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Congratulations to MLL 2019 Softball All Star Selections
06/12/2019
Congratulations to the following players who have been selected as...
Congratulations to 2019 Baseball All Stars
06/08/2019
Congratulations to the following players who have been selected as...
Used Equipment Drive with Leveling the Playing Field
05/31/2019
McLean Little League is teaming up with Leveling the Playing...
McLean Little League Alumnae face off in NEWMAC Conference game
04/10/2019
Marisa DeFranco and Julia Ferris were teammates on the Wheat’s...
Congratulations to 2018 City Series Winners
06/25/2018
Congratulations to all of the 2018 City Series Championship Winners! Majors...
What Makes A Nightmare Sports Parent & What Makes A Great One
03/18/2013
What Makes A Nightmare Sports Parent -- And What Makes A Great One February...
 
Congratulations to MLL 2019 Softball All Star Selections

2018 All Stars

Congratulations to the following players who have been selected as 2019 Softball All-Stars at McLean Little League! Best of luck at the state tournaments!  McLean is cheering you on!

 

McLean Softball 8-10s:

Megan Connery

Cassie Eckberg

Genevieve Fagan

Melody Hadden

Hannah Hoffman

Lucy Jorjani

Sasha Kirk

Jennifer Neigel

Paris Tran

Madeline Shean

Saoirse Sigler

Mary Cullen Thompson

Sydney Walker

Olivia Wood

Manager: Tim Shean; Coaches: Jason Connery, Steve Hoffman

 

McLean Softball 9-11s:

Rhea Bathula

Juliet DiPatri

Qiana Holmes

Madeleine Iams

Sophie Kaintoch

Lindsey Manifor

Julia Markowitz

Nora May

Avery Prendergast

Madeleine Spaner

Greta Uhlmann

Elise Walker

Zoe Wanek

Sienna Williams

Manager: Brad Prendergast; Coaches: Alec Walker, Rob Holmes

 

McLean Softball Majors:

Fae Butler

Chelsea Engle

Kaitlyn Fado

Emory Hadden

Abby Hart

Madison Keelen

Lauren Kim

Charlotte Loving

Reese Mamajek

Emily Manifor

Emily Martin

Abby Rebhan

Hayley Richardson

McKenna Sullivan

Sophia Taliaferro

Ella Kathryn Templer

Manager: Gerry Megas; Coaches: Jamie Loving, Jamie Hart

 


by posted 06/12/2019
Congratulations to 2019 Baseball All Stars

Congratulations to the following players who have been selected as 2019 Baseball All-Stars at McLean Little League!  Best of luck in the District 4 tournament and BEYOND! (Softball announcement to come...)

McLean American 8-10s
Justin Ball
Matthew Berkland
Banks Briceno
JT Deevy
Ryan Fontenot
Karl Fretwell
Lucas Jones
Steven Karloutsos
Wyatt Overman
Chris Shebby
Daniel Waits
Henry Williams
Nicholas Zafiropulos
Manager: Todd Overman; Coaches: Gray Fontenot, Erik Briceno

Oliver Lucier (Recognized as All-Star, but unable to play)

McLean American 9-11s
Logan Baldrate
Finn Broad
Cardin Clarke
Elias Cohen
Sebastian Malawar
Finn Marino
Gaines Newsome
Aidan Reid
JW Riggins
Jacob Romhilt
John Smith
James Socknat
Jackson Tallent
Manager: Paul Shiffman; Coaches: Bob Riggins and Matt Tallent

McLean American Majors
Jake Adamec
Ethan Ball
Nate Carr
Brennan Core
Colin Francis
Stefan Harvey
Nikolas Jorjani
Tyler Majkowski
Max Mullen
Marcus Nance
Luke Overman
Gabriel Pegues
Dylan Waits
Peyton Weaver
Manager: Mike Carr; Coaches: Tom Ball and Tucker Waits

McLean National 8-10s
Nolan Bartkowski
Charlie Coats
Declan Conley
Tommy Cowley
Charlie Erlanger
Ryan Hart
Jack Perlish
Daggu Rana
Gavin Rosen
Nicholas Rydzewski
Graham Stephenson
Patrick Turney
Adam Wormington
Manager: Eric Perlish; Coaches: David Stephenson and Andrew Coats

McLean National 9-11s
Caius Antolik
Cole Deringer
John Gaskins
Liam Johnson
Caleb Kim
William Lepre
Kyle Levinson
Michael Ma
Colin Millar
Henry Miller
Luke Murphy
Matthew Newsom
Daniel Ockerman
Manager: Terry Murphy; Coaches: Doug Millar and Chris Deringer

McLean National Majors
Aaron Chandler
Liam Conley
Jake Daly
Tony Diller
Christian Dray
Michael Fairbank
Ben Irish
Ryu Johnson
Jackson Moss
Aydin Prell
Vinnie Rana
Tommy Sharp
Drew Stayin
Manager: Charlie Moss; Coaches: Dan Diller and Cameron Prell

Tyler Giunchi (Selected as All Star but unable to play)


by posted 06/08/2019
Used Equipment Drive with Leveling the Playing Field

Drop off your Used Sports Equipment Today!

McLean Little League is teaming up with Leveling the Playing Field (LPF) to run a collection drive for used sports equipment between May 31 and June 15th.  LPF collects donated sports equipment and redistributes it to low-income kids throughout the DMV. All donations benefit needy schools, after school programs, and athletic leagues looking to engage their students in the physical and mental benefits of youth sports participation.  Now is a great time to clean out your garages and basements of old sporting equipment and help LPF get more kids off the sidelines and into the game! 

 

Bins will be placed near the MLL snack bar for equipment donations, with the final collection taking place on June 15th.  LPF is a 501(c)(3) organization and all donations are tax deductible. We will provide tax receipts upon request.  More information available in this flyer and this list of acceptable equipment.

 

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Meltem Kodaman at  .  For more information about LPF, please visit their website at: http://www.levelingtheplayingfield.org/ or call them directly at (301) 844-5622.

 

Thanks again for your generosity and community spirit!

 


by posted 05/31/2019
McLean Little League Alumnae face off in NEWMAC Conference game

MLL Softball Alums Marisa DeFranco and Julia Ferris

Marisa DeFranco and Julia Ferris were teammates on the Wheat’s Alley Cats team for two years. (Also, in the photo is Alley Cats coach, Joe DeFranco.) They are now playing Division III softball. Julia attends the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut and is majoring in Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture. Marisa attends Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts and is majoring in Media Arts Production.

Both players are also doing well on the diamond. Marisa is in the top ten in the NEWMAC conference in Runs (3rd), Hits (4th) and Batting Average 0.408 (8th).  Julia is a “pitcher only” and is in the top ten in the conference in Wins (2nd), Strikeouts (9th) and Complete Games (3rd).

Behind Julia’s pitching, Coast Guard won the 2nd game of a double-header against Emerson and her old pal Marisa 5-2. Julia pitched a complete game with 3 Ks and only 1 walk. Marisa went 2-3 with a double and scored Emerson’s only 2 runs. Julia also hit one batter…Yes…it was Marisa. Both players are shown in the photo.

Thanks to Joe DeFranco for passing along.


by posted 04/10/2019
Congratulations to 2018 City Series Winners

Baseball Majors CS Champs Chain Bridge Bankers

Congratulations to all of the 2018 City Series Championship Winners!

Majors Baseball Chain Bridge Bank

AAA Baseball John Nugent and Sons 

AA Baseball Concur Technologies

Majors Softball Wheat’s 

AAA Softball Kim Dermatology 

AA Softball McLean Hamlet

Congratulations also to the Majors Baseball Maullers, AAA Baseball Bradley Baseball Academy, AA Baseball Dorcan Group, Compass, Majors Softball MLS Educational Consultants, AAA Softball ValueVet, and AA Softball Great Falls on great seasons. 

Thanks also to all those hard-working baseball and softball coaches and families -- thank you for your months of dedication.

Congratulations most of all to all of our graduating 12 year olds.  Thanks to you and you families for making MLL such a wonderful league of which to be a part.

Baseball

 

Team Name

First Name

Last Name

>AAA Baseball- American League>AAA AB12- Doggett's Parking

Zaku

Wootton

>AAA Baseball- American League>AAA AB14 - Bradley Baseball Acad

Sam

Huffard

>AAA Baseball- American League>AAA AB14 - Bradley Baseball Acad

Zachary

Jones

>AAA Baseball- American League>AAA AB14 - Bradley Baseball Acad

Aaron

Weiss

>AAA Baseball- American League>AAA AB16 -Greenhouse Bistro

Ryka

Harandi

>AAA Baseball- American League>AAA AB16 -Greenhouse Bistro

Danny

Lyons

>AAA Baseball- American League>AAA AB18 - PWC

William

Keim

>AAA Baseball- American League>AAA AB18 - PWC

Brayden

Stoll

>AAA Baseball- National League>AAA NB13 - Cypress Fitness

Thomas

Hanssen

>AAA Baseball- National League>AAA NB14-Gaulding Legal LLC

Christopher

Gutowski

>AAA Baseball- National League>AAA NB16- Clark Construction

Videh

Binjrajka

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB1 - McLean Hardware

Isaac

Bell

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB1 - McLean Hardware

David

Boehm

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB1 - McLean Hardware

Rj

Carmenates

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB1 - McLean Hardware

Luke

Forde

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB1 - McLean Hardware

Jack

Graham

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB1 - McLean Hardware

Luke

Hoffman

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB1 - McLean Hardware

Jaime

Lee

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB1 - McLean Hardware

Malachi

Murrell

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB2 - FitzGerald Prop.

Aiden

Bond

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB2 - FitzGerald Prop.

Bennett

Brunner

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB2 - FitzGerald Prop.

Richmond

Moore

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB2 - FitzGerald Prop.

William

Moore

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB2 - FitzGerald Prop.

Kiernan

Mulcahy

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB2 - FitzGerald Prop.

Nicholas

O'Bryan

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB2 - FitzGerald Prop.

Max

Overman

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB2 - FitzGerald Prop.

Samuel

Rakowski

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB2 - FitzGerald Prop.

Jack

Wigmore

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB3 - McLean Insurance

Aiden

Cheong

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB3 - McLean Insurance

Robert

DAvena

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB3 - McLean Insurance

Luke

Dettleff

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB3 - McLean Insurance

Sean

Howard

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB3 - McLean Insurance

Brett

Kohler

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB3 - McLean Insurance

Brian

Lai

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB3 - McLean Insurance

Paul

Leaptrot

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB3 - McLean Insurance

Andrew

Poe

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB3 - McLean Insurance

Eric

Sun

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB3 - McLean Insurance

Gary

Tomasulo

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB4 - Wayne Insulation

Nicholas

Capps

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB4 - Wayne Insulation

Aidan

Carey

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB4 - Wayne Insulation

Maximilian

DiPatri

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB4 - Wayne Insulation

Andrew

Evans

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB4 - Wayne Insulation

Kevin

Lee

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB4 - Wayne Insulation

Sean

Lee

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB4 - Wayne Insulation

James

McGowan

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB4 - Wayne Insulation

Ryan

Niepold

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB5 - Color Wheel

Eric

Balleisen

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB5 - Color Wheel

Zach

Balleisen

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB5 - Color Wheel

John

Digges

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB5 - Color Wheel

Andreas

Geffert

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB5 - Color Wheel

Michael

Giuliano

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB5 - Color Wheel

Matthew

Lepre

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB5 - Color Wheel

William

Mellis

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB5 - Color Wheel

Jack

Nance

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB5 - Color Wheel

Carter

Ossman

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB5 - Color Wheel

Thomas

Zoller

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB6 - Cusumano & Stuver

Nick

Barnard

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB6 - Cusumano & Stuver

Joshua

Bright

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB6 - Cusumano & Stuver

Nick

Crockett

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB6 - Cusumano & Stuver

Graeme

Evans

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB6 - Cusumano & Stuver

Kevin

Huheey

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB6 - Cusumano & Stuver

Jonas

Knudson

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB6 - Cusumano & Stuver

Sam

Parker

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB6 - Cusumano & Stuver

Owen

Shankroff

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB6 - Cusumano & Stuver

Blake

Thompson

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB6 - Cusumano & Stuver

Victor

Van Vranken

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB7 - Chain Bridge Bank

Tyler

Fontenot

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB7 - Chain Bridge Bank

Alex

Haag

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB7 - Chain Bridge Bank

Alex

Mathews

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB7 - Chain Bridge Bank

Judson

McKay

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB7 - Chain Bridge Bank

Aidan

Olazabal

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB7 - Chain Bridge Bank

Dean

Park

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB7 - Chain Bridge Bank

C.J.

Romani

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB7 - Chain Bridge Bank

Yuta

Shimo

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB7 - Chain Bridge Bank

Ryan

Soong

>Majors Baseball -American League>Majors AB7 - Chain Bridge Bank

Camron

Tallent

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB1 - Wheats Lawn

Jack

Dailey

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB1 - Wheats Lawn

Christopher

Derby

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB1 - Wheats Lawn

Eric

Feng

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB1 - Wheats Lawn

Alex

Germain

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB1 - Wheats Lawn

William

Jarvis

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB1 - Wheats Lawn

Russell

Karlin

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB1 - Wheats Lawn

Joshua

Mendonsa

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB1 - Wheats Lawn

Richard

Perry

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB1 - Wheats Lawn

Jack

Rampy

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB2 - McLean Animal Hosp.

Nicolas

Christofferson

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB2 - McLean Animal Hosp.

Charlie

Djorup

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB2 - McLean Animal Hosp.

Hollis

Freeman

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB2 - McLean Animal Hosp.

Easton

Johnson

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB2 - McLean Animal Hosp.

Andrew

Lisio

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB2 - McLean Animal Hosp.

Michael

Norton

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB2 - McLean Animal Hosp.

Grant

Watts

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB2 - McLean Animal Hosp.

David

Weinstein

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB3  - Flowers and Plants

Preston

Benner

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB3  - Flowers and Plants

Noah

Golesorkhi

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB3  - Flowers and Plants

James

Harrington

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB3  - Flowers and Plants

Grant

Peterson

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB3  - Flowers and Plants

Andrew

Powell

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB3  - Flowers and Plants

Colin

Prendergast

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB3  - Flowers and Plants

Jordan

Sim

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB3  - Flowers and Plants

Colin

Walter

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB3  - Flowers and Plants

Charles

Wise

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB4 - Northwestern Mutual

Demetri

Ellis

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB4 - Northwestern Mutual

Graham

Glander

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB4 - Northwestern Mutual

John

Haas

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB4 - Northwestern Mutual

Quinn

Miller

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB4 - Northwestern Mutual

Mackie

Repke

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB4 - Northwestern Mutual

Robert

Roncskevitz

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB4 - Northwestern Mutual

Billy

Stallmer

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB4 - Northwestern Mutual

Luke

Stayin

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB4 - Northwestern Mutual

Paul

Witkop

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB5 - Luposello Marzban

Tobin

Brest

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB5 - Luposello Marzban

Cameron

Carroll

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB5 - Luposello Marzban

Levi

Graybash

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB5 - Luposello Marzban

Joseph

Hoeymans

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB5 - Luposello Marzban

Erich

Laughlin

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB5 - Luposello Marzban

Trent

McMichael

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB5 - Luposello Marzban

Jackson

Suydam

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB5 - Luposello Marzban

Evan

Un

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB6 - Dr. Deirdre Maull

Owen

Crumpler

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB6 - Dr. Deirdre Maull

Thomas

Daly

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB6 - Dr. Deirdre Maull

Elon

Fruman

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB6 - Dr. Deirdre Maull

Luke

Greehan

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB6 - Dr. Deirdre Maull

Thomas

Kim

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB6 - Dr. Deirdre Maull

Aj

Murray

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB6 - Dr. Deirdre Maull

George

Nichols

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB6 - Dr. Deirdre Maull

James

Pedas

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB6 - Dr. Deirdre Maull

Garrett

Peterson

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB6 - Dr. Deirdre Maull

Asher

Sedwick

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB7 - KPMG

Paul

Amorosi

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB7 - KPMG

Aidan

Breslin

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB7 - KPMG

Eric

Gomez

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB7 - KPMG

Steven

McNeill

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB7 - KPMG

Jack

Muehlheuser

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB7 - KPMG

Connor

OSullivan

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB7 - KPMG

Evan

Perlish

>Majors Baseball-National League>Majors NB7 - KPMG

Dane

Popelka

Softball

Team

First Name

Last Name

SM3 Kim Dermatology -- Jack Neigel

Kathleen

Andrews

MS1 Keep Smiling with Dr. Hinkle – Jamie Loving

Kylie

Ammons

MS1 Keep Smiling with Dr. Hinkle – Jamie Loving

Carey

Brown

MS1 Keep Smiling with Dr. Hinkle – Jamie Loving

Danielle

Kuck

MS1 Keep Smiling with Dr. Hinkle – Jamie Loving

Makenzie

Reilly

MS1 Keep Smiling with Dr. Hinkle – Jamie Loving

Camryn

Sidhu

MS2 Wheat's Lawn and Landscape – Brian Colder

Gabriella

Colder

MS2 Wheat's Lawn and Landscape – Brian Colder

Madeline

Gordon

MS2 Wheat's Lawn and Landscape – Brian Colder

Virginia

Hoofnagle

MS2 Wheat's Lawn and Landscape – Brian Colder

Alexandra

Nassif

MS2 Wheat's Lawn and Landscape – Brian Colder

Taylor

Staats

MS2 Wheat's Lawn and Landscape – Brian Colder

Zoe

Thompson

MS3 McLean Community Foundation – Tim Steffan

Kylie

Henigan

MS3 McLean Community Foundation – Tim Steffan

Emma

Hussein

MS3 McLean Community Foundation – Tim Steffan

McKartnee

Johnson

MS3 McLean Community Foundation – Tim Steffan

Lauren

Martino

MS3 McLean Community Foundation – Tim Steffan

Libby

Salopek

MS3 McLean Community Foundation – Tim Steffan

Willa

Steeg

MS4 MLS Educational Consultants – Gerry Megas

Eliza

Ball

MS4 MLS Educational Consultants – Gerry Megas

Madison

Beeman

MS4 MLS Educational Consultants – Gerry Megas

Dalia

Fishman

MS4 MLS Educational Consultants – Gerry Megas

Sophia

Reskusic

MS4 MLS Educational Consultants – Gerry Megas

Emma

Williams

MS5 The Georgelas Group – Brett Blanton

Kiran

Blanton

MS5 The Georgelas Group – Brett Blanton

Eva

Cardenas

MS5 The Georgelas Group – Brett Blanton

Athena

Georgelas

MS5 The Georgelas Group – Brett Blanton

Natalie

Martin

MS5 The Georgelas Group – Brett Blanton

Sarah

Walter

MS5 The Georgelas Group – Brett Blanton

Shelby

Willcox

 

 


by posted 06/25/2018
What Makes A Nightmare Sports Parent & What Makes A Great One

February 15, 2012 8:20 pm
Written by:
Steve Henson


Hundreds of college athletes were asked to think back: "What is your worst memory from playing youth and high school sports?"

Their overwhelming response: "The ride home from games with my parents."

The informal survey lasted three decades, initiated by two former longtime coaches who over time became staunch advocates for the player, for the adolescent, for the child. Bruce E. Brown and Rob Miller of Proactive Coaching LLC are devoted to helping adults avoid becoming a nightmare sports parent, speaking at colleges, high schools and youth leagues to more than a million athletes, coaches and parents in the last 12 years.

Those same college athletes were asked what their parents said that made them feel great, that amplified their joy during and after a ballgame.

Their overwhelming response: "I love to watch you play."

There it is, from the mouths of babes who grew up to become college and professional athletes. Whether your child is just beginning T-ball or is a travel-team soccer all-star or survived the cuts for the high school varsity, parents take heed.

The vast majority of dads and moms that make rides home from games miserable for their children do so inadvertently. They aren't stereotypical horrendous sports parents, the ones who scream at referees, loudly second-guess coaches or berate their children. They are well-intentioned folks who can't help but initiate conversation about the contest before the sweat has dried on their child's uniform.

In the moments after a game, win or lose, kids desire distance. They make a rapid transition from athlete back to child. And they’d prefer if parents transitioned from spectator – or in many instances from coach – back to mom and dad. ASAP.

Brown (pictured below at podium), a high school and youth coach near Seattle for more than 30 years, says his research shows young athletes especially enjoy having their grandparents watch them perform.

"Overall, grandparents are more content than parents to simply enjoy watching the child participate," he says. "Kids recognize that."

A grandparent is more likely to offer a smile and a hug, say "I love watching you play," and leave it at that.

Meanwhile a parent might blurt out …

“Why did you swing at that high pitch when we talked about laying off it?"

"Stay focused even when you are on the bench.”

"You didn’t hustle back to your position on defense.”

"You would have won if the ref would have called that obvious foul.”

"Your coach didn't have the best team on the field when it mattered most.”

And on and on.

Sure, an element of truth might be evident in the remarks. But the young athlete doesn’t want to hear it immediately after the game. Not from a parent. Comments that undermine teammates, the coach or even officials run counter to everything the young player is taught. And instructional feedback was likely already mentioned by the coach.

"Let your child bring the game to you if they want to,” Brown says.

Brown and Miller, a longtime coach and college administrator, don't consider themselves experts, but instead use their platform to convey to parents what three generations of young athletes have told them.

"Everything we teach came from me asking players questions," Brown says. "When you have a trusting relationship with kids, you get honest answers. When you listen to young people speak from their heart, they offer a perspective that really resonates.”

So what’s the takeaway for parents?

"Sports is one of few places in a child's life where a parent can say, 'This is your thing,’ ” Miller says. "Athletics is one of the best ways for young people to take risks and deal with failure because the consequences aren’t fatal, they aren’t permanent. We’re talking about a game. So they usually don’t want or need a parent to rescue them when something goes wrong.

"Once you as a parent are assured the team is a safe environment, release your child to the coach and to the game. That way all successes are theirs, all failures are theirs."

And discussion on the ride home can be about a song on the radio or where to stop for a bite to eat. By the time you pull into the driveway, the relationship ought to have transformed from keenly interested spectator and athlete back to parent and child:

"We loved watching you play. … Now, how about that homework?"

FIVE SIGNS OF A NIGHTMARE SPORTS PARENT

Nearly 75 percent of kids who play organized sports quit by age 13. Some find that their skill level hits a plateau and the game is no longer fun. Others simply discover other interests. But too many promising young athletes turn away from sports because their parents become insufferable.
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Even professional athletes can behave inappropriately when it comes to their children. David Beckham was recently ejected from a youth soccer field for questioning an official. New Orleans radio host Bobby Hebert, a former NFL quarterback, publicly dressed down LSU football coach Les Miles after Alabama defeated LSU in the BCS title game last month. Hebert was hardly unbiased: His son had recently lost his starting position at LSU.

Mom or dad, so loving and rational at home, can transform into an ogre at a game. A lot of kids internally reach the conclusion that if they quit the sport, maybe they'll get their dad or mom back.

As a sports parent, this is what you don't want to become. This is what you want to avoid:

• Overemphasizing sports at the expense of sportsmanship: The best athletes keep their emotions in check and perform at an even keel, win or lose. Parents demonstrative in showing displeasure during a contest are sending the wrong message. Encouragement is crucial -- especially when things aren’t going well on the field.

• Having different goals than your child: Brown and Miller suggest jotting down a list of what you want for your child during their sport season. Your son or daughter can do the same. Vastly different lists are a red flag. Kids generally want to have fun, enjoy time with their friends, improve their skills and win. Parents who write down “getting a scholarship” or “making the All-Star team” probably need to adjust their goals. “Athletes say their parents believe their role on the team is larger than what the athlete knows it to be,” Miller says.

• Treating your child differently after a loss than a win: Almost all parents love their children the same regardless of the outcome of a game. Yet often their behavior conveys something else. "Many young athletes indicate that conversations with their parents after a game somehow make them feel as if their value as a person was tied to playing time or winning,” Brown says.

• Undermining the coach: Young athletes need a single instructional voice during games. That voice has to be the coach. Kids who listen to their parents yelling instruction from the stands or even glancing at their parents for approval from the field are distracted and can't perform at a peak level. Second-guessing the coach on the ride home is just as insidious.

• Living your own athletic dream through your child: A sure sign is the parent taking credit when the child has done well. “We worked on that shot for weeks in the driveway,” or “You did it just like I showed you” Another symptom is when the outcome of a game means more to a parent than to the child. If you as a parent are still depressed by a loss when the child is already off playing with friends, remind yourself that it’s not your career and you have zero control over the outcome.

FIVE SIGNS OF AN IDEAL SPORTS PARENT

Let’s hear it for the parents who do it right. In many respects, Brown and Miller say, it’s easier to be an ideal sports parent than a nightmare. “It takes less effort,” Miller says. “Sit back and enjoy.” Here’s what to do:

• Cheer everybody on the team, not just your child: Parents should attend as many games as possible and be supportive, yet allow young athletes to find their own solutions. Don’t feel the need to come to their rescue at every crisis. Continue to make positive comments even when the team is struggling.

• Model appropriate behavior: Contrary to the old saying, children do as you do, not as you say. When a parent projects poise, control and confidence, the young athlete is likely to do the same. And when a parent doesn’t dwell on a tough loss, the young athlete will be enormously appreciative.

• Know what is suitable to discuss with the coach: The mental and physical treatment of your child is absolutely appropriate. So is seeking advice on ways to help your child improve. And if you are concerned about your child’s behavior in the team setting, bring that up with the coach. Taboo topics: Playing time, team strategy, and discussing team members other than your child.

• Know your role: Everyone at a game is either a player, a coach, an official or a spectator. “It’s wise to choose only one of those roles at a time,” Brown says. “Some adults have the false impression that by being in a crowd, they become anonymous. People behaving poorly cannot hide.” Here’s a clue: If your child seems embarrassed by you, clean up your act.

• Be a good listener and a great encourager: When your child is ready to talk about a game or has a question about the sport, be all ears. Then provide answers while being mindful of avoiding becoming a nightmare sports parent. Above all, be positive. Be your child's biggest fan. "Good athletes learn better when they seek their own answers," Brown says.

And, of course, don’t be sparing with those magic words: "I love watching you play."

Click here to contact Bruce E. Brown and Rob Miller.

-- Steve Henson is a Senior Editor and Writer at Yahoo! Sports. He has four adult children and has coached and officiated youth sports for 30 years. He can be reached at and on Twitter @HensonYahoo


posted 03/18/2013
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