By: Captain Myles A. Alexander, USAF - December 19, 2013
-To the Parents-
I will tread lightly here. I understand that is your son and your pride and joy out there. But please understand this: They are on that team hopefully because they choose to be. They should want to endure the hardship and reap the benefits of being on that team. It will serve them well in life knowing what it means to be part of something bigger than themselves.
You must also understand that your son may not always be the best player or deserve to play at all if that is what serves the best interest of the team. Embrace the role they play on the team. Encourage them to accept it or work harder to improve their status on the team.
Now, hopefully the coach is fair and politics are left off the field but I also understand that isn’t always the case. This too, is an opportunity for you to teach your son a great lesson. Your son will be looking to you to see how you react to unjust treatment. Do you handle it with class? Do you keep a proper perspective about the situation? Do you see the bigger picture? Do you realize it is just a game? Do understand that only a fraction of players ever play in college and even fewer go pro?
The odds are more of your sons will end up in the military under my watch than go pro.
The others may attend college or go straight to work after high school. Please, understand that I know when you are caught up in the middle of it all, it is your whole life.
My family was there too.
But it only lasts a little while compared to the rest of their lives. It’s so important to teach them the qualities of being a good teammate rather than winning at all costs or striving for all the attention.
Teach them the value of a good, hard work ethic. Teach them that what really matters is that they enjoy what they are doing, work hard and if they do, they will be successful in whatever direction life leads them.
Baseball is a passion and a love for us all. It is a wonderful escape for me! When in Afghanistan I was able to watch bits and pieces of the World Series and it allowed me to forget where I was for just a little while and enjoy the game that I played for 17 years of my life. But in the end it is a game. Above all else, we need to instill the qualities in these young men that will serve them in adulthood.
Let’s teach them how to be responsible, law-abiding productive citizens. It truly is a TEAM effort raising our children. Coaches, Teachers, Parents…we all have to work together as a team to show them how to be the best Teammate they can be. Parents, Seek to keep a proper perspective.
-Bottom of the 9th-
I hope you have found my perspective to be truthful and accurate. If I ever lose my ability to determine reality from perception I would expect and hope that someone would show me my misjudgment. I hope we would all feel this way without being offended.
May God bless the men and women who serve to keep all our freedoms and luxuries safe from enemy hands. May we continue to enjoy our way of life, protect it and never abuse it or take it for granted.
We really, really have it good here compared to the many countries I’ve seen. I encourage each and every person to make an attempt during their life to leave the comforts of these borders and experience another culture. You will appreciate America even more. God Bless You and may God continue to Bless America.
About the author: Myles Alexander is a former outfielder at The College of Charleston, has worked various Diamond Prospects events and has covered games for DP too. He is presently a Captain in the United States Air Force and has served one tour in Afghanistan.