You have just signed little 6 year old Junior up for little league. This is a monumental day! As you fill out the paper work you have dreams of the young fella batting lead off for the Yankees. He’ll be a star. You’ll be damn sure of it.
That first season they put him in the outfield. Good. Right? All the greats played outfield; Griffey, Hank, Shoeless Joe.
The only thing is, when the greats played outfield is was against players who could actually hit the ball out there. The only action little junior is gonna see is the local teenagers smoking laughing grass in the woods behind the outfield.
“He’s an offensive threat though, they’re saving his energy for his at bats.”
You bet Pops. He’s a threat all right. He’s a threat to the tee he’s hitting off of and whoever isn’t paying attention as he lets go of the bat mid swing.
Much of little juniors career goes this way. He gets just good enough to make the team and have a few shining moments but ultimately he’s pretty much shit.
You never see it this way and wonder why he doesn’t play more. “Hell he had an RBI double last game! The 7 games he went hitless before were just his way of warming up!”
“The coach hates him anyway.”
“The other kids parents are in a click and that’s why they play more.”
“They have to make sure the teachers kids play.”
“It’s all political.”
There’s a reason your child doesn’t play and it’s because they suck. Whether it be because their jump shot looks like a homeless man puking vodka into a Chinese takeout box or because they posses the personality of a Grade A Asshole, they will not get playing time until they improve.
Providing your kids with some other excuse as to why they don’t play when the coach is clearly telling them they need to improve makes your kid become uncoachable. Everyone knows uncoachable kids become unemployable adults. Unemployable adults do meth. Meth kills.
I promise you above all else, the coach wants to win. If he sees your child as an asset to help achieve that goal, it doesn’t matter if he’s the superintendents son or the local drunks, he will see playing time. All politics and other excuses aside, winning is all that matters.
No one wants to hear that their child sucks. I fully understand this. But at some point you just have to realize that maybe a 18 year old at 5’6” 125lbs who can’t walk and chew bubble gum isn’t going to the NBA. Don’t take him to the car and beat him but don’t tell him he is going to be the next Muggsy Bogues either.
Be honest with your kids. Support them. Encourage them. But know the difference between being a positive voice for them and pumping them full of unrealistic trash. It’s okay to fail, all of the worlds most prominent athletes and people have failed. But they only found success because they learned from their failures.
It’s okay for your kids to suck as athletes, but don’t let them be sucky humans. There’s enough of those running around.