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Parent Confessions... My Son Didn't Blow His Tryout... I Did

Volume 3 | Issue 2 | February 2015 | Archive
Parent Confessions... My Son Didn’t Blow His Tryout... I Did
Over the years, Little League has received stories from parents throughout the world, reflecting on their influence, their behavior and how they handled themselves during their Little Leaguer’s career. While a vast majority of our parents and guardians are extremely positive role models, we can all learn from select stories some have chosen to tell. If you have a Parent Confession to share, please email it to parents@LittleLeague.org.

Cody was 10, and I had worked with him over the winter. We caught in the gym after basketball practice. I took him to the indoor cages. I wanted him ready for tryouts so he could make the Major Division. Most of Cody’s friends were more advanced than him, so we knew they would likely make Majors. The day came in February. Tryouts were in the evening. I talked over everything with him during dinner, reminding him of what to do, and telling him he had improved over the last few months, and was ready. I told him I’d be watching from the stands. The look on his face should have told me not to set foot in the gym.

In the school’s hallway, Cody met up with some of his friends, but I told him to get in the gym, stretch, and warm up. I took my seat in the bleachers midway up. First station was running the bases. Coaches had a stopwatch. Cody was fifth in line. He did well. He looked up at me. I nodded.

His group walked by the bleachers on their way to the soft-toss station. “Keep your weight back like we practiced,” I said. He glanced at me. “Just make contact.” He glanced again. Cody was third. The first two kids hit great. First pitch. He whiffed. He looked up at me. I shook my head. Second pitch. He topped it. I could see him grip the bat tight. “Relax!” I yelled. Third pitch. Nothing but air. The remaining seven swings were pretty much the same result.

I sat back and crossed my arms. Cody looked up at me on his way to the Tee. “You can do this!” I yelled. Other parents looked at me. I ignored them. First swing. He nailed the stem of the Tee. The ball dropped. Cody shook his head and then took a deep breath. He had really nice contact with the next ball. He looked over at me. I pumped my fist. He nodded. I thought we were on track. We weren’t. His remaining balls went nowhere.

Last station was throwing. He walked over, shoulders slumped a bit. He didn’t look at me. Cody was lined up with one of his friends. The friend was having a good time. Cody was not. On a coach’s whistle, the kids began throwing. Cody’s friend threw the ball to him. He caught it nicely. His throw back, though, went all the way to the soft-toss station. Same result on the next throw. He was so tight. “Don’t aim it. Throw it!” He nodded. His last throw was a little high, but got to his friend.

Tryouts were over. On the way out of the school, I asked him what had happened. “I was just nervous.” I put my arm around him, and said, “But you did all those drills with me all winter.” I’ll never forget what he said next... “You weren’t really watching me like that during the winter.”

Cody didn’t make the cut. Neither did I.
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The Parent Connection - February 2015 - Archive