Good Tooth Fairy, Help My Parents
Speedy Spitballer had a few tidbits
for Smitty the other day. She said....
mortified! My dad is driving me nuts, I'm taking pitching lessons and my
dad is my catcher. Even though we are paying a pitching coach, my dad keeps
telling to me to do this, or that. Sometimes it is exactly opposite of
what the coach is telling me, I'm mortified.
So, Speedy, you are having problems,
Huh? Pray tell me more.
first of all, 1'm only 12 years old, had one year on the mound, and now
I am trying to learn more. Actually, I'm just a beginner. I'm not very
good, but I can throw the ball pretty fast. It goes all over the place.
Coach keeps telling me to concentrate on speed and not worry about control
just yet. But my dad yells at me if I don't throw strikes. Coach has talked
to my dad about it, but it doesn't do any good. He just keeps yelling at
me and I can't concentrate on what coach is trying to tell me."
And what does the coach do all
he tries to help me and keeps telling me about the control thing. When
he talks to my dad, my dad says that he doesn't want me walking a whole
bunch of hitters like last year, and that I should be throwing more strikes.
Then, when I let up to get the ball in there, dad yells that I am not throwing
fast enough. That's another thing. I never throw fast enough for him. He
even keeps it up on the way home and the next week on the way to practice.
I'm thinking about giving up pitching. I just can't handle it."
Do you think you have the talent
to become a good pitcher?
I do, Everyone tells me that I'm really good, mainly because I can throw
pretty fast. Batters can't seem to hit my pitches and I get lots of strikeouts.
I do walk lots of batters, though."
But, you really like to pitch
and like playing softball, Huh?
I can't imagine not doing it. I love the travel team and even playing in-house.
I want to learn, because I want to be on the Olympic team some day."
Let me ask you about how your
dad deals with your summer coach.
that's a trip too. He is always complaining about the coach. He thinks
I don't pitch enough. When I pitch and am doing badly, he gripes that the
coach leaves me in too long, but if the coach takes me out, dad pouts and
later tells me the coach didn't give me a chance. I don't know what to
believe! I'm so confused. Why won't my dad just leave me alone... but,
Smitty... you should listen to the mom of one of the other players. She
is always complaining."
What's the beef?
"Batter Up" is my teammate. Her mom is horrible at the games. She is very
loud and will start on the coach and how bad he is. She is so bad that
most of the other parents in the stands just move away from her. According
to her Mom, "Batter" is never playing enough, or if she is, she isn't in
the right position when in the field, and she says that the stupid coach
bats her in the wrong position. If she makes an error, her mother hangs
her head and gripes at how the coach has ruined her confidence, if she
strikes out, the coach is a lousy batting coach. If she gets a hit, or
makes a great play, her mom says it's only because of her natural ability
and not because of anything the coach has done. Besides when the coach
yelled at her one day, her mother went nuts!"
Smitty, "Batter's" dad sits by the screen and gives her batting instructions
when she's at the plate. She gets so nervous and frustrated and he just
makes it worse. She really does good when he doesn't come to the games."
parents never cheer for the other kids; only for her when she does something
good. She is mortified!"
Very interesting! Tell, me Speedy,
in your worldly travels, have you encountered this sort of condition among
many of the other kids who play softball?
And it's not only softballers. Almost all the kids who are in athletics
have this problem. Parents, in general, have become too overbearing. We
players just wish they would sit in the stands and yell for the team. If
only they would be positive about things. All kids know when they've done
something wrong on the field. Parents don't need to remind them and over
be nice if they would just remember the good things we do and let the coaches
do their jobs. Granted, there are some terrible coaches, but if we committed
to the team, it is our obligation to finish out the season. It would also
be nice if parents would go and talk to the coach about any perceived problems.
I do it all the time. I don't think there's anything wrong with sitting
down and talking to a coach if something is wrong or if I need help. That's
what a coach is for. To help me."
That's a great attitude to have.
However, we keep hearing that kids are not what they used to be and that
they are hard to coach.
Do you see that as a problem?
cases, yes. But it's usually because the kid has been spoiled and has not
had any discipline. Those kind never had to work for anything and don't
appreciate what other people do for them. They think only of themselves.
They have difficulty seeing right from wrong and try to excuse all their
faults, blaming it on others. Usually, they are just like their parents!
I see more and more of this in school and at play."
Do you see more of this with
kids from broken homes?
to say it, but sometimes, yes. Usually, but not always, where there is
a problem kid, there are problems at home. Coaches seem to have a hard
time dealing with this situation. It's good if coaches show some love and
understanding. That usually helps, because problem kids are sometimes just
looking for attention. I think that applies to loud parents, too."
Well, thank you Speedy. The wisdom
of children is sometimes much greater than that of adults. Unfortunately,
adults seldom listen to what kids have to say!
Smitty. I don't know if anyone will ever be able to change parents. If
you talk to them about it, they think you mean everyone else but them.
If only there were a Good Tooth Fairy to help them. There is probably no
Thus, we heard from someone who
is not an actual person, but a consolidated figment of Smitty's imagination,
gleaned from a wonderful and extensive association with young people. Her
words are very telling.
Is anyone listening?
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In Reading More From Smitty?
is information on Dick Smith's upcoming book ......
The book will
be out sometime in October and will be entitled "Softball, by Smitty".
It will probably be 8 x 11, about 160 pages, and will sell for 12.00, postpaid.
Inquiries may be made to my email address at: Dicksmitty@aol.com