Coaching for fun and profit

Tonight I make my debut as a baseball coach. I’m not too concerned: it’s a team of 6 and 7 year olds who are only a step better than t-ball. As little as I know about baseball, I’m fairly sure they know less.

My primary reason for coaching is for my youngest son. They were short on volunteers for that age group this year (perhaps that should tell me something?), so I volunteered to make sure my son gets to be on a team, and hopefully has a good experience. That’s the of the “profit” part.

But I am hoping it will be fun. Last year I attended some of m son’s games when we lived in Idaho. The coaches there seemed to understand that at that age they just need to help the kids learn and have fun. The coaches for the other teams were giving our team’s players pointers and advice almost as often as our team’s coaches. They all bent over backward to make sure each kid got a chance to do well.

I don’t know how it is here yet, but I hope it’s similar. Certainly the city Parks & Rec people don’t take this too seriously. The extent of our practice equipment is three bats and a handful of balls. The bases and helmets will be provided at the games. In fact, only the games are specifically scheduled. You can have additional practices if you wish, but the games all that is required.

Walking into this from out of town I want to tread carefully. Are the parents wanting the kids just to play the games and not have extra practices? I’d prefer to have at least one practice per week so that they can actually learn something, but we’ll see. Our first (and only) practice is tonight, so I’ll get a feel for what they expect and go from there.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to it, if for no other reason than to spend a little time with my son. But I’m hoping this will be a good experience for far more reasons than that.