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Baseball Mom Diaries: How to Support and Encourage your Player

Grayson Waters is a Senior Pitcher at Lake Ridge High School in Mansfield and he has been an intern at DREAM Team Baseball this school year. In this blogpost, Grayson has conducted an online interview with Lake Ridge High Baseball Moms about their memories and mottos to live by when parenting and supporting the journey of their own baseball player (from youth baseball all the way to a prestigious high school baseball program)! We hope that this blog benefits parents of youth baseball players as it provides great perspective from parents that have been there!

As a mom one of your favorite jobs is supporting and encouraging your player. You can see what they need from the field and want to be there for them. Supporting your player can be a tough job when they are doubting themselves. Here are some tips on how to encourage your player before, during and after practices and games.

  • What's something you do to support and encourage your son before, during, or after games? Encouragement is needed at all stages of baseball. 
    • Before: make sure he’s game ready (lessons, practices, equipment, food, water, etc) During: get pitching velo, cheer on team and my player, get game video After: debrief about what coach shared after the game and give constructive feedback
    • Wish him luck and tell him to just do his best. I tell him no matter the outcome I am proud of him.
    • Make sure he gets plenty of rest the night before and tell him to always play his best.
    • I pray for him before every game and leave him with words of encouragement.
    • Be there for him. Proud of him, always tell him how fun it is watching him!
    • Before- making sure he eats, during- pray and shout out encouragement, after- going over what happened. Always telling him positive things
    • I have always made it a priority to go to his games as often as possible. I always remind him to believe in himself because I believe in him. I never criticize my son, other athletes and coaches, or the umpires. After games I compliment his effort and if it’s not been the best of outings, I let him discuss it only if and when he’s ready.
  • What has supporting your player in the game of baseball taught you as a baseball parent about the pursuit of what it takes for youth players to develop and work hard to become a successful baseball player? Development in youth baseball is hard. The other team is trying to tear them down while you are trying to build them up. The competition is getting tougher making defeat harder.
    • You can give them all the tools they need to be successful, but their success is in their own work ethic and love of the game.
    • Let the coach coach. Do not try to change any of his dynamics
    • It takes hard work and perseverance. Don’t ever give up.
    • Watching my son over the past 14 years, has shown me the importance of hard work, dedication, and persistence. It’s been extremely important to be a supportive parent through all of the ups and downs of baseball. There are so many highs and lows, but as an athlete, you have to stay the course.
      Let him know it is just a game and always play having fun and doing what you love. Thank God every day for everything!
    • That it is all for your child to enjoy the game. Never make him do anything. He needs to chose to play.
      Young athletes need support and encouragement from their families no matter what. There will be good days and not so good days. Times they feel invincible and times they want to give up. Consistency is key. Whether it be practices, work outs, or breaks. Listen to your body, if you need rest, then rest. Baseball is only one part of who you are. Don’t let it define you. It’s a game and it should be fun!
  • Is there anything that you know now about how to best support your son that you wish you could go back and tell yourself when your son was in Coach Pitch baseball? Not only can the player grow but us as parents can grow in how we best encourage. Sometimes, yelling from the stands isn't the best option. When we are watching in the stands we don't have the coaches or player perspective. What you are yelling may be opposite of what the coach is saying and creates more confusion.
    • Don’t let dad yell from the stands.
    • Be relaxed and watch the ball.
    • Not to be so critical of his mistakes.
    • It’s just a game. Don’t force anything. It’s important to support your son and don’t sweat the small stuff.
    • Enjoy every single moment because it goes by so fast.
    • Listen to your body. When it says to slow down, listen to it.
  • What are some ways (we know there's so many) you as a parent have helped with your son grow and development throughout his baseball career so far? The coach is not the only one who can help a player develop. As a parent you can play a critical role in helping your player develop.
    • Providing him with a recruiting program, lessons, camps, clinics, select/travel teams, and changing teams to find the right fit.
    • Lessons! He took catching, pitching and hitting
    • I used to get outside and practice with him on all the fundamentals.
    • We’ve provided him with countless lessons, camps, and pep talks.
    • Practice, practice , practice!
    • Letting him learn from mistakes
    • Always encourage and support him. Stay available. Listen more than speak. Remind him to believe in himself.

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