Dear Parents of Our Baseball Players,
I know your son is working very hard. I know he is trying his best, just like you taught him.
But I wish you could see what happens here every day. If you could shadow the team for a full week even, I think you would be astonished.
You are very busy, though, and now that your son is grown, I understand if you are only able to attend a few games.
What did you see at today’s game? You probably noticed my husband yelled at your son for a mistake he made. Perhaps you even heard a bit of profanity escape my husband’s mouth. You may not think that is fair. Your instinct may be to protect him. He’s working very hard, and he made one mistake. Nobody can be perfect.
But did you also see my husband hug your son after he corrected his mistake? Did you hear him whisper the words “Great job” and “I’m so proud of you” in your son’s ear?
Probably not. So I wish you could shadow the team for a week. You would see so much more. But since you cannot devote your entire week to be with the team, I’ll give you an idea of what you would see.
While my husband is working in his shared office, you would see multiple players dropping by between their classes just because they know they can. He may answer their question or offer advice on a situation. He may show them how their stats have improved in the last two weeks, or they may just sit and talk.
During team study hall, my husband makes sure your son is staying caught up on his school work and maintaining good grades so he will have every opportunity to transfer to the school of his choice with scholarship options. And when your son is worried about the paper he has coming up, my husband recommends he send it to me to look over.
In the weight room, you would see the team encouraging each other as much as they do in a game. You may also notice some players push themselves more than others. You might be surprised to see that your own son needs to be redirected by my husband to get back on track with his workout. And if you are there on the right day, you could see my husband joining your son in completing his workout.
At practice, you would see my husband coaching your son to do the very thing you saw him yelling about at the game. You would see his patience as he breaks down your son’s mechanics. They will work on this until it is right several times in a row. At the next practice, they will do the same thing. This process is repeated until your son develops the muscle memory for it to be a habit. Here, you will also see my husband making jokes with your son and bonding over a shared love of WWE.
When your son has a hard day, my husband becomes his life coach and his relationship coach. If you could drop in on that conversation, you would hear my husband telling your son that he is always welcome in our home and we will be happy to help him in any way he needs.
If there is an away game, I would want you to sit in the van and with the team. You would see how my husband structures the travel time to ensure maximized mental preparedness. On the way home after a win, you would see them singing N*SYNC songs together.
At the field, hours before the game, you will see my husband and your son sitting together to study what the other team is doing and how to respond. My husband is not just teaching your son to play baseball, he is teaching him to understand and analyze baseball. He is preparing your son to move on to the next level and be self-sufficient in his ability to adapt to whatever competitive situation he may face.
Minutes before the game, you may see a group of athletes kneeling with their arms around each other. My husband is praying for your son. He is praying for safety and strength for your son. He is praying for courage, confidence, and character.
Through all this time, you would see that my husband rarely yells at your son, and it is even less often that he uses profanity. Perhaps you would begin to understand that his selective use of these tactics is one of many methods to motivate and get the most out of your son. You might realize these things emphasize when players need to make a certain adjustment immediately.
If you could shadow the team for a week, you would see that your son is working very hard. And so is my husband. You would see that different settings call for different methods, and the ones that stand out to you in the games are not an accurate depiction of the environment your son is in. Perhaps you would understand.
But please do not judge my husband based only on the time you see him yell at your son.
You see, just as you know how hard your son works, I know how hard my husband works, and I know how much he cares about your son.
So please be kind, be slow to judge and quick to forgive because our skin is only so thick and we can only handle so much.
The Coach’s Wife