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First, do no harm.

Period. Always. Forever.

Teacher, coach, parent, boss, co-worker, friend, doctor. First, do no harm. Period.

I'm a baseball mom and it is the hardest part of my life on any given night. I could be writing this today in 2024 or a dozen years ago. I could be writing this for a future baseball player or one I only know in a book. However, it will always be true. As a coach you are gifted a certain access to our children that you may or may not have earned. You may be an incredible person or an evil twat. You may be measured, kind and thoughtful, or you may be vindictive and cruel. You may be living your childhood through our children or you may care deeply for the ones before you. You may communicate well or poorly. You may think you know what you are doing and you may not give a rat's ass. You might be in it for ego or extra pay. You might care about the gifts from the team or the connections from a certain group of parents. You might only be doing it to stay away from your own home that you have broken by your own behavior. Or you may quietly weep in the car because you can't believe you missed your own child's dance recital. We can't know how you feel because you lock yourself away. You tell us at parent's night not to talk to you and to keep our questions to ourselves. You expect us to host team dinners that you don't show up for and you shame us for things we have not even considered. Don't you dare miss a practice or a game. Don't go on vacation and don't ask for a day off. If you think your kid is sick, send them to us and we will decide.

Shut the fuck up. I know my kid better than you know my kid and guess what, I know he isn't going pro but if you take away the joy of the game from him so help me god I will haunt your sleep.

Today or ten years ago, you didn't put my child in the game and then you yelled at the team that they disappointed you. Guess what, asshole, my kid didn't play so your head games are shit. You aren't pissed at them because they lost, you are mad because you are scheduled to play the same night as the NCAA championship. Oh, I might be talking about tonight, sorry, I don't want to offend anyone, but for all things good in this world, high school baseball coaches have got to stop being complete dicks.

There is no prize for making kids quit sports. There is no award for being the dickiest dick. Why carry 22 kids and only play 10? The bro dads might love you and slap your back but, motherfucker, you are breaking the best kids and it is not okay. Stop. Use your power for good and stop being a god damn asshole.

My child should not walk away from a team meeting thinking he will never play again. Period. If he isn't playing, he should know what he is working on and have a plan for improvement. No child should stop playing a sport because of an adult. Ever. Every single human on this planet can play the game they love as long as they want. You are not the gate keeper.

And, my father was 6 fucking 8. You think my kid is small so you sit him now but he will tower over you one day and you will not be the person that he is leaving tickets for at the gate. Stop being so shallow and small. It is freshman baseball and no one cares about the record so stop thinking that your lineup matters. Play them all. Because you aren't winning anyway.

Okay, I might be over reacting. But this is not my first rodeo and I am so completely sick of adult men doing harm to boys.

What if the child you just yelled at is also failing a class or broke up with a girl, what if their car ride home conversation is how they are a loser because they didn't play. What if your words are the last words they hear because they are so broken already they choose to take their own life. I'm not being hyperbolic. These are the things I worry about. First do no harm, means recognizing that our teenagers are struggling and if we choose to be around them, to teach them, to coach them, then we have a greater responsibility than ever and we have to choose to not harm them in the process.

It isn't about my upset teenager tonight. I mean it is a little bit but it is bigger than him. Every day we each have a choice, do we put good into the world, do we embrace those around us and leave them better or do we let our own egos get in the way and we allow that to take the lead. Do we leave people depleted, sad, lonely or do we leave them with a plan, a hope, a drive? I know what happened tonight. I witnessed it and it was not kind. Adults screw up. Kids screw up. Games are lost. And it doesn't freaking matter. What matters is that every child that we interact with knows that we care and that they matter. Period.

First do no harm. Second do better.

I know, not every kid gets to play, I know that, but there should be no question about their role, my kid should not feel like his coach, "hates him." I watch the likes of Dan Hurley and Dawn Staley and I don't have to wonder, I know they care--why don't you?

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