In exploring the pantheon of morons, today we turn to a wing known as the "Little League Parent," a parent who may be just learning how to raise their child, but is also a biomedical expert in the mechanical aspects of baseball. 96% of this expertise is derived from when the parent played Little League baseball a few decades prior.

Having little experience, and even less aptitude, these parents (many of whom are living vicariously through their children to avenge their shortcomings) are always firing pointers from the stands during a showdown between two groups of mediocre 11- to 12-year-olds. Some of these lawn chair experts may have even played junior varsity baseball.

Those of us who have actually coached anything understand that most of the great teaching moments occur in practice. That’s when a change in mechanics should attempt to be implemented. But since morons will be morons, and tend to be the most outspoken, and regularly refuse to not consider reasonable argument, we have no choice but to let it slide.

Did you think your son was so stupid that he approached the plate planning to close his eyes and listen for the ball?And now that the Little League season is officially over, let’s see if we can inject some productive insight and attempt to improve the collective knowledge amongst those involved in youth baseball. Of course, this is an uphill battle, so if the aforementioned pipe dream doesn’t take hold, let’s take this piece in the alternative, and use it to laugh at all of these frequently cited coaching tips bellowed from the bleachers.

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"Keep your elbow up!"

Oh, that’s right… all of the Major League greats kept their back elbow up and made millions. If I remember correctly, all of the kids who sucked used this approach. But keep your chin up while you’re at it, losers. This is allegedly the precursor to the also-wrong…

"Level swing!"

Alex Rodriguez low baseball swing
"Level swing or you’ll grow up to be metrosexual!!"
Look at how Alex Rodriguez swung the bat in his prime. Enough said. Regardless of his reputation off the field, what A-Rod did on the field is incredibly emulation-worthy. The reason you pop the ball up is because you hit the bottom periphery of it. If you had a "level swing" at all times, then how in the hell would you hit a strike at your knees? Do you instantaneously apply a grain harvesting approach and envision yourself swinging a sickle?

"Just throw strikes!"

Not only is pitching a pretty tough activity that requires neuromuscular coordination, it’s also an exercise in mental toughness, especially when there’s an idiot named Don in the stands sporting a beer gut, pleading that you "just throw strikes." Thanks for the input, Don. For a second, I nearly forgot my entire objective.

"Keep your eye on the ball!"

Another one of those "No shit, Dad" moments that makes every Little Leaguer want to talk back to his parents for good reason. What did you want your kid to do? Keep his ass on it? Did you think your son was so stupid that he approached the plate planning to close his eyes and listen for the ball?

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"Good eye!" (on a ball that was at least 7 feet out of the strike zone)

Little League baseball parents yelling
How many parents does it take to swing a Little Leaguer’s bat?
This one is unintentionally satirical. And another one that makes the Little Leaguer want to say "No SHIT!" Don’t patronize your young slugger for being completely averse to stupidity. And remember that the Little League strike zone is incredibly liberal. If he lays off a pitch that misses the strike zone by a few inches, he might get rung up anyway. It’s Little League; he’s likely not facing the likes of Justin Verlander, Greg Maddux, or Goose Gossage.

"Stop dipping your shoulder!"

This one might have some traction, if you’ve completely forgotten or do not understand the human musculoskeletal system. Your back shoulder will dip slightly when you are driving an outside pitch to the opposite field. Not every kid is built like Shawn Bradley, and given his 62-inch-long femur bones, he’d probably have to dip his shoulder too if there was a pitch on the outside black.

Yes, some kids take this to the extreme, and sacrifice power. But they’re also kids. And if you’re telling them something that they’re doing wrong, you better be able to tell them what’s right. If you can’t do that, then you haven’t fixed the problem. It in no way makes you a shitty parent, but it does help level your ego when you realize you aren’t as qualified as you thought you were.

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