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Every parent desires success for their child on and off the baseball field, so we felt it was important to discuss the 5 guidelines for baseball parents to follow to increase their child's experience on and off the field.

1) Every child is a child of God

In the world, we see a lot of families fall into the trap of performance love, which is where the child gets rewarded and/or gets additional affection when they perform great but gets chewed out, punished, and does not get the same affection when they fail. No matter how bad or great a child does on the field, parents need to do these three things. One, pray over them and the game regardless of a victory or loss. Praying over the child after a game is a quick reminder that they are a child of God and praise God for the opportunity to play the game. Two, give the child a hug and tell them they are loved. Giving them a hug and telling them they are loved regardless of their performance will make them feel secure. God calls us to love others as he has loved us, which has never been based on our performance as people but as a child of God. Three, change the focus to the next activity of the day. Such as food, hanging out with family, or anything else to separate the child from the game and focus on life. Whatever happened on the field is over and we can not change it but we can shift focus to the next task at hand.

2) 24 Hours

If a parent has thoughts, criticism, and advice they want to share with a child that they saw from the game we advise to wait until the next day. Children are more open-minded and clear-headed to accept what someone has to say when they have had time from the event that had occurred. In addition, it gives the parent more time to prepare how to communicate with their child in such a way that is loving and supportive.

3) Character Focus

When raising a child it is easy for the world to change, mold, and direct them in a direction that is focused on ideology, winning at all costs mentality, and result-focused. It is crucial to demonstrate to our children that we value their character over their results, especially as Christian families raising the future generation of Christian men and women. Here are five practical examples of characteristics:

1) Faith: Have faith in God, yourself, and your teammates

2) Compete: Show up to master your crafts, get 1% better, and beat your best self.

3) Attitude: Be loving, supportive & positive. Be respectful of God, yourself & others.

4) Effort: Give 100% of your energy, focus, and heart into everything you are doing.

5) Communicate: Speak up when you are leading, need help, or coordinating with others. There is no such thing as over-communicating.

These five things are in the parent's and child's control. These are great to start with, it will take practice and plenty of reminding of each other but over time the family will see a change in process and enjoyment of the game.

4) Be a Cheerleader

When a parent goes to a game they are to be cheerleaders. Someone who supports the team, cheers, and watches the game. Let the kids play on game day. Focus on encouraging words and stay away from coaching or directing a child as that is the job of the coaches and their teammates. For example, little Johnny moves to the back of the batter's box, goes to first base, runs home, and throws the ball lower kid. The intent is good but let the coaches and teammates lead each other as it will confuse the players if they hear other people shouting.

5) Be a Fan

When a parent goes to a child's game, be like a fan at an MLB game. Follow the rules of being a fan. Stay away from the dugout during the game, do not speak to the umpires, stay off the field, and respect your fellow fans. In the MLB if you break any of these rules, you are taken out of the park to ensure the experience of everyone watching and playing the game is great. So imagine being at an MLB stadium when you are watching a child play to ensure the kids and other parents watching the game have a great experience.

Thank you for taking the time to read H.A.W.K. Baseball blog. We hope this blog has given parents helpful insight into some guidelines they may want to follow. If you find great insight in our blog please consider to share to those who would benefit.

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