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No. of Recommendations: 8
It is a game played by children for fun. Some parents can screw that up pretty thoroughly.

It is amazing how blinded parents can become when it comes to sports. Before we had kids, my wife and I coached a girls softball team. The girls were in the 7-9 age group. We attended training before the season started and one thing that was emphasized was that 'winning' was about 5th or 6th on the list of importance for girls in sports at that age.

One day we had a game where we were up by 5 runs. A pretty comfortable margin considering there were only 2 innings left. One of the dads, known for his yelling during the games, started screaming at his daughter for not running and touching 1st base with the proper foot. An 8 year old, not timing her strides right to hit the bag with maximum efficiency. An 8 year old who was excited at the fact that she got a hit. And dad is yelling at her. So, I go over to the fence and tell him to cut it out. He ignores me and keeps screaming at her. I walk out of the dugout and over to the bleachers and tell him to cut it out. He says something about my coaching abilities and continues his tirade. I start up the bleachers and tell him that if he does not leave on his own two feet, I will pick him up and throw his ass out of there.

He gets up and leaves in a huff, talking about how people like me are making kids so soft these days.

The daughter had fun the rest of the game.

I'm all for competition, and I think it's healthy for kids to be motivated and driven. I even think it's helpful for a parent to be there to drive the kid and push their limits. But at 8 years old? In a softball game they are winning? When all they are thinking about is hanging out with their friends and having pizza afterwards? Not so much.

-shorty
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