I’m done, and it’s too bad, really…

I thought I went into this for all of the right reasons — love of the game of baseball, desire to spend time with my son, help kids learn baseball and so on.  I have one week to go in a long summer of baseball coaching, and the one thing I have learned for sure – I am done volunteering as a head baseball coach in exactly 7 days (3 games to go) and I am SO looking forward to it.

I know I am not the greatest coach in the world.  Not even close.

I am a human who makes mistakes but my overall intention is to do good by the kids.  I am capable of learning from my mistakes, and I have indeed made some and learned from them.  I also realized that for some, I am not allowed to even so much as raise an eyebrow if their son is misbehaving.  I have parents “pointing out” that their son is either pitching too much or too little.  I have spent far too much time processing all of this information trying to figure out how to adapt to this new reality.  I lost sleep while stewing over it.  I have been accused of trying to live vicarously through my son because I managed to teach him how to throw the ball across the plate consistently for his age.  In the face of conduct issues during games and practices, my choices about action or inaction toward an “offender” have been questioned consistently, albeit in a very subtle manner.  I get paid how much? 

Coaching Basketball 2009
Coaching Basketball 2009

If I were doing this for a living, I’d say that’s part of the job description.  For a volunteer, I have decided as of today that it’s not worth the effort.  It’s not worth cutting out of work early to pitch early batting practice, not worth losing sleep, not worth missing the opportunity to just sit outside on a summer evening and watching the kids play.

Jacob Catchin
Coaching Baseball 2010

It’s too bad, really.  We need more people to step up and volunteer to coach the kids.  In today’s society where it’s way easier to question or criticize, it’s no wonder we don’t have more agree to help.  I’ll probably stick to assistant coaching or just watching.


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I am a software lab manager in the Corporate Research Lab at 3M in St. Paul.

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