Ball Field Etiquette

Welcome, Summer! This time of year brings long evenings, cool swims in the pool, watermelon and baseball with friends. Each year I notice an increase of parents acting less than, um, parental at the ball field. It’s almost as if something happens at the ball field where their brain no longer knows right from wrong. Winning is their sole obsession.

Winning is wonderful. I’m a Type A perfectionist. I want to win. It’s fueled my desire to work hard and succeed.

To my disadvantage, though, I have let that desire to win stop me from trying if I didn’t think I had something in the bag. Learning to lose gracefully is a sign of emotional maturity. It’s also a gift that many do not possess.

The desire to win is not evil.

The desire to win at the expense of anything else is wrong.

I usually don’t write in absolutes. However, I wholeheartedly stand by my statement. We have gotten away from grace. We don’t allow ourselves the grace to fall, so we don’t feel the need to extend grace to others. But, oh, how we’re missing out on a full life when we miss out on grace. Coaches, parents, fans, players – we all have a responsibility at the ball field, regardless of whether it’s Little League or MLB.

  1. Be a good sport. Calls will be missed. Players will make mistakes. Coaches will play the wrong player. Yelling at whoever messed up will not fix the mistake. The only thing is does is add fuel to the fire. Also, keep in mind everyone there is human, including you. That call may have looked a little different if you had been in a different seat. More than anything, be a good sport.
  2. Do not belittle anyone. This includes anyone who is in the stands, any player and any coach. Anyone. It is perfectly acceptable to cheer for your team. However, booing for the other team does not make your team any better. (It also doesn’t make their team any worse, just for the record.)
  3. Appreciate the talent. Some people think that their team or child is just God’s gift to this earth and that no one else could possibly ever find favor. A good fan will appreciate the talent and hard work the opposing team shows. Again, no one is saying you can’t cheer for your team. But by appreciating their talent and work, you understand you aren’t entitled to anything. Also, as a player, by realizing the talent the other team has, you’ll be able to better train and play your absolute best.
  4. At all times show respect.

By focusing on only winning, regardless of whether or not that win was deserved, we are instilling poor morals and values onto the next generation. Yelling and belittling is easy. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment. It takes true strength to see the players and coaches as valuable human beings. It takes true strength to see  beyond the moment.

 

If you have a child in a sport, I’d like to leave you with this final poem.

 

He’s Just a Little Boy by Chaplain Bob Fox

 

He stands at the plate with his heart pounding fast.

The bases are loaded; the die has been cast.

Mom and Dad cannot help him; he stands all alone.

A hit at this moment would send his team home.

 

The ball meets the plate; he swings, and he misses.

There’s a groan from the crowd, with some boos and some hisses.

A thoughtless voice cries, “Strike out the bum.”

Tears fill his eyes; the game’s no longer fun.

 

So open up your heart and give him a break,

For it’s moments like this, a man you can make.

Please keep this in mind when you hear someone forget.

He is just a little boy and not a man, yet.

 

 

 

Why I Still Send Father’s Day Cards

If you’ve read this blog for any period of time, you know that I struggle with thank you notes. In most cases, I send them. However, I’ve had to use various “tricks” to make sure I send the notes in a timely manner. For instance, I actually keep stationary and stamps in my car. For me, this is a must.

Knowing this, it may come as a shock that I find it important to send Father’s Day cards (in addition to other holiday cards). Holidays, though, come naturally to me.

I absolutely love all holidays. Before kids when I still had energy, I would celebrate the most mundane of holidays. Pi Day, National Doughnut Day, Best Friends Day. You name it, we did something to commemorate the occasion. I’ve always joked that it was fitting for my daughter to be born on St. Patrick’s Day, since I love holidays the way that I do.

While I don’t think it’s necessary to spend a certain amount on a cards (a $0.99 card is perfect!), I do think there something incredibly special about sending/receiving letters or cards in the mail. You don’t even have to send a traditional Hallmark card! My kids really enjoy making crafts and pictures to send to their grandparents and friends.

Taking the time to pull away from our cell phones and truly put in a little effort for someone else is rewarding for all parties involved. While it’s great that social media is able to connect people the way it does, the mystery of receiving a letter in the mail cannot be replicated.

I hope you’ll join me this Father’s Day in sending your father/uncle/grandfather/father figure a card via snail mail and let them enjoy that mystery, too!

Happy Father’s Day!

 

Business Etiquette Series, Part 4

Hello, all! I hope you’re still as excited about the Business Etiquette Series as I am!

Today’s topic is over what to wear in a business world. In general, the business world is still fairly classic and conservative as opposed to other sectors. Part of this draws from what we learned in Part 3 of this series – consistency. Not changing how you dress in a drastic way from day-to-day (or coming in with radical hair changes) lends to a sense of consistency.

Does this mean that you can’t show off your personal style? Absolutely  not. However, always ask yourself: Do you want people to notice your clothes or do you want people to notice you? As an employee of a company, you are the living, breathing brand for said company. It’s reasonable that employers have expectations for you to look professional. But what does looking professional mean? Let’s go over a few tips today!

  • Be neatly groomed. What does this mean? You should be clean, and your clothes should fit. This does not mean that you’re expected to wear make up or jewelry daily. It does mean that your dress pants shouldn’t be so tight that they “pull.” It also means not coming into work with wet hair. Trust me when I say you won’t be taken seriously.
  • Choose timeless styles over fads. In addition to saving money in the end, you also won’t have to constantly prove to others that you know what you’re talking about. Whether it’s right or wrong, if you appear timeless in your style, there is an inherent sense of reliability that comes with that. Again, in the business world, the average person tends to be a little more conservative. It’s fine to enjoy risks in your attire outside of work. If you’re an investment banker, though, you don’t want to give the impression to your customers that you are risky with their money.
  • Avoid capris when possible. I live in Texas. I know hot. I also know, though, that capris, even dress capris, aren’t work appropriate. I always encourage my students in cotillion to dress for the job two or three levels about their current one.
  • Men, facial hair should be neatly trimmed. While even 10 years ago facial hair was fairly taboo, it’s becoming more acceptable. What’s not acceptable, though, is wild, crazy facial hair.
  • Ladies, if you wear make up, also keep it neat.
  • Choose a style that suits your taste and body. I enjoy dresses. They’re loose, cool in the summer and flow away from my hips. In fact, I wear dresses on a daily basis during the work week. This in no way suggests dresses are for everyone. You know your body and taste best. By choosing something that works for you, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style.

That’s it! I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Please feel free to add anything in the comments!

End of Year Field Trips

Our daughter is finishing up Kindergarten, which I can barely believe. She’s had an amazing year with a wonderful teacher. Each year at her school, they go on a trip to the Northeast Texas Children’s Museum in Commerce, Texas. If you’re ever in this area, I highly recommend this place! We were only there for about 2 1/2 hours, and Katherine could have (and has before) stayed there all day. It’s a 501(c)3, and admission is $6 for kids and $5 for adults.

Katherine riding on the train

They have plenty of options, all of which require plenty of imagination from the kids. There’s a stage with costumes, a train with a station, a bank, a pizza parlor, a grocery store, a pirate ship and many, many more areas. Katherine’s favorite may have been the bubble room!

        Inside of the bubble!

I remember as a child how important these field trips were to me and how many memories I made there. I’m so thankful to have been able to go to see Katherine and her friends at hers.

Garrett and I took off the week of May 14th through the 18th to celebrate our anniversary (which is May 14th). We also decided that for two of the days, we’re go our separate ways (absence makes the heart grow fonder and whatnot). He headed off to Oklahoma, while I stayed more local for a couple of small “daycations,” one of which we took right after her field trip!

Maybe a future banker like her parents?

I can’t wait to share our other trips with you soon!