Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dear Coach...

This baseball/softball season, we've got one kiddo playing ball and she's having a blast. Kate loves to play catcher and it's all because "you get to wear all of that extra stuff"! 
During her game this week (not pictured above), she even got to wear "eye black" under her baby blues which thrilled her all the way down to her knee pads. 

{A few years ago, I posted the entry that follows in tribute to volunteer coaches everywhere who put in long hours and untold amounts of patience into kids like mine!}

Dear Coach,

     I'd like to begin by saying thank you.  Thank you so very much for volunteering your time and energy to coach my son's baseball team.  Where would Little League world over be without the volunteer coaches and their helper coaches?  

     When I say "my son's baseball team" I am in no way implying that the team belongs to my son.  Nor do I feel that my son is the rock upon which the team stands.  I appreciate the team spirit that you encourage in the game and only make the distinction "my son's team" to differentiate it from any other baseball team where my son is not on the roster.  (Every now and then, however, I may say to a grandparent or two that "my son's team" won the game or that "his" team is undefeated.  In this case I may mean to imply that my son may have had a large part in the victories.) 

     I'd also like to thank you for your delicate handling of the parents of the players that you coach, especially those particular parents who aren't as knowledgeable of the game as most.  For example, I'm sure you remember the email from a concerned baseball mom after her son sat on the bench for an entire game without taking the field even one time except to take his turn at bat.  I  was heard that she was a bit miffed and emailed you to see if there was a problem with her son.

     I thought it was so nice that the first line of your responding email was NOT "Duhhhhhh!  Your kid was the designated hitter for the game that night lady.  Get a CLUE!"  I heard that your email simply explained the advantages of using the "DH" (that's Designated Hitter for those of you who don't know baseball lingo like I do) one of which is allowing more players to have more playing time.  I'm very sure that newbie appreciated not being talked down to.
     I also appreciate all that you do to entertain the crowd of onlookers at the games.  All those signs and signals that you give to the boys as they bat and run bases are fascinating.  Sir, the macarena has nothing on you!  I'm amazed that this system works for eleven and twelve year old boys.  In my experience, it is difficult for these fellows to pay attention to even their mothers for more than 4 seconds at a time, yet you are able to flash them seven or eight signals which hold their attention long enough for them to understand. 
      Since you seem to possess special skills and secret signals with which to communicate to my son, I'd like to ask a favor.  Could please tell me what the signal is for...pick up your socks!  Exactly what hand motion would communicate ...PLEASE don't talk to me now, I'm on the phone!   I've attempted many, many signals for this one, but absolutely none of them have worked.  While we're at it, how would one signal Quit fighting with your sister or I'm gonna stop feeding you?  The sooner you get back to me with those, the better off we'll all be.  I'd really appreciate it.

     Finally, the most important thing.  I appreciate the type of character you are displaying in front of these young men that we've placed under your authority at practices and games.  I believe that those are the lessons that will carry these boys further into adulthood than will their batting averages.

I really believe that this...
(Cole's team 14, the other guys 3)

has a little something to do with this...

Thanks Coach, you're doing a great job!
The Parents


Becky said...


Sudeana said...

SWEET! (By the way who is that boy in batting in the picture? It looks like it could be my oldest nephew, but there is no way he is that old yet, perhaps another 3-4 years and I could believe that was really him ;)

G'ma suz said...

I'm certain that Darrin could read any "sign" language and sign signals as he has been directed from the 2nd pew back with "said signals" for several years now (ALTHOUGH HIS MANY "HOME RUNS" HAVE BEEN MADE REGUARDLESS) Love mom

Jana Vee said...

Gretchen, this is too funny and so cute ... you should definitely copy it and frame it for the coach ... I bet he would love it!!! This is from a former girls softball coach!!! Sorry I missed you all this morning, had a late night with the little ones and the one with the sharp teeth now has an earache ... was not a very quiet night until her Papa took her to the ER and they gave her wonderful drops!!! Ahhhh .... sleep finally set in and it will again shortly. They have gone to their other grandma's supposedly for the night with their mom, who is still home and sleeping so her mom picked them up ... one day a week and you would think she would be happy to get them ... keep praying for us all!!! Thanks!!!

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