THE CAR RIDE HOME PT-2

THE CAR RIDE HOME (that takes 5 minutes)

2) The car ride home is an experience that helps define a parent / child relationship. Here are six topics that have helped me improve myself, understand my son better and allow him to challenge himself to be the best athlete he can. This is your second ride sitting in the backseat of my car listening in on our relationship. And if you’re wondering… yes, he did agree to everything written.

Why you need to keep your opinions to yourself.

Opinions. Everybody has one, two, or a lot to share. You may not think you’ve got strong adamant opinions; you may not think you blurt them out; you may think you have your tongue under control. You may even think, so what, I’m entitled to my opinion and I’m free to express it…

I’m driving my son home from a baseball game and I ask him,

“What did the coach say afterwards to the team? Did he bring up some of the same old stuff again?”

“Yeah he did,” my son said, “and he also challenged me to yell out to the other outfielders to whether they should go back or come in on the fly balls.”

“You always yell out,” I said.

“Yep, that’s what I always do,” he said.

“Did you say anything to the coach?”

“No, I just accepted it because he brought it up in front of the team and I wasn’t going to be defensive back to him.”

This is where I stated my opinion:

“The coach should have asked you first whether you call out or not and then say something after he heard your answer.”

My son said nothing.

And this is where I really stated my opinion and blurted out something derogative:

“Rookie coach error.” I muttered.

I knew it the moment I said it this would not be helpful to my son. He hears enough conflicting information from various coaches at different levels without me confusing the issue more. This wasn’t fair to my son and it certainly wasn’t fair to his coach. I could learn a few things off my son by keeping my mouth shut as he did.

He didn’t let his disagreement with the coach affect him. He didn’t like it, however, he got it off his chest with me. And that was the end of it for him.

Not me. No way. I had to say something in response—something not helpful. I even thought for a moment to bring the issue up with the coach. I would have been calm and collected. But I was about to become one of those parents.

What I should have said to my son at the time was, if you disagree strongly about the issue being raised by the coach then perhaps you can talk quietly with him about it during the week. If you, however, feel neither here nor there about it, well done, you’ve taken it on the chin and you can move on.

I spoke to him the next day and apologised for my arrogant opinion of the coach. The coach deserves every respect and honour; he gives up a tremendous amount of his time and energy to manage the team to the best of his ability.

No one is excused from the responsibility of monitoring our personal opinions. We can freely give them but are they constructive or destructive? Are our opinions beneficial or belittling?

Mark Maguire

(You can contact me at maguireonfire@bigpond.com if you would like to discuss your experience or dilemma. I’m always open to learning something new and I’m always open to giving time and thought to help)

The Car Ride Home pt-1

THE CAR RIDE HOME (that takes 5 minutes)

1) The car ride home is an experience that helps define a parent / child relationship. Here are six topics that have helped me improve myself, understand my son better and allow him to challenge himself to be the best athlete he can. This is your first ride sitting in the backseat of my car listening in on our relationship. And if you’re wondering… yes, he did agree to everything written.

How to inspire your child to overcome their fears.

All our children have fears lying deep within them. Some fears are inconsequential. Most will ignore their fears and give little regard to how they affect their game. More than likely, if the fears remain undealt with, they can hold the young athlete back from successfully taking the next step forward or enjoying themselves more in the sport they’ve chosen.

We are anxious to help our kids overcome their fears but often times we don’t get our message across. Why?

Mostly, it is how we deliver our message. We’re not communicating in a language and a weakness that they can relate to.

Yes, weakness, that’s exactly what I wrote. Your child will relate more to you when they hear about your insecurities, your uncertainties, and your human frailties. And when you share them at the right moment they wont just feel closer to you they’ll feel inspired by you.

My son, in the last few years, has been reluctant to dive to catch a baseball because of a fear he would hurt a swollen left nipple. It’s an embarrassing problem a few teen guys suffer with and something that generally goes away as the teen gets older.

He’s a centre fielder and he’s expected to spread himself over the grass to make the catch if his speed can’t quite get him there; most of the time his speed gets him there. However, there is the rare occasion he should have dived but he didn’t. The lingering and undealt with fear can speak quickly: don’t allow your nipple to get hurt.

I shared with him a certain fear I had about umpiring in baseball games. I would flinch when I perceived the pitchers delivery was going straight for my facemask. What hasn’t helped has been umpiring to catchers that completely miss the ball or the ball deflects off their glove and I wear it in the mask or in the body somewhere in an unprotected spot.

I would tell myself: ok Maguire, don’t flinch; wear it if you have to. Still, I was scared about being hit. Until, one day, I was watching an umpiring instruction video and the speaker said: you’re an umpire, accept it, you’re going to get hit; if you don’t want to get hit don’t umpire.

As simple as that I overcame my fear because I faced the fact and accepted it. I resolved that I wanted to be an umpire and part of the job is I’m going to get hit.

I said to my son: If you want to be an excellent baseball player and go somewhere in the sport you’re going to have to accept you’re going to hurt yourself while diving. If you can’t accept this you’ll limit and hold yourself back.

I went back to him a week later and said: I still now and then flinch, yet I simply smile and tell myself to stare at the ball all the way into the mask; I’m an umpire and I’m going to get hit.  He came back to me three weeks later and was beaming: guess what, dad, I dived, it might have been a bit sloppy, but I didn’t hold back.

Mums, Dads, Coaches: Inspire them through their difficulties by being open about your difficulties and fears and how you fought your way to conquer them. You’ll see your young athlete expand their mind and challenge themselves to greater heights.

Mark Maguire

(You can contact me at maguireonfire@bigpond.com if you would like to discuss your experience or dilemma. I’m always open to learning something new and I’m always open to giving time and thought to help)

Registration Update

Baseball NSW has introduced a new registration system for the upcoming season. Ordinarily we open registrations prior to grading however we have decided to delay opening registrations this year as we are waiting for the system to be updated to allow Active Kids Vouchers to be redeemed when registering your child. We apologise for any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused however we believe the convenience to members of being able to redeem Active Kids Vouchers at the time of registration is worth the wait. We will post a link to the registration system once it is ready to go.

Don’t forget to pre register HERE for grading.

2nd Active Kids Voucher

Did you know from the 1st of July you can claim a second active kids voucher?
If you have used your active kids voucher for a winter sport you can now claim a second voucher for use between July and December.

Make sure you apply for your voucher before registration opens this year on 1st August.

Details can be found here https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/active-kids

The NSW Government is helping kids get active with the Active Kids program.

The Active Kids program provides two $100 vouchers for parents, guardians and carers of school-enrolled children to use towards sport and active recreation costs each year.

From 1 July 2019, parents, guardians and carers can apply for the second $100 Active Kids voucher.

Voucher 1 is valid January to December and Voucher 2 is valid July to December.