Thoughts From A Pitcher's Parent

Thoughts From A Pitcher's Parent

I'm just a mom of 3 pitchers sharing my thoughts of things I've learned along the way.

03/03/2022

Yes! I'm "that" Parent.

The phrase that effects me the most. This phrase comes with so much negativity these days - so lets talk about why I'm "that" parent.

Yes, I'm that parent that watches my children work diligently on their craft.

Yes, I'm that parent who watches the pressure resting on the shoulder of her child in the bottom of the 7th with bases loaded and 1 out with 107 pitches thrown in the game taking a deep breath - looking for just a little more strength - knowing that the win or loss rests on their shoulder - trying with everything I have to give them a piece of me through the fence.

Yes, I'm that parent that feels every pitch with them - the glory and the pain. There is a great deal of both. Remember - when you are a coach are lucky enough to have a good pitcher - it is the parent who provides the ice pack on the ride home, it's the parent who drives to every lesson outside of team practice, its the parent who has more bruises then they can count because they sat on the bucket and caught there child's lesson that week while they were learning a new pitch or grip. It is the parent who listens to their sorrow over missing their spot on one pitch that allowed the other team to win. It is the parent who watches that young 5 year old decided they want to play this position grow into the middle school starter, high school starter, the college athlete and more. You as coaches get the glory and we get called "that" parent.

Yes, I'm that parent that wipes the tears away with the loss and congratulates the team with the win.

Yes, I'm that parent that teaches their pitcher to thank their defense for the shut-out game because without them they would not get the recognition. Yes, I'm that parent that teaches the difference between a shut-out and a no hitter (there is a huge difference).

Yes, I'm that parent, that instills the need for good and productive communication between a pitcher and catcher. Yes, I'm that parent that drives in the knowledge that the catcher is the hardest working player on that field. As much as the pitcher works off the field the catcher works on the field (they squat for every pitch - how many of you can squat, drop to your knees, layout, or knowingly prepare their body to get trucked from 3rd base 100+ times in 2 to 3 hour period) . The catcher needs to make the pitcher look good. They need to adjust to every pitcher that the coach decided to put on the mound for that game. They may even have to adjust to multiple pitchers through the game. The catcher is the only player who has to dress and undress multiple times throughout the game in a quick speed so that the pitcher can get the 1 to 5 warm-up pitches thrown. Yes, I'm that parent that teaches - did you thank your catcher?

Yes, I'm that parent that preaches you have to get the next one. You may have missed your spot - get the next one. The batter may have just jacked the ball over the fence - get the next one. Your defense may have just had an error allowing 2 runs to score - get the next one. Your center fielder may have miss read a pop fly - get the next one. You can only control you, get the next one.

Yes, I'm that parent that cringes every time they hear "just throw strikes" or "good miss"- for all of you who may read this please know - not all pitches are intended to be strikes. There are pitches are called chase pitches - they are usually called when the batter has 2 strikes on them in a pitchers count. This is intended to get the batter to swing on a pitch they will more than likely miss without placing the ball too much over the white of the plate allowing a potential BIG hit. So no, that wasn't a good miss, the pitcher hit their spot - they did exactly what the were called to do.

Yes, I'm that parent that instills the need to be kind to umpires. You will not hear me question a ball or strike call. There are only 3 people who can see the pitch directly - the pitcher, the catcher, and the umpire. Not anyone outside the fence, not the other players, not the coaches, and certainly NOT the fans. I know that sounds combative - however, it is so difficult to listen to fans argue with an umpires call constantly. They are human! They are not perfect, none of us are. However, they gear up daily - sometimes for multiple games per day, risk their safety, and security so that our children can continue to play this sport. Give them a break!

Yes, I'm that parent that does get frustrated. You watch your child master pitches, learn their craft, over come obstacles (metal game, physical game, and more) and one grouping of people can bring them down so fast - as a parent it takes weeks, months, and sometimes years to build them back. If you have a pitcher on your team - learn them! Learn what their strengths and weaknesses are. If they have an amazing inside fast ball and as a coach you only call rise ball - you have failed them, they have not failed you. Talk to your players learn about them as individuals. We are adults they are children. And in some circumstances - they know more than us. They can tell you game to game what works and what doesn't - use this as a tool to help you call better for them during game. You maybe a coach who likes a pitcher who throws fastball and change up. That may not work for all. Realize that these players put countless hours into being their best selves not only for you but, for the team, and for the fans. We as adults need to recognize the damage that this can instill. Why does the child have to conform to the adult? Why doesn't the adult have to conform to the child? The game has changed over the years - equipment has changed, the ability to pitch certain balls has changed, the kids have changed. Why call what worked 30 years ago when you played? Have you not done your research? The children have worked but the adults haven't. Respect is earned, not given. Respect that your older players who have been working hard to take that mound to be successful for their team, their coaches, their friends and families may know more than you. Rather than fighting and belittling them - learn from them.

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