“Coach” Mom

By Stevie

When I was in high school I acted as an assistant coach for a powder puff softball team. The girls were 5-6 years old. I helped run practices, kept score, and stood in the outfield making sure that the girls were watching for the ball and not chasing butterflies. It was a lot of fun. The kids were hilarious. There was no real rhyme or reason to how the games went because when one kid went for the ball, they all went.

Of all the sports my son can play, baseball is the only one where I can be of actual help with teaching kids technique in addition to rules. If you need to know the proper way to throw a ball, hold a bat, work on your batting stance, and catch a ball- I’m your mom. Anything else…eh.

Saturday was an early start. Practice runs from 9:30-11:00. My brother and I will be helping however we can with the team though, so we arrived at 9:00 to help the coach set up stations. I was recruited to distribute uniforms as the kids arrived. The children were able to pick what team they would like to be on: The Angels, Braves, Marlins, or Blue Jays. Jordan is playing for the Angels.

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How stinkin cute are kids in baseball uniforms?!?!

The kids will have practice for a few weeks going through stations and learning different baseball skills and then move into games.

The coach (who is actually a close friend of the family) set up four stations for the day: baserunning, throwing and catching,  hitting your cutoff guy, and batting. My brother ran batting. I started there with Jordan and helped catch the balls as the kids were throwing them back then moved over to base running. A dad was already there doing base running. Once they moved to throwing and catching, I realized that somewhere along the way some people skipped a station. No one to run this one. So I got the kids lined up and throwing the ball. Things apparently were super mixed up (first day, it’s going to happen). No one out of the four groups of kids were at the base running station. Another parent took over and I was asked to take any kids who had not yet done base running back.

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This was actually a lot of fun. I first took the kids as a group from base to base and taught them which base was which, with one parent standing on each base. Then, I had them line up and start running. Once the person in front of you reached first, the next kid went. After they went around a few times, I called a water break and then started over, running around with them a few times.

The best part of working with kids this age is that they are all about the fun. Competitive nature hasn’t set in for all of them yet. They’re more concerned with laughing and having a good time with the other kids than how many homeruns they can hit. That’s the beauty of it. Right now the game is very pure for them. They’re out there learning it for the first time and parent/coach/league politics haven’t soured anyone’s experience. And I hope that never happens for any of these kids.

I don’t know how involved I will be as the weeks go on. As much as the coach may need me and I certainly want to help once Jordan starts games with base coaching or helping in the outfield. I feel good about being a mom in the stands for other sports, but this is my only chance to do what my mom and dad did and be effective at it. If hockey boosters needs a mom to run a fundraiser, I’m all over it. Baseball though is where I can be right in it with my kid at least for a few years until he reaches a more competitive level. Then, back to fundraising and organizing!

Although, next week I may try my hand at helping with dek hockey. Not to teach skills, but to be one of the extra parents on the dek making sure kids aren’t killing one another and are paying attention while standing in line for drills. We shall see!

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