When the new year started, my thoughts quickly turned to baseball. The weather hasn’t even been nice, I’m just the kind of person to think ahead. January makes me think of February, February makes me think of March, March makes me think of Spring, Spring makes me think of Baseball. It wasn’t that much of a stretch… maybe?
How much practice is too much practice is a question that many parents and coaches should ask themselves. The best answer I can respond with is when it stops becoming fun or when the kid doesn’t want to go anymore.
If you’ve reached this point, you may also want to reconsider the question. Is your child on the right team? Is your coach not a good fit for your child?
My wife and I believe that if you start and commit to a sport, you need to finish the season. We also believe that bad teams or bad coaching experiences are not necessarily a terrible thing. They help shape a child in teaching them that life isn’t perfect, sometimes you’ll have to adapt, and to appreciate the good moments. This doesn’t mean we seek out bad experiences, just that we won’t let him quit mid-season.
However, childhoods are short, but will be remembered for a lifetime. As a parent, I feel that it should be my goal to enhance my child’s experiences. If a sports experience is threatening to ruin my child’s love for that sport, I’m going to question it. I try to sleep on it a few nights and discuss things with others involved (family, friends) before making any quick decisions. I also like to hear his input on the matter too. I’d advise any other parents to do some healthy, similar research as well.
So we got sidetracked, again, How much practice is too much practice? The answer isn’t so simple, and that’s one of the reasons we got sidetracked. How long of a season is too long? That’s also a relevant question. If your child loves the sport, and the season is short, have at it. Let them go wild. If it is a very long season, limiting practices to twice a week might be a good idea as well.
Stay focused on your child. Are they happy to go to practice? Do they have fun while they are there? Are they happy when they return home from practice? Are they playing just to impress you or are they playing for themselves? The answer is in front of you, but it can only be found by paying attention to your child.
As parents, we are here to help guide our kids. If your child doesn’t seem to like baseball, but you think they haven’t given it enough of a chance, change the situation and give them a little push to try it again. Maybe a new team or coach will spark something in them. On the other side of the field, if your child is go-go-go, always wanting to play baseball, I think it’s a good idea to grab another ball. Play a game of football catch in the yard, shoot some hoops in the driveway, kick a soccer ball around. Too much of anything can be trouble.