Last Saturday was the opening day of Little League. Having earned my American citizenship, I've always been sensitive to descriptions of what it means to be an American. One that I've carried around in the back of my head was that there is nothing as American as baseball and apple pie. I learned how to bake apple pie years ago, but this year I finally had the chance to experience baseball as something more than a spectator. I say that because when your child becomes a part of Little League, you become a part of Little League, no sitting on the sidelines business--you are definitely a player in the "game."
This is my sons' first season of T-ball. I knew from watching a few of my friends with older boys that it required parental participation. I didn't know how much that would be since my sisters and I never participated in a team sport like softball or soccer when we were growing up. There was no such thing as baseball in the wartime Korea my parents grew up in so I had absolutely no idea what to do. So this post is meant to help anyone who like me searched online bookstores for "Little League for Dummies," but found nothing. Coaching, yes, but being a team parent, no.
First there are things you should do before the season starts, even before you even sign up. You need to find out who is the best coach in the league and request to be on that team. Apparently this is what the parents who know what is what have done because when I look at the kids who comprise my sons' team vs. the other teams, I know teams have not been formed randomly. I noticed there was one team that started practicing on the field every day (EVERY DAY!) after school for a couple of weeks before the season started. On opening day I recognized those kids and their coach and noticed they were bigger than everyone on our team. After opening ceremonies, we had our first game. It wasn't the team I had recognized but almost every kid on the team we were playing was a head taller than the kids on our team. And guess what, no girls on their team. Our team has four girls. And one kid who runs to third base instead of first.Continued on the next page