Shit Little League Parents Say

In exploring the pantheon of morons, attention in this post will be given to a wing devoted to the “Little League Parent.”

A parent that may just be learning how to raise their child, but is also apparently a biomedical expert in the mechanical aspects of baseball. 96% of this expertise derived from when they played Little League baseball in the dark ages a few decades prior.

Having little experience, and even less aptitude, these parents (whom many are living vicariously through their children to avenge their own shortcomings) are always firing pointers from the stands during a showdown between two groups of mediocre 11-12 year olds. Some of these lawn chair experts may have even played Junior Varsity baseball. 

If any of us have actually coached anything, we understand that most of the great teaching moments occur in practice, and that’s when a change in technique should attempt to be implemented. But since morons will be morons, and tend to be the most outspoken, and regularly refuse to not consider reasonable argument, we have no choice but to let it slide.

But now that the Little League season is officially over, lets see if we can inject some productive insight and hope to improve the collective knowledge amongst those involved youth baseball. Of course, this is an uphill battle, so if the aforementioned pipe dream doesn’t take hold, lets take this piece in the alternative, and use it to laugh at all of these frequently cited coaching tips bellowing from the bleachers.

Keep Your Elbow Up!

Oh that’s right. All of the major league greats kept their back elbow up and made millions. This is allegedly the precursor to the “level swing,” which is also wrong. If I remember correctly, all of the kids that sucked used this 'elbow up' approach.

Just Throw Strikes!

Not only is pitching a pretty tough activity that requires intricate neuromuscular coordination, it’s also an exercise in mental toughness, especially when there’s an idiot named Don yelling  “just throw strikes” from behind his beergut. "Oh that’s right, Don! Thank you for the input. For a second, I nearly forgot my entire objective."

Level Swing!

Look at how Alex Rodriguez swung the bat in his prime. Enough said. Regardless of what he is off-the-field, what Arod did on the field is incredibly emulation worthy. The reason you pop up the ball is because you hit the bottom periphery of it. If you had a “level swing” at all times, then how in the hell would you hit a strike at your knees? Do you instantaneously apply a grain harvesting approach and envision yourself swinging a sickle?

Look at how level that swing is

Keep Your Eye On The Ball!

Another one of those “No shit, Dad” moments that makes the little leaguer want to talk back to his parents for good reason. What would he have done without your encouragement? Did you think your son was so stupid that he approached the plate planning to close his eyes and listen for the ball?

Good Eye (on ball that was at least 7 feet out of the strike zone)!

This one is unintentionally satirical. And another one that probably makes the little leaguer want to say “No SHIT!” Don’t patronize your young slugger for being completely adverse to stupidity. And remember that the little league strike zone is incredibly liberal. If he lays off on a pitch that missed the strike zone by a few inches, he might still get penalized by getting ringed up. It’s Little League. He’s likely not facing the likes of Justin Verlander, Greg Maddux, or even Goose Gossage.

Stop Dipping Your Shoulder!

This one might have some traction, if you’ve completely forgotten or do not understand the human musculoskeletal system. Your back shoulder will dip slightly when you are driving an outside pitch to the opposite field. Not every kid is built like Shawn Bradley (and thank god). Even if you have a kid that resembles a long-armed extraterrestrial life form, they'd probably still have to dip their shoulder for a pitch located on the outside black.

Yes some kids take this to the extreme, and sacrifice power. But they’re also kids. And if you’re telling them something that they’re doing wrong, you better be able to tell them what’s right. If you can’t do that, then you haven’t fixed the problem. It in no way makes you a shitty parent, but it does help level your ego when you realize you aren’t as qualified as you thought you were.