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Sunday, August 25, 2013


It's terrific to cheer and clap but don't make so much "orchestrated" noise that the action in the stands over shadows what is happening on the field.
A: PARENTS--Just this summer I witnessed a fist fight between to Pony League dads at a youth baseball tournament then while watching the Little League World Series on the tube recently I saw a grown yahoo snatch a foul ball away from a kid then the oaf did a victory dance.

Maybe Charles Schulz, the late great cartoonist had it right by never putting an adult in the long career of his "Peanuts" comic strip. As a result, Charley Brown was spared having to face a screaming adult when he was on the mound.  Lucy Van Pelt was enough.

Below is a snippet written by a major league baseball manager, Mike Metheny, who is currently manager of the St. Louis Cardinals.  Metheny went on record by pointing out that youth baseball is about the kids—not about parents.  His message went viral in 2009 and it's worth repeating. 

“I always said that the only team that I would coach would be a team of orphans,
and now here we are. The reason for me saying this is that I have found the biggest
problem with youth sports has been the parents. I think that it is best to nip this in
the bud right off the bat. I think the concept that I am asking all of you to grab is that this experience is ALL about the boys. If there is anything about it that includes you, we need to make a change of plans. My main goals are as follows: (1) to teach these young men how to play the game of baseball the right way, (2) to be a positive impact on them as young men, and (3) do all of this with class. We may not win every game, but we will be the classiest coaches, players, and parents in every game we play. The boys are going to play with a respect for their teammates, opposition, and the umpires no matter what.

"With that being said, I need to let you know where I stand. I have no hidden
agenda. I have no ulterior motive other than what I said about my goals. I
also need all of you to know that my priorities in life will most likely be a part
of how I coach, and the expectations I have for the boys. My Christian faith is
the guide for my life and I have never been one for forcing my faith down
someone’s throat, but I also believe it to be cowardly, and hypocritical to shy away
from what I believe.

"You as parents need to know for yourselves and for your boys, that when the opportunity presents itself, I will be honest with what I believe. That may
make some people uncomfortable, but I did that as a player, and I hope to continue it in any endeavor that I get into. I am just trying to get as many potential issues out in the open from the beginning.

"I believe that the biggest role of the parent is to be a silent source of encouragement. I think if you ask most boys what they would want their parents to do during the game; they would say “NOTHING”. Once again, this is ALL about the boys. I believe that a little league parent feels that they must participate with loud cheering and “Come on, let’s go, you can do it”, which just adds more pressure to the kids. I will be putting plenty of pressure on these boys to play the game the right way with class, and respect, and they will put too much pressure on themselves and each other already. You as parents need to be the silent, constant, source of support..."

For the entire essay, “The Metheny Manifesto” go to his

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