What Does Hillary clinton have to do with little league baseball?!?!

6/1/2015

 


In 2008, Hillary was a contender for the Democratic party's nomination for president.  Obviously, she lost to Obama.  At the moment, she will likely be the Democratic nominee running for United States president in the 2016 election.  When Obama won the nomination, she told supporters, "Although we weren't able to shatter that highest hardest glass ceiling THIS time, it's got about 18 million cracks in it."

Whether or not our first woman president will be elected in November 2016 remains to be seen.  I have no desire to get into a big political debate about the future of our country financially under female DEMOCRATIC leadership, (Dad).   BUT I do have a very important question to ponder regarding the trickle down effect on many aspects of our culture when a woman is literally leading the pack and running the world - A-ha-ha-ha-ha...
Specifically, will the moms (unlike me) that have expert baseball knowledge be able to shake up the Big Boy's Club of little league baseball and start mixing it up with some female coaches?  After all, both moms and dads coach girls's softball so what gives with the double standard in this day and age?  

I can feel the eye rolls from the members of the Big Boy's Club now and all of the justifications and excuses used by men since the beginning of time why women should be excluded.  For the record, by no means am I suggesting that moms should take over little league and squeeze the dads out. This is all about inclusion and the superiority of any organization once the feminine and masculine come together and make a beautiful baby.  We were meant to work together as equals each bringing our unique chromosomes to the table and leaning in together.  

I have sat in the little league stands for the last several years and noticed many of the wonderful AND a few unsavory aspects of the way our kids are coached.  My son has greatly benefitted overall by his little league baseball experience so far and especially the comaraderie that he feels on the field with his teammates.  At 9 years old, he is starting to get slightly more invested in the competitive aspect of the game but overall, he judges whether he is on a "good" team or not by how many kids on his team cry over a loss or a bad play.  He has figured out at this young age that games are supposed to be fun and he really doesn't understand the whole crying thing over a game.  

He is definitely learning life lessons about sportsmanship and the way to handle victory and defeat with integrity.  These are values that are more successfully taught in practice on the field rather than in theory using only words in a conversation and we are incredibly grateful for that amazing aspect of team sports.  

Another positive byproduct of playing baseball is the real life experience he gets re: staying calm and centered when the heat is on.  A year ago when he was only 8 and playing intense district baseball, he was extremely affected by a coach that was so emotionally invested in this 8 year old game that I think he must have had some serious cash invested in the form of a wager.  This guy was bananas and my kid really wanted to quit.  He asked me why an adult would yell so much and didn't he realize that it was just a game?  He actually used the words, "This is too much pressure and I'm just a little kid.  I thought games were supposed to be fun."  

We discussed strategies to keep him calm and centered involving breathing and mantras.  We talked about adults being human and often living vicariously through their kids and not realizing it. By the end of our conversations, he really understood that an out of control adult's behavior truly has nothing to do with him and that it was important to learn strategies to stay calm and grounded in your own head regardless of what is going on around you.  

At first my timing was terrible and I often frustrated him by reminding him of these strategies at the wrong time - in the moment.  However, I am happy to report that a year later, his coach this season would pull him in without notice as a relief pitcher when games got heated because he said that Cory was calm and cool under pressure.  If Cory has learned how to manage his calm at the age of 9 then I can honestly say, I am grateful for the banana cake coach that served as the impetus in learning this incredibly valuable skill.

So I think I have established so far that my son's little league baseball experience has been extremely positive and I think it would be even more so if some female coaches entered the little league arena.  

I sat in the stands this season with a woman that had far more baseball knowledge and personal experience as a lifelong softball player than 95% of the coaches I know and she seems to be a really great mom on top of that...all the ingredients for an amazing coach in my opinion.  She was an excellent "team mom" - the best I've seen.  But frankly, utilizing her time with organizing snacks, coach's gifts, team parties and gala baskets is the equivalent of a heart surgeon working as the secretary instead of performing surgery.

She sat in the stands with an intense energy that clearly revealed her passion for the sport, and not only cheered for ALL the kids but was the biggest cheerleader when a child flubbed a play with words of encouragement.  She especially cheered for the child on our team with some developmental challenges and all the boys followed her lead with cheers and chants of support for this child from the dugout regardless of the outcome when he was up to bat.  This was such a perfect example of the amazing leadership energy she could bring to the table if she decided to lean in as a baseball coach.

So I asked her towards the end of the season why she wasn't out there coaching and she just blushed and brushed it off while mumbling something about being fulfilled with the team mom role.  When I pressed her, she admitted that she wasn't up for the challenge and repercussions of trying to break into the Big Boy's Club.  She mentioned 2 other moms that had attempted and coached for a season or 2 and what they endured as a result.  It isn't hard to imagine the labels assigned to their reputations, that so many other women have experienced, when they have taken on traditional male leadership roles.

So my question is:  Once Hillary becomes president, will the moms that are meant to serve as coaches instead of team moms; CEO's instead of secretaries; entrepreneurs instead of receptionists, start to more frequently take a leap, step up to the plate and knock it outta the park? Hope so!