Don’t Be A Fool

So, yesterday was the first day of the summer sports league in Brookneal, Virginia. My son is on one of the coach pitch baseball teams. This will be his first year in this division and is a little behind developmentally from the rest of the players.

I only say that to point out that some of the kids are pretty good and some of them are not nearly as good as the others. Of course, this is the case with most of the kids as they move up through the different divisions in a rec league.

The majority of parents and coaches are aware of this. I think one strength of a rec league program is that it helps kids to understand the game better and prepare them to play in a more competitive matter as they get older. A lot of coaches will focus on developing skills and confidence instead of putting their effort into winning constantly.

However, this was not the case yesterday. There was a game prior to my son’s game. We sat and watched a chunk of it while we waited for Caleb‘s game to start. Now, keep in mind, these children are all between the ages of six and probably eight or nine. The kids play anywhere from 5 to 6 innings. They do keep track of strikeouts and runs and outs.

Despite the fact that I didn’t really know any of the children that were playing or other parents that were watching, the game was fun. Whether the kids struck out or hit the ball, the parents were all very supportive and cheered for their children and also for the children that were playing that were not theirs.

However, at the end of the game, there was a play that did not work out the way that one of the coaches wanted it to work out. This led to an inside the park grand slam which essentially was just all of the children running around the bases while the defense continued to throw the ball over the head of people attempting to make the plays and in general just not following the instructions of the coach. This can be expected when you’re dealing with six and seven-year-olds. This is probably not something that should lead to a grown adult yelling at children and also their parents. Yet, that is precisely what happened.

The coach began yelling at his players as they walked off the field. He continued to yell at them as they lined up to shake hands with the other team. At one point a parent in the crowd suggested to him (very kindly, all things considered) that he should calm down and save his dignity. At this point, he also began yelling at her that he did not need her help when it comes to coaching his team and then he walked off the field.

I don’t think that the man understood quite what he was doing. I don’t think that he saw how much of a fool that he was presenting himself as. I also don’t think that he was considering the effect that his words and actions would have on the children that were on the field.

Children at that age are still incredibly impressionable. This is especially true when it comes to people that they are being taught to emulate. These people include but are not restricted to, parents, teachers, pastors, policeman, and even their baseball coaches. They will behave the way that they see you behave.

I watched all of this unfold. I considered for a moment that I should say something to this man. I also considered that someone else had already said something to him and that he just yelled back at them. Some people are not aware of their own foolishness.

I guess the lesson that I take away from this is the reminder not to be that guy.

Also, today’s blog post was dictated in its entire day through my iPhone. So, hooray for me. Technology is bringing me along just fine.

Life is strange. Live it well.

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