Here’s a short and fun interview with teenager Megan Yocke, who just ended her seven-year Little League career a couple of years ago. She gives us a rare perspective – a kid’s eye view of playing ball – and valuable insights into what it’s like from the players’ point of view.
Every parent should take a couple of minutes to read the interview. You’ll be struck by both her candor and enthusiasm, and I think you’ll understand your own players’ viewpoints more clearly. An obviously bright and articulate young woman, Yocke is still close enough to her Little League playing days to remember them while she’s also far enough from them to see them clearly.
A couple of highlights:
“If you play to win in Little League you put a lot of pressure on yourselves to perform when you should be working on the fundamentals.” Later in the interview she admits she’s a very competitive person, which makes this advice all the more valuable. Winning and learning aren’t mutually exclusive, but in creating priorities, “working on the fundamentals” and having fun need to top the list.
“I think that a major factor for all coaches to know and teach is that practice makes perfect and how you practice is how you play in the games.” Not a revolutionary observation but refreshing to hear it from a player. Now that she has graduated to a higher level of competition, Youke realizes the value of developing strong fundamentals and putting in the hard work. Every kid enjoys playing the games – wearing a uniform, playing before a crowd, etc. – but the kids will enjoy the games even more when they’re well prepared through productive practices.
Check out the interview, particularly her top 10 list of “ways to keep your cool”while playing Little League. It’s a charming and informative discussion that you’ll enjoy. And after reading it you might see your own Little Leaguer in a whole new way.