What Kind of Idaho Little League Parent Are You This Summer?
The weather is warming up and for Idaho, it couldn't come at a better time as Little League is in full swing and many weekends will be spent at baseball, tee-ball, and softball games. Many of us played some form of baseball as a kid. Maybe it was one season, maybe it was through middle school, high school, or even into college or beyond, but most of us have played baseball at some time in our life. While the game is great to teach kids about sports, teamwork, the fundamentals, and more, one of the things about Little League games that aren't always good is the parents. Each team has certain types of parents, but figuring out which one you are can be a fun little game.
The Coach Parent
Every team has this parent. It is usually a dad, but can sometimes be a mom as well. This is the parent that is likely keeping stats and scores of the game. They will walk up to the dugout and try to coach their kid up during the game, and after the game can be overheard telling their child what they need to practice or work on before the next game. Their intentions are good, but they haven't realized they aren't the coach and might be a tad too invested or competitive.
The Cheerleader Parent
The cheerleader parent is one that most people enjoy and is likely annoying to opposing teams. This is the one that is the loudest at each game, may even bring props like pom-poms or an air horn, and likely has a team shirt. They are invested in the game but don't take it too far. You always know where they are in the crowd.
This one is almost always a mom because this is the parent that appears to have everything every child on the team needs and knows everything going on with the team. If a kid needs water, a juice box, a snack, or even medical treatment, this mom will pull it out of their Marry Poppins-type bag and have it ready for whoever needs it. If you have any questions about any practices, games, or tournaments, or want to know anything about the team, this is the parent to ask.
Overly Passionate Parent
Luckily, not every team has this parent, but you are sure to have seen one from time to time. This is the parent that can often be seen yelling profanity at the umpire, and will likely get kicked out of a few games throughout a season. Sometimes alcohol can lead to this, or they are overly passionate about the game and looking for a fight. These parents make for great YouTube videos, but not great spectators at a little league game.
This one will typically fall on dads because they are watching some other sporting event on their phone, but it can be a mom as well if they are too busy texting or browsing the internet. They might physically be at the game, but their mind was left elsewhere. They might as well have stayed home or in the car because they won't know if their child sits on the bench all game or is the star of the game.
This parent is the one that sadly never shows up to a game. It can be for different reasons. Perhaps they have a job and need to work to support the family, or maybe they are out fishing or hunting. They could be home watching something on tv or taking care of one of the other children. Either way, the rest of the parents might not know what they look like because they rarely show up to games or practices.
This is the parent that will constantly cheer, and say everyone is doing so good, even if the team hasn't recorded a single hit or is down 20 to 0. They are likely good friends with the cheerleader's parents but are a little more quiet and reserved. They want the kids to have fun no matter what. There are likely a couple of these on the team, and they likely are the wife or husband of the coach parent.
The Silent Parent
This parent falls in the middle of many of these categories. They always show up to practice and games, they are paying attention, and they clap when the team scores or makes a good play, but nobody has ever heard them speak. They may sit off to the side away from everyone to watch the game and keep to themselves at all times. They aren't rude, but they aren't nice either. They appear to be there and nothing more.
Looking at the other end of the spectrum is the parent that talks the entire game, and rarely is it about baseball or anything relevant to what is happening in the area. They seem to know all the gossip around the team and the parents, or maybe they know all the gossip around town, but they want to share all they know with the other parents throughout the game. You might be tempted to tell them to shut up, but likely you never will.
Which parent are you? You likely are one of the above parents or can identify most of these with other parents on your child's team. As Little League gets going, take note of the surrounding parents at the next game or practice and see if you can figure out which one is which. Don't get kicked out of games this summer and enjoy watching the kids play, while you reflect on the good ole days and wish you could be out there one more time with them.