response. They always figure it out and get it right the next play. That’s the best way to learn how to play.
Life is like baseball in this regard. The hardest part of parenting is to give their kid enough rope to make little mistakes. Then have the patience to ask your kid “what happened out there?” If you’ve done your job as a parent, shouldn’t it be up to them to figure out how to reach “home plate”?