Dear Baseball Dad
I appreciate that you have a son who shows some talent for baseball. He is taller and stronger (but not faster) than all his peers and that gives him a slight advantage. He trains hard and practices and continues to improve, as does my son.
I understand that you take your sport very seriously. In fact maybe just a little bit too seriously. Your son always seems stressed as he comes up to bat. This is not helped by your constant critique (or should it be criticism) of his efforts. It is not only what you say, usually all the right words, it’s the tone you use. The tone of bitter disappointment. It is this that cuts him to the bone. I sit so close the batter because I score the game and I see it in his face and his body language as he bats.
I have often been tempted to say something to you. I worry for your son. I worry at the way he reacts to the disappointment in your eyes and the blow by blow description post game of what he did wrong. I don’t know how it makes him feel but it makes me sad.
I have avoided confronting you. After all he is your child and you have a right to raise him however you see fit. But today you took to my child. I do care how you treat him because I have made deliberate efforts not to do what you did to him. Again, it was not your words, it was your tone. There was no need for you to add your disappointment to the disappointment he already places on himself for striking out. You should tell him it doesn’t matter and he’ll do better next time. He does have to prepare himself for the people in this world that would treat him this way, but I would rather it not be during the sport he loves most. You will only speak positively and supportively when addressing my child. That is what he, and every other child on the team deserves. You are not the coach and you should leave the coaching to him.
I couldn’t say this to you as I was scoring the game and could not leave my post. I’m sorry if the look I gave you made you feel uncomfortable, I am told my death stare is quite formidable. You did seem to sink back in your chair with a guilty face. Which suggests to me that you knew what you did was wrong. If you can recognise this, you can correct it. Not only for my son’s sake but for your own.