So you are sitting at the ball park on a beautiful summer afternoon. The weather is great and you have the opportunity to watch your daughter and her teammates play this beautiful game. What could be better you ask?
You are watching your daughter play and, oh no, she struck out, or made an error or walked a hitter or, OK you get the point. And one of the other parents reminds you that “it’s alright” and encourages your kid with “you got this!”.
So how do you react to this show of support? On the surface you appear to appreciate the support and try to put on a strong face but we all really know what’s going on. That parent is just happy it isn’t their kid who’s screwing up. And all those other parents are secretly wondering how they got stuck with such a loser on their team. You know they are all looking at you and your daughter like you are the weakest links in the chain.
Ridiculous right? Well then how do you explain the fact that you feel your blood pressure rising and your whole body tightening up as you watch your kid mess up? And why do you feel this undeniable urge to explain to everyone why:
1. She usually makes that play with ease, or
2. She knows better and will do better the next time, or
3. That you are going to work on it to be sure it never happens again, or
whatever else you can say to try to remove any responsibility from yourself for your kids mistake.
Relax it is just human nature or at least parental nature. We are all striving to be good parents and we have to learn that the performance of our kids isn’t a reflection on us personally or as parents. There really is no correlation to athletic performance and good parenting so to assume that poor performance is a reflection on us is flawed thinking.
So what’s the solution? Follow your own advice. You are always telling your kids to shake it off. Well, shake off the mistake your kid made, suck it up and act like an adult rather than an aggrieved parent, give your kid a hug and move on to the next game.
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.