Watching the game from another perspective

For many of us adults, our exposure to youth sports is watching games that our kids play in. We become very invested in those games, and often get ourselves very worked up over the smallest perceived slight or missed call. If our kids are batting, we can’t believe the wide-open strike zone. If our kids are pitching, we are upset by the umpire squeezing her. Often this happens in the same game!

At these times, tempers can flare, nasty comments can be made, and things can get unpleasant. Voices are often raised in anger. It’s really quite something. In fact, it’s amazing that there aren’t more fistfights.

If you find yourself getting into that mode from time to time, I have a suggestion for you. Sometime when you have a couple of hours on your hands, go out and watch a game that you have no vested interest in. Watch two teams where you don’t know a soul on either team. Listen to the comments that are made. Hear others getting angry over the perceived inequities in the game going on.

It’s quite a perspective.  You’ll be amazed at how oddly people behave. It may also give you a bit of pause the next time you find your blood pressure rising.  


About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on May 27, 2008, in General Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. when you think about the game if it is for the kids why would parents and coaches take it so personaly when they are 150-200 feet away from the plate think that an umpire is making unfair or biased calls. I have two daughters both played and I have coached for 11 years having seen many missed calls or “bad calls” I think all coaches should be required to get behind the plate and see if they can watch a pitch and see runners leave early while making sure that the pitcher is not doing anything illegal. also try bases loaded with a flyball to center, did the girls tag up if it was caught, come on the ump is only having to keep track of 5 things at once. get real treat the umpires with the same respect that you want your players and coaches to receive. and coaches do not pick fights with opposing coaches or fans, what kind of message does that send the players you are “defending”.


  2. I agree with your idea that coaches should umpire now and then. I’ve done it, and it’s definitely a different perspective. I was able to ring up a runner who left early once, but not on the first shot. The hitter fouled off the ball so I got to watch the runner a little more closely. It was a 12U game too, so I would’ve had enough time to shift back to the pitch if needed.Calling balls and strikes is tough work. I know when I’ve missed one. Bang-bang plays can be a challenge as well. It does help me keep a little calmer during the game.


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