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The Role of the Little League Parent

You, the parent, are equally as important to your child's positive baseball experience as the coach of the team. In order for your child to get the most out of playing this game, it is important that you do the following:

Be supportive of your child by giving encouragement and showing an interest in his or her team. Positive reinforcement encourages learning and fun. Research has shown that a ratio of five positive statements (compliments, positive recognition) for each negative statement (criticisms, corrections) is ideal for helping young athletes do their best. Try to maintain a 5:1 ratio in your comments to your child.

Attend games whenever possible. If you cannot attend, ask your child about the experience, not whether the team won or lost. Some questions that you might ask before asking about the final score include: "Did you have fun? What do you remember about the game? What are you going to work on next?"

Be a positive role model by displaying good sportsmanship at all times to coaches, officials, opponents and your child’s teammates. "Honoring the Game" is an important part of what Darien Little League represents. Help us by honoring the game in your behavior as a spectator.

Let your child set his own goals and play the game for himself. Be your child’s "home court advantage" by giving him your unconditional support regardless of how well he or she performs.

Let the coach coach. Refrain from giving your child advice when he is playing. Use positive reinforcement with your child’s coach. Let the coach know when he or she is doing a good job.

Respect the decisions of the umpire. This is an important part of honoring the game. Your child will pay more attention to how you act than to what you say.

Read the rulebook. A full understanding of the rules will help you enjoy the game and educate others
Get to know who is in charge. Meet with the leadership of the league, to discuss topics such as program philosophy, practice and game scheduling, how you can help, etc.

Get involved!  A great way to support your child's baseball experience is by becoming a volunteer for the program. Some of the ways you can get involved: help out at practice, keep the game scorebook or pitch counts, photograph players and organize carpooling. 

Sit back and enjoy the game. Remember, baseball is played for FUN.