30 years coaching experience/Worked Camps/Clinics on 5 Continents

Monday, April 9, 2012

Little League vs. High School

Man oh man, how much do I appreciate my mom and dad, David and Elizabeth Hunter.  Growing up my parents did something that I didn't appreciate until I became an adult and even more when I became a teacher and coach.  That thing I appreciated was that one or both showed up at all of my sister's and/or my events. 

My dad knew very little about sports  and always joked about getting the sports mixed up that we played.  My mom just loved us and probably knew more than dad and was for sure a lot more competitive when it came to us being successful or not.  But they sat through little league games and practices from the time we started playing until, well, they still came to my games when I was a varsity basketball coach.

It is painful for me to sit through my kid's little league practices.  The coaches are doing a fine job, and I couldn't be happier (they volunteered, I didn't, I just want to be dad), but the talent level and the lack of knowledge of the kids (they are 4 and 7 years old, I can hear it now...backoff Coach Hunter) drives me crazy.  I am not pointing fingers at other kids, I am also speaking of my own children.  They have so long to go, a long way to go.  I really am not one of those parents that expects perfection from their children at such a young age, I do want them to have fun, play hard, and listen to their coaches.

Then I went to a j.v. baseball game this past Saturday (it was in my backyard).  These were younger kids trying to show why they should be playing up at the varsity level.  It was a beautiful Saturday, not a cloud in the sky, just warm enough that a long sleeve t-shirt might be too much.  And I sat there and watched what I hope my kids become some day.  Hard nosed, competitive, with more advanced skills.  Playing for the love of the game, playing to show the varsity coach why they deserve varsity PT, playing for themselves, yet playing for the name on the front of the chest.  My son watches these players as well as all players at games we go to, I can only hope that the role models he and my daughter choose are the ones I would pick for them like those we saw Saturday.

Now, back to my kids, I am only half kidding about being driven crazy at my kids practices (I love their games), and I do love my kids and I will go to their practices and work with them in the back yard.  Because that is this time isn't it?  To be frustrated, yet loving.  To work with them to improve, yet let them have fun.  To try and "coach" them at home and have them not listen to one word I say because I am dad.  This is that time right?  And these will be the times I reflect upon in the future when they are playing high school sports and me wishing I could get this time back because I loved it....even though they drove me crazy. 

The time will pass by too fast.