Sunday, June 9, 2013

Is travel ball really this bad?

Some posts from another site about youth baseball. Are the parents really this bad? This particular thread was about "travel ball".

"Me and a few friends (with no kids on the team) coach a USSSA baseball team. State championship was today, and I was totally blown away.

There were some 50/50 calls, and some plain calls that were made 100% right. PERFECT bunt down 3rd base line and the runner gets their a step and a half before the throw and the dugout explodes.

I'm talking veins in the neck popping out, red in the face, hats thrown 10 yards far. The chirping was constant("Thanks for the call ump!!" on a routine ground out to fist game), and the digs at the umpire were completely uncalled for. A bat was pointed at the umpire in a "nonchalant" way when a coach left the dugout to pick up a hitters bat.

While coaching first base, I saw the honest fear in the players' eyes. I know you want kids, especially in travel ball to play to their absolute best, but they were afraid to walk off the inning when we put up a 5 run inning.

I made a comment saying it was ridiculous to the umpire in a laughing manner, and one of the assistant coaches ran a 4.4 40 out of the dugout to ask me what I said. I told him I said he needs to calm down, and he blew up.

That's my cool story for this Saturday

and another posts by same guy:

"During the huddle inbetween innings to talk about whatever coaches talk about..things like "What's the league directors name".."we're playing against 10, not 9", etc. The kids were an afterthought. Perfect example of living vicariously through your kids/team."

and another:

"I was an assint. coach(coach's pitch) years ago for my son's team. I was coaching third and there was only one ump that day(young guy probally 17) Anyway he made a bad call on one of our kids. The kid's mom came on the field and starts pushing the young man and cursing him. The ump was really nervous and I ran grabbed the lady , told her to calm down. She starts yelling at me then,The cops were called and she was banned from the leauge. The ump didn't want to press charges..turns out she was a teacher at the local school "

"According to my sister in law. The only way you can succeed in baseball is to play travel ball year round. I told her they are 12 and all you are doing is fricking their arms up. Of course she got pissed and walked out. "


Anonymous said...

Two points. First, in select soccer, parent education (at least in my league) is stressed. This includes parents refrainoing from "coaching" and not interferring. Apparently that is needed in USSA.
Second, numerous D-1 baseball players developed slowly. parents should not push these kids too fast.

Anonymous said...

Been there, done it, restrained, unrestrained, argued, held my tongue, learned to hate other parents and a few coaches....much of that to the detriment of the kids. The kids seem to grow up and move on and the parents in too many cases harbor grudges til they die, often not speaking to each other foreverafter.

Thank God for men and women willing to step up and give coaching their best shot. I won't criticize them. They're a blessing to our children.

Anonymous said...

Many times it is just one or two bad parents/coaches that cause the problems.

Anonymous said...

I helped coach a youth soccer team one season. And now I can not reasonably fathom a scenario where I would yell at a coach/umpire/referee or league official.

And I have regrettably been an a**hat sports parent. Not anymore.

Anonymous said...

And then there is North Jackson Youth Baseball where Country Club membership has more to do with postseason selection than skill.

Anonymous said...

My worst experience was a 13 yr old tournament in Fulton, MS. Man, it was awful, especially the fans yelling at the kids. I've seen it every level up there. They hate the other fans and players and make it known. So sad seeing kids raised in that atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

I think we all have stories, but the Oxford crowd at the MSA tournament this year was featured the most rude individuals, both players and parents, I have ever witnessed. At one point, I remembered hearing pre-game, "take your anger out on them."

Thankfully, my daughter was playing in a different level.

Red Card said...

We never learn these lessons until it's too late. We can read books, attend pre-season meetings, listen to lectures, pay to see a shrink. None of that matters. Every year a new crop of parents still (unwittingly) makes the same mistakes. It's life.


Anonymous said...

I used to umpire during college, primarily t-ball and little league. The one incident that sticks out in my mind is from a t-ball game. Last game of the year, and the little kid at the plate hasn't even made contact all year. He finally hits it, and gets thrown out by about a step and a half at first in his last at bat. I call him safe (intentionally). The smile on his face was worth a million bucks. The other team's coaches and parents come unglued over the "blown" call. Keep in mind, they didn't even keep score in this brand of t-ball. I knew at that point organized baseball for kids had pretty much gone to hell, and that was 20 years ago.

Anonymous said...

We have had a totally different experience with tournament baseball. We are new to it since my son is 7. The last two weekends I have only encountered polite fans and coaches. All of us have helped each team remove tents and chairs and clean the dugouts. I have seen coaches congratulate the other team on a good play, and I havent heard one negative comment abt another team. Hopefully it will stay this way, and everybody will realize the kids are just out there to have fun and learn. As to the north jackson comment, I really dont understand the country club deal. If your kid is good enough, he will get picked by one of our teams.

Anonymous said...

The NJYBB / country club comment makes no sense. When you sign up for rec, you have to provide proof of membership to a country club before your kid is even allowed to play, along with net worth, cars you drive, sq. footage of your home, etc.

So, if your child wasn't selected for post season, someone probably found out you lied about being a member of a country club.

That, or you only have a prop plane and not a jet. That's another sure fire way of not being selected

Anonymous said...

I'll echo the North Jackson comment. I've seen error machines that were lousy hitters make postseason over good fielders that actually hit home runs.
I have seen parents move when people not in their club sat by them. It really got funny as the non-Country Clubbers would agree to move their chairs by the snobs just to watch these clowns get in a huff and keep moving around.

Anonymous said...

I have been through 2 consecutive weekends of USSSA tournaments, and they have been absolutely fantastic. The kids have had fun and have behaved - winning and losing. I know there are crazy folks out there and people want to win, but these two weekends have been great.

Anonymous said...

I just dont get all the country club talk and baseball. I have never witnessed any of this stuff. None of us talk about what club we attend. Besides, if I have to tell you about my club, then I dont have any class. Maybe you ran into some new money people if they were acting like that.

Anonymous said...

10:10 said, "Besides, if I have to tell you about my club, then I dont have any class."

That is a self-evident statement. Most people like that are two letters short from "class".

bill said...

Parents and coaches have misbehaved in Little League and other youth sports for at least 50 years. I know that because I was playing 50 years ago and saw it myself. They'll be doing the same things 50 years from now. By and large the kids have fun and there are few incidents of really boorish behavior. Get over it...

Anonymous said...

10:10am - too deep in the forest to see the trees?

new money....classic. only old money, stuck up pricks that have no idea how much of a snob they are say that. it is classless.

grew up in it. still in it. just not so self sanctimonious as to not see it.

the same shit went on when i was kid, so i dont doubt that it still does. the problem is that now, we are 2-3 generations removed from those that actually worked and made that "old money." the "new money" kids and grandkids they spawned are mostly worthless and expect everything to be handed to them just because their name is so and so (and it often happens).


Anonymous said...

10:27 this is 10:10 and no I am not too deep in the trees. I am not one of the old money jackson families, and I work very hard for my money each day. I went to college with most of the people at the fields, so I know most of their histories. I just dont know how people can get too upset at the fields. You know you are only out there for an hour or two. People need to get over the ne jaxn deal. If somebody doesnt like it, then go to madison,flowood, etc

Anonymous said...

It's not limited to 'country clubs'. There's a pecking order, class and status mentality in all of youth baseball and soccer. Shunning of lesser humanoids is common. Picking or not picking children is always employed by certain coaches and is usually driven more by the coaches wife and her buds than the coach himself. Regardless, this has nothing to do with which team wins or gets its ass kicked from week to week. All of this is an extension of the parents' lives (or lack of a life) for many sideliners. The kids just want to run and jump and maybe win some. It's a shame when and if they grow up to be haters or obsessed with class based on their parents' oddities.

Saying "Gee, I've never seen any of this" can be explained in one of two ways: either your child is very young, in the first or second year of sports or you're stoned when you appear at the field.

Anonymous said...

It's all crazy at this level. Swimming, Soccer, etc. not just baseball. The costs are driving the competition. Look at all the new facilities going in to train our sons and daughters. Look at the per player cost for participating in travel leagues. Parents are demanding results from coaches. Coaches feel the pressure. Kids, the forgotten reason we're doing this stuff, are in danger of losing their love of the game. I see it on a daily basis. And I've been coaching travel baseball for 4 years now and every Rec sport for the last 6.

Anonymous said...

Travel ball or rec/league ball. . .doesn't matter. Its the parents who can't act right, and its the kids who are learning by the parents' bad examples.

Most coaches who take their own time to coach get no pay. Instead of the parents criticism, they should be thanked.

Most umpires get very little pay for umpiring these games; they do the best they can; and instead of just worrying about calling balls/strikes and calling the bases, many times they turn into crowd/parent control. There are a few bad umpires, but on the whole they do the best job they can.

Unfortunately, its a kids game with adult-created problems.

Anonymous said...

12:23, my kids have been playing for five years now, and no I dont show up stoned. I guess I just dont get caught up in all of the "keeping up with the jones" stuff. If you are comfortable with who you are as a person, then one doesnt have to play all of the games. Now, I am not so naive to think some kids dont get left out, or people dont talk about all of their stuff. However, when I am at the field I usually watch the game or help coach third or first base and interact with my kids. I just choose not to get caught up in the other bs.

12:23 said...

12:56: Nobody is suggesting you should get 'caught up in it' ~ Only that you recognize it for what it is and not remain in a naive fog. It exists, it permeates every youth sport at every level, every sex, every age...has for many years and will continue to, regardless of your protestations.

Anonymous said...

There are 294 NCAA D1 teams, nationwide. Each team awards 12 scholarships each year. There are about 24 JuCo scholarships. Most of these scholarships are not full ride scholarships.Do the math. Chances that most of these kids will ever make it onto their middle school and high school teams is a long shot itself. Once they make it that far, a few of them will end up with career ending injuries before they are seniors, mostly because coaches and their parents pushed them beyond their physical capacities. There are some very excellent players out there and select is a way to polish and improve these athletes skills, and a few will go all the way but reality is, there are so many variables involved that it is hard to predict what will happen with them. Hunter Renfore was not selected by Hillcrest, his parents transferred him to Copiah Academy, and he has become a MS State standout, going in the first round of the draft to San Diego. It is what it is, and parents having psychotic episodes do not make the kids chances any better. In the end it will not be the umpires, coaches or parents that decide how far the player goes in their career, it will all fall onto the players shoulders and how well they play and how healthy they are.

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