Your child is at bat. There is a close play at third. Or the umpire makes a terrible call.


The excitement is contagious and you want to help your child. What is the best thing you can do? Aside from positive cheering – absolutely nothing!


In fact the more “coaching from the stands” that occurs, the more difficult it is for your child to play well. Too many cooks in the kitchen spoils the soup and too many directions from coaches and spectators confuses athletes.


Every coach will appreciate you limiting your cheering to general positive statements. During a game a few years ago, I was cheering “Run!” during a game when the third base coach was telling the athlete to stop. I wasn’t suggesting the runner should go home and certainly didn’t mean to override the coach but I unintentionally created confusion. Oops. Limiting yourself to general positive statements benefits everyone.


Of course you want to help your child improve.  But games are not an appropriate place for instruction. Instruction should occur during your backyard practice sessions, at lessons or even in the car on the way home. (Assuming you and your athlete are calm enough to have a constructive conversation. If not, just stop for ice cream and skip the instruction.)


Games are the place to put all of the instruction and practice hours into action. As a parent, the best thing you can do is find a comfortable seat and enjoy the game!