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Compelling evidence shows the changed character of the participants of baseball and softball. The two sports no longer carry the feeling of "sports build character." In fact, the games of baseball and softball have become a world of negativity. As we start the season, my 49th, it has become a daily collaboration of negative stories about past games.

I think baseball and softball should bring out the character of each individual that participates, and should not have to be a struggle of negative babble to promote oneself or the child. Think about it, look into the character of a parent who places their child on a travel team just so they can say "my child plays on a travel team," and the team is run by a coach who has questionable skills to manage the team. What character does this bring out, or the high school coach who carefully unhinges a child's self-worth by a systematic degrading of the child's ability, even after they get a college scholarship in their sport? What character is presented when a baseball coach tells his players that they cannot have outside training? Does the math teacher tell their students they cannot have a private tutor? I think not.

Baseball and softball participants have decreased in numbers in the high school programs, in many cases due to over-bearing coaching. Isn't character missing when the high school feeder teams are provided for income, with the inferrence that the kids must play on a feeder team in order to play on the high school team? Isn't character missing when the travel ball coach tries to make a player train with an unqualified coach? Baseball and softball are wonderful, competitive games for our children. Let's each of us take a look at our own motives while directing the lives of the children in our care. Let's make sure we show good character as an example for our young people.

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