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jjack

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  1. To get straight to your question: Just talk to them, period. I would give them the benefit of the doubt as far as being reasonable people. Understand that just like you are upset that your child is stuck in the outfield indefinitely, there are other, completely unreasonable parents who will freak out on a coach if he puts their kid in the outfield for a single inning over the entire season. Because these parents are generally loud, obnoxious, and otherwise unpleasant to deal with, a coach could feel pressured to just give them what they want so they'll get off his back. If the other parents just deal with it, you're enabling the coach to do this and letting the other parents boss him around. Or, the other possibility could be that your coach is just not what you're looking for. In my opinion, at 9 and 10 years old, it's not about wins and losses. These kids have two years left in little league, and beyond that, they have the potential to play in high school, college, or even pro ball. A coach's job at this age group is to try to get each and every player ready to play at the next highest level. If you approach your child's coach and he seems like he's unwilling to make changes, you should consider moving your kid to a different team or to a less competitive division. I'm a coach in Minors 1 division; one rung above t-ball in our league. Sometimes there are kids at the Minors 2 level who are struggling and losing confidence, and are willing to come play at a lower level in order to develop to where they can become more competitive. I will gladly lose one of my "stars" to a team in a higher division in order to help a kid that is struggling. You can see the same thing in pro ball; a major league club would rather have their hot young prospect starting in AAA than riding the bench in the bigs. Is there a lower division you could move him to, and if so, would he be receptive to it...or would it just shatter his confidence completely? I agree, to a certain extent, that it can be a bad idea to just throw any player at any position. We had a game tonight, and I think I made a mistake when I started a 6 year old at first base! Not because I was concerned with how many errors he made, but because HE was concerned with it. Being the least experienced member of the team, I think it might have stressed him out to be at the center of all the action, and that's no fun. But it doesn't matter to me how many errors he made as long as he was being challenged and still having a good time. I guess that's what it all boils down to. A youth coach has to walk a fine line between challenging his players so much that they get discouraged and want to give up, and not challenging them enough to improve their skills. All coaches are human; I'm know I'm far from perfect! My advice would be to just say something to the coach, and if he seems unreasonable, look for another team. Finally, I'm going to jump on the band wagon here and say two things: Offer to assist at practice, and play ball with your kids outside of practice. It'll go a long way!
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