We want your child to have a great experience playing with the Brewster Little League, here are a few things you as a parent can keep in mind.
If you haven't already, please download and sign our Parent Code of Conduct and our Player Code of Ethics forms. These documents outline Brewster Little League's philosophy and expections for both parents and their player.
He Is Just a Little Boy
He stands at the plate
with his heart pounding fast.
The bases are loaded,
the die has been cast.
Mom and Dad cannot help him,
he stands all alone.
A hit at this moment,
would send the team home.
The ball meets the plate,
he swings and he misses.
There's a groan from the crowd,
with some boos and some hisses.
A thoughtless voice cries,
"Strike out the bum."
Tears fill his eyes,
the game's no longer fun.
So open your heart and give him a break,
For it's moments like this,
a man you can make.
Please keep this in mind,
when you hear someone forget,
He is just a little boy....and not a man yet.
By Chaplain Bob Fox
Things to keep in mind as a parent
Watching your son or daughter play ball will often stir up powerful emotions. It's been said that winning builds character, while losing reveals it (this goes for the fan as well as the athlete). Competitive fires can quickly melt an otherwise cool, calm, and collective attitude. At the heart of a good ball experience is how well we balance our desire to win with the need to develop healthy young people. This balance will affect your every action, your relationship with your player, the volunteer umpires, and the overall atmosphere at our ballfields. Please help to make this season a positive one for your player, his/her team, the children on the other teams, and our community.
Play ball with your child! There really is little more satisfying than going out at least a few evenings a week and playing with your kids. This activity allows quality time together and helps your child improve his/her skills. Some day, your child will look back with fondness on the summer evenings spent playing catch with mom and dad.
PCA (Positive Coaching Alliance) has established that Positive Coaches are "Double-Goal" Coaches (they 1-strive to win AND 2-teach life lessons). So there are two groups focused on the responsibilities of the first goal: coaches and athletes.
As a parent, you have a much more important responsibility. Your job revolves around around the second goal (making sure your child draws from the sports experience the lessons that will help him or her to become a successful, contributing adult). And while this is not easy given the seductive nature of the first goal, it can make all the difference in your child's life.
A win-at-all-cost parent might look on his child striking out with the bases loaded to end the game as a tragedy. But as a Second-Goal Parent, you see the silver lining. This is an opportunity to encourage your child to develop resilience! Failure on the athletic field becomes a teachable moment for life lessons, if you play your crucial role, the role of the Second-Goal Parent.
For more please see the Positive Coaching web site.
Guidelines for Honoring the Game
Before the Game:
- Make a commitment to Honor the Game in action and language no matter what others may do.
- Tell your child before each game that you are proud of him or her regardless of how well he or she plays.
During the Game:
- Fill your children's "Emotional Tank" through praise and positive recognition so they can play their very best.
- Don't give instructions to your child during the game. Let the coach correct player mistakes.
- Cheer good plays by both teams (this is advanced behavior!)
- Mention good calls by the official to other parents.
- If an official makes a "bad" call against your team? Honor the Game — BE SILENT!
- If another parent on your team yells at an official? Gently remind him or her to Honor the Game.
- Don't do anything in the heat of the moment that you will regret after the game. Ask yourself, "Will this embarrass my child or the team?"
- Remember to have fun! Enjoy the game.
After the Game:
- Thank the officials for doing a difficult job for little or no pay.
- Thank the coaches for their commitment and effort.
- Don't give advice. Instead ask your child what he or she thought about the game and then LISTEN. Listening fills Emotional Tanks.
- Tell your child again that you are proud of him or her, whether the team won or lost.
Baseball is a great game. It's a lot of fun to play, and it's also a way that we learn important lessons that can help us later in life. We know that a lot is learned from playing competitive sports at an early age. We want to tell you about a goal we have for your child's team and for each of you individually this season. It's called "Act like a winner to be a winner."
There are two kinds of winners. What is one kind of winner? What does "winner" mean to you? (Answer likely to be something like "The one who has the most points at the end of the game.") One kind of winner is the team that scores the most runs at the end of the game. We understand the desire to be that kind of winner.
There is another kind of winner though that is just as important. That is a winner in life. We want your child to learn from this season how to be a winner in everything they do, not just baseball or softball.
To be a winner a player needs to start acting like a winner. And a winner is someone who is working for mastery of whatever activity he or she is doing. So we want your child to work toward mastery, to be the best player and best team possible. And we want them to learn how to achieve mastery at anything they want to be good at.
To help understand the way to achieve mastery, we use the example of a tree that we call the Tree of Mastery. If you climb the Tree of Mastery you will be successful. We say that the Tree of Mastery is an ELM tree because there are three things you need to do to climb the Tree of Mastery:
E is for Effort. We want your child to give their best effort every time they come out on the field. We are more concerned that they try their hardest than if they win. Their team could win against a weak team without giving it their best effort, and that doesn't really mean anything.
On the other hand they could play a team that was stronger than they are they try their very hardest and lose. We will be proud of us in that case because they were acting like a winner by trying their hardest even though the other team ended up winning the game. So the first part of the ELM tree is E for Effort.
L is for Learning. We want you player to continue learning and improving every week in practice and every time they play a game. If they continue to learn, they will get better, and that is more important than whether or not they are better than some other player.
A team could be better than another team without learning and improving if that team is a weak team. And their team could be weaker than another team but be learning a lot and getting better all the time. It's more important to us that they learn and improve than it is to beat a team that isn't very good. And it's more important that they learn and improve even if they lose to a team that is stronger than they are. So the second part of the ELM tree is L for Learning.
M is for Mistakes. Most people think it's bad to make a mistake. But mistakes are part of the learning process. You can't learn something as complicated as baseball if you are afraid to make a mistake. And people that are afraid to make a mistake often don't even try very hard.
We want you to know that it is okay for your child to make a mistake. We want them to learn from their mistakes and not let them be discouraged or keep them from working hard. So, is it okay to make a mistake? Yes, it is. And the third part of the ELM tree is M for it's okay to make a Mistake.
Acting like a winner involves three things. It means:
- Giving your best effort every time
- Continuing to learn and improve, and
- Not letting mistakes (or fear of making a mistake) stop you.
If your child does these three things, they are acting like a winner, and they will be a winner in life as well as baseball. Please encourage them to give it their best effort, to learn as much as they can, and don't worry about making a mistake.