Think You are the First to Complain?

As you read the following letter, please note that it was written 40 years ago. The players involved were 7 years old. See if you think things have changed much from when we were kids…

————–

June 13, 1966

Baseball Commission
Capitol Hill Junior Chamber of Commerce
410 Leonhardt Building
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Gentlemen:

At 7:00 pm on June 10, 1966 we played the Fillmore Reds on your South Diamond.

I would like to make a complaint regarding the actions of Mr. Brooke who is a coach for the team. His entire conduct during and after the game was not in keeping with the rules of baseball, as set out below in specific instances:

  1. He came to me several times during the game arguing about calls by the umpire, the conduct of my players and coaches.
  2. After the game in front of everybody that would listen, he accused the umpire of being our man.
  3. Also, after the game, he tried to provoke one of my coaches and one of my boy’s father into an argument with him.

All complaints made by him were very loud and his entire conduct was very unsportsmanlike.

I wish to state that Mr. Armbuster’s, the manager of the Fillmore team, manner during the entire game was above reproach.

They stated that the game would be protested. I request that if their protest stands and game is replayed or any future games we have with this team, that the Baseball Commission furnish impartial observers so that the game may be conducted in an orderly manner. I dislike exposing my team to this type of conduct during a game.

Yours truly,

Jack Farris
Manager
Prairie Queen Blues

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Motivating by Fear

Player motivation can come from a variety of sources and in both positive and negative ways. The best professional athletes are always driven by their own internal love of sport and athletic competition. When they become motivated by fear or reward they often go into “slumps”.

When this lesson is applied to young athletes, parents can accomplish more by helping their kids discover their own love of the sport and thrill of competition rather than by offering monetary incentives or yelling instructions.

Don’t You Wish Your Coach Had Written This?

If only every coach could write this at the end of a youth sports season…

“It never gets old. Not just winning, but working with this group of young men. My experience is augmented by the level of parental participation and excitement. We are truly blessed to be able to be a part of such a great group of boys and parents.

Congratulations to all! Special thanks to Tom and Sam for handling the base coaching (the most integral part of the game) and for Bill for his part-time base coaching (but more for his purchase of actual bases for use at practice!).

I am most proud that all of the boys contributed to each winning effort. It seemed that if ever one part of a player’s game was down, he would turn around and perform in other aspects of the game. Just good, balanced effort throughout the entire season.

And what about Cash’s two incredible backhanded catches (one in left field and one at third base) in addition to his “controversial” home run in the final game!!!! Lucas’s grimacing face as he stared down runners on third. Landon as he snagged throws to get runners out on first. William and his lead-off hitting and snazzy base running. Wills’ glove and pitching efforts. Will’s final eight innings of shut-out pitching. Patrick’s always steady at bats and hustle. Jude’s heads-up play and wipe-out slides at home plate. Pearce’s numerous throw-outs from right field to first base. Bo’s good eye at the plate. Alex’s courage to hang in there (especially on Saturday when he wasn’t feeling his best!). Dash’s willingness to play any position. Jake’s goalie-like blocks behind the plate. Jacob’s consistent efforts (until he leaves early every year to hone his professional, deep-water fishing skills!) And, oh yes, Joseph’s desire to make his “old man” proud (and success at doing so!).

Have I told you all how proud I am of Joseph not only for putting up with me but for playing in the first instance? He wasn’t sure he wanted to play this year and I left it up to him. I thank him for playing . . . which allowed me the opportunity to coach . . . which provided me with much happiness and joy. I know you all are equally proud of your boys . . .and that is what I love about this group.

We will miss Dash but I have to believe we sent him off in fine fashion. Thank you all for the coach’s gift. While appreciated, it was not necessary. I received the best gift on Saturday by seeing the smiles on those boys’ faces after winning the tournament.

And remember . . .
“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” — John Wooden

Enjoy your summer.”
Thanks to Shelby Bush for allow us to republish his wonderful end-0f-the-season email.

Don’t You Wish Your Coach Had Written This?

If only every coach could write this at the end of a youth sports season…

“It never gets old. Not just winning, but working with this group of young men. My experience is augmented by the level of parental participation and excitement. We are truly blessed to be able to be a part of such a great group of boys and parents.

Congratulations to all! Special thanks to Tom and Sam for handling the base coaching (the most integral part of the game) and for Bill for his part-time base coaching (but more for his purchase of actual bases for use at practice!).

I am most proud that all of the boys contributed to each winning effort. It seemed that if ever one part of a player’s game was down, he would turn around and perform in other aspects of the game. Just good, balanced effort throughout the entire season.

And what about Cash’s two incredible backhanded catches (one in left field and one at third base) in addition to his “controversial” home run in the final game!!!! Lucas’s grimacing face as he stared down runners on third. Landon as he snagged throws to get runners out on first. William and his lead-off hitting and snazzy base running. Wills’ glove and pitching efforts. Will’s final eight innings of shut-out pitching. Patrick’s always steady at bats and hustle. Jude’s heads-up play and wipe-out slides at home plate. Pearce’s numerous throw-outs from right field to first base. Bo’s good eye at the plate. Alex’s courage to hang in there (especially on Saturday when he wasn’t feeling his best!). Dash’s willingness to play any position. Jake’s goalie-like blocks behind the plate. Jacob’s consistent efforts (until he leaves early every year to hone his professional, deep-water fishing skills!) And, oh yes, Joseph’s desire to make his “old man” proud (and success at doing so!).

Have I told you all how proud I am of Joseph not only for putting up with me but for playing in the first instance? He wasn’t sure he wanted to play this year and I left it up to him. I thank him for playing . . . which allowed me the opportunity to coach . . . which provided me with much happiness and joy. I know you all are equally proud of your boys . . .and that is what I love about this group.

We will miss Dash but I have to believe we sent him off in fine fashion. Thank you all for the coach’s gift. While appreciated, it was not necessary. I received the best gift on Saturday by seeing the smiles on those boys’ faces after winning the tournament.

And remember . . .
“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” — John Wooden

Enjoy your summer.”
Thanks to Shelby Bush for allow us to republish his wonderful end-0f-the-season email.

Dying for Summer

As a child once observed, the sun rises in the summer just like the winter, it just rises more so. Too much sun can bring a bad end to a good time. In order to protect kids, parents need to be aware of the symptoms of the three stages heat related problems.

Stage 1 – Heat Stress
At this stage, the body is overworked and having trouble cooling off. When parents observe any of these symptoms, they should immediately get their kids into the shade or an airconditioned car and give them water. Symptoms include:

  • Reduced coordination
  • Slower thinking
  • Less caution
  • Cramps

Stage 2 – Heat Exhaustion
At this stage, the body is getting severely dehydrated. Immediate attention is required and parents should consider taking kids to the hospital if any symptoms do not seem to go away after the kid starts cooling down and drinking fluids. Symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Heavy sweating
  • Intense thirst
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of coordination
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Impaired judgment
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hyperventilation
  • Tingling in hands or feet
  • Anxiety
  • Cool moist skin
  • Weak and rapid pulse
  • Fainting

Stage 3 – Heat Stroke
At this stage, the body’s ability to cool off has shut down. This is a life threatening emergency and children should be taken to the hospital at once, time is critical. Symptoms include:

  • Dry skin – no sweating
  • Red skin
  • Rapid pulse
  • difficulties breathing
  • Bizarre behavior
  • Constricted pupils
  • Convulsions
  • Collapse
  • Coma

Kids and parents can both suffer a heat illness, but everyone can take a few simple precautions:

  • Condition yourself for working in hot environments – start slowly then build up to more physical work. Allow your body to adjust over a few days.
  • Drink lots of liquids. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty, by then, there’s a good chance you’re already on your way to being dehydrated. Electrolyte drinks are good for replacing both water and minerals lost through sweating. Never drink alcohol, and avoid caffeinated beverages like coffee and pop.
  • Take a break if you notice you’re getting a headache or you start feeling overheated. Cool off for a few minutes before going back to work.
  • Wear light weight, light colored clothing when working out in the sun.
  • Take advantage of fans and air-conditioners.
  • Get enough sleep at night.

Source: Oklahoma State University

Welcome to the Sports Esteem Blog

For those of you who have read and enjoyed the Sports Esteem newsletter over the years, this blog provides the same style and type of information but in a less formal and easier way to access.

Youth sports is something every family should “endure”. When done right, few things create better kids and families. The effort to get youth sports right is well worth the effort. Not that youth sports turns out exceptional athletes, but because youth sports can turn out some exceptional adults. Stay with this blog over time to get the latest insights into youth sports activities from the parent perspective.

We hope you enjoy!!

Jeff Farris

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