With springtime comes the start of youth baseball. And this year, hope for a great season arrives in the form of an e-mail from my son’s coach.

It’s a list of guidelines for parent behavior.

Isn’t that something: The first instruction isn’t for the 12-year-olds, it’s for the adults who won’t ever swing a bat, other than to toss it in the backseat of the car.

The tips are pretty much what you’d expect: support your child, enjoy the game, but don’t take it too seriously. Don’t compare yourself with others and above all, follow the rules.

Such is hope: Starting the season off right has as much to do with establishing a positive spirit as it does with building the physical skills and knowledge of the game. And I credit the coach for doing so before the heat kicks in, both literally and physically.

Kathy Mangold
Former editor of metroparent magazine in Milwaukee, WI
Verbal Defense & Influence Instructor (VerbalDefenseAndInfluence.com)
Mom of kids ages 12, 10 and 7