Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

Small Ball: A Little League StoryAbout the Film
HomeAbout the FilmAbout Little LeagueThe DugoutHome Run DerbyTalk Back
Hot QuestionsMy Season
Hot Questions Parenting Olga Galan David Conroy

Olga Galan

Olga Galan
Olga Galan lives in New Jersey, where her son Anthony is a skilled 12- year old player. Olga's husband Osiris is a huge baseball fan, but Olga confesses she doesn't know much about the game. Nevertheless, as a parent, she has some firm views on how to be a Little League parent.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE GALAN FAMILY IN ACTION.


Read More Advice
What do you think?
Questions
1.   What's the most important lesson a parent can give to a child about their playing?  
2.   How do you deal with your child's moods when they're not playing well?  
3.   How would you deal with a situation where your son wasn't being played enough, in your opinion?  
4.   Has Little League or playing sports ever become a disruptive element in your household?  
5.   How do you balance sports and schoolwork?  
6.   How do you deal with your own disappointments, and how do you know when to let go of whatever fantasy you might have about your son's future?  
7.   How important is winning? What do you think an ideal season would look like record-wise?  
8.   Top Ten list of ways to keep your cool when you're a Little League parent?  

Answers

Q: What's the most important lesson a parent can give to a child about their playing?

I think the most important lesson for Anthony is to have fun, to do his best. I say to him "don't worry about it, have a good time." Always be positive, always be happy about his performance. That's the most important thing - he should be happy about his performance.

Back to the top >


Q. How do you deal with your child's moods when they're not playing well?

There are certain times when Anthony isn't comfortable with how he played. He always knows what he did wrong since he knows baseball and I don't, which means I don't dare give him any advice about his playing! But I can comfort him by telling him even major leaguers have bad days. He's entitled to have some off-days. He can't always be a perfect baseball player. It doesn't matter what the issue is, there will always be bad days. It's like life.

Back to the top >


Q. How would you deal with a situation where your son wasn't being played enough, in your opinion?

I would try to find out the reason he's not being picked. If it's because the coach thinks he isn't good enough, I would ask my son if he would be happier playing somewhere else. If he still wants to stay on the team, then I would probably stay out of it - I think it's the coach's decision.

Back to the top >


Q. Has Little League or playing sports ever become a disruptive element in your household?

Oh yeah! - whatever the situation is, we check the baseball schedule; meals, nights out, everything. We plan our vacations around Little League. It bothers me a lot. It's a sacrifice I have to make, but I choose to do it because it's so important to my husband and son. I pick my battles - it's part of being in the family. If the guys are off at a game, my daughter and I will often just do something else that we want to do, and everyone's happy.

Back to the top >


Q. How do you balance sports and schoolwork?

My son has always done well in school, so it's never been an issue with schoolwork. One summer he was on three teams and that was too much - he was always exhausted. So now we do one team per season.

Back to the top >


Q. How do you deal with your own disappointments, and how do you know when to let go of whatever fantasy you might have about your son's future?

I would love for my son to make it to the Major Leagues! I tell him that after all the uniforms I washed during his Little League career, the first thing is he has to do is buy me a Range Rover! And to find a good major leaguer husband for his sister so she doesn't have to work for the rest of her life. But I also tell him that if he doesn't make it, it's not the end of the world - it's good to have high expectations anyway.

Back to the top >


Q. How important is winning? What do you think an ideal season would look like record-wise?

Winning is great, but there's more to it than winning. I want him to get other things out of playing - camaraderie, self-respect, a sense of acquiring goals. As far as a record goes, I think they should win most of their games, but its good to have some games where they're challenged and a little bit humbled. My son's teams actually haven't been that good, but he likes the coaches and the kids, and that's what's important.

Back to the top >


Q. Top Ten list of ways to keep your cool when you're a Little League parent?

1. Keep your cool. Remind yourself they're only kids, and it's only baseball.
2. Eat a lot of chocolate!
3. Yell and scream when they score - it relieves stress.
4. Think how much worse they were last season.
5. You're not the only one losing - the whole team is!
6. You could always practice more.
7. There's always another game.
8. It helps not to know the rules - that way you can be oblivious to the errors.
9. Bring a girlfriend with you to the game to keep your mind off things.
10. Think of a great place to eat after the game is over to celebrate, regardless of whether you win or lose.

Back to the top >


How do you inspire a kid who's not living up to his potential? Click to read more!

[an error occurred while processing this directive]