My son never played school baseball before this year. But as a sophomore, he made the JV team. He is starting the season as a bench player but is working for more playing time.
I want to go see him and his team play games as the season begins. He said that he did not want me to come to see him sit on the bench.
My wife and I tell my son that it is important for us to go and support the team and him. (We both went to high school here and I played athletic heavily and so I would like to be a part of his experience.) We tell him that we don't want to just come to the games when he is playing because that is not right. My wife wants to cheer the team.
My son still does not want us to come. So, I have decided to respect his wish because it is, after all, his experience and not mine. As hard as it is for me, I don't want to be there if it makes him uncomfortable for any reason. I figure at some point in the season when he is comfortable, he will invite us to come. If not, then we will have to live with it.
I would like some feedback to see if I am handling this correctly. My wife tells me that we don't want to be one of those parents who shows up only when Johnny is playing. I said I hear her but we have to respect his wishes and let it go as much as it might hurt us and be supportive. Thoughts?
Have you asked your son Why? What is it that makes him uncomfortable? Is it because he feels he's disappointing you by not getting into a game you're watching? Was he like that when he played ball as a younger kid?
Sounds like you said the right things about supporting the team and all that. I'm no child psychologist by any stretch of the imagination, so I have no idea if it's the right thing to give in to his wishes and stay away from the park, or if it's okay to just show up and watch the team play. I know I would have a hard time dropping my kid off at the field and then leaving. My wife and I showed up for plenty of games where my son didn't get much play time, and he never made a big deal of it.
Is it possible your son has difficulty with he's not the athlete you were and thinks he's disappointing you? The pulling for the team attitude is correct. Your son is part of a team. My next angle would be explaining you want to be there when he does get on the field. Is he afraid he won't play well when he gets his chance? Is he afraid he won't get off the bench.
I like your attitude. Many parents of high school players don't get it about the team. They spend the game complaining about the coach not playing their son.
I would go to any game I could. With my schedule it was always tough to get to the weekday games and I hated missing them.
My oldest had a lot of bench time as a freshman and sophmore. I still went for two reasons.
I support the team no matter what.
I support my kids no matter what.
(plus I just like the game)
Even if he didn't play at all, I watched. After the game I told him 'you guys did' whatever.
Sometimes he would get a little down. All I could tell him was to practice hard and his time will come. He got into some games as a sophmore with a fair ability and a lot of enthusiasm. His coach later told me his constant cheering and support of his team got him in a few games that his level of play wouldn't have.
He simply did not have the strength and speed of the juniors and seniors.
That changed during his soph year, he started the last four games and remained a starter until grad. (wheww)
I have seen the parents who only come to see their kids. IMO that's not a good example, how can you tell your kids to support the team if you don't?
"Sorry Son, but this is a big deal for Mom and me. On the bench or F1, you made the team and we are too proud to stay home so deal with it. Get off your butt and lead the cheering section."
So, not knowing your or your son, it's a tough call. Barring a damn good reason, (I can't think of one) I would be in the stands any chance I had.
It is his experience, but who say's it not yours and your wifes as well. Being a proud parent and supporter is a good experience and one that you deserve.
Go to the game and root for the team. Tell your son it's not his decision, its yours. Tell him to live with it. Your setting a good example and he will just have to understand that.
My wife and I would never miss a game if our kid just sat on the bench, even if he/she told us not to come.
I would expain that's ok if they didn't get in or not, we are proud that they are on the team and we want to be there to support them and the team. I'd tell my kid that a team of horses couldn't pull me away.
Besides, what if you didn't show up and your kid just happen to get in a game, even if was to run the bases. You would miss that and never get it back.
Trust me, kids will say they don't care if you come or not, but deep down in side they really want mom and dad there beside them. I know, I'm just finishing up with my fifth kid and 22 years of (all)sports. They have all told us they were glad that we were there to support them...and all of them have sat the bench, at one time or another in their sports life.
To be a great hitter...You must SEE the ball..Be the ball!
So welcome to the teenage years where they suddenly know more than their parents.
Go to the game - Sportsmanship and support are a combined effort - coaches, players,and parents. The opportunity to support a high school team is a community effort. Supporting the team by you and your wife is a GREAT example and with any amount of luck will rub off on him. He's probably embarassed by your legacy. He'll get over it.
If you don't attend, you'll kick YOURSELF in the butt when he gets thrown into a game surprisingly and does something special - and YOU weren't there to witness it.
Our last ballplayer is in Jr college. There are times we can't make the games, epecially away. We have driven 300 miles to see him sit the bench. He also plays quite a bit.
It is always a guess as to whether he will play or not. Our coach is an ex MLB pitcher who really adheres to the Lefty versus Righty philosophy. He's been there a long time and that philosophy has served him well. So my son does play on occasion. And we always go...every chance we get.
Two points: 1) There will come a level of play where everyone faces this issue...including the player. Bench time, whether as a parent do you go or not...300 miles!
2) My advice is go every chance you can to see your son, period. Play or no play he will know he is still worthy of you pulling for HIS team.
Just like when he plays.