Interview: Baseball Dad Talks About Passion for Coaching Son From the Stands
SEATTLE, WA--In anticipation for the upcoming baseball season, we decided to interview Jeff Rice, baseball dad of a 12U all-star, about what he is looking forward to most this season. Jeff has coached his son’s teams to three straight league championships and his all-star teams to two straight district championships, all without stepping foot on a baseball field. We were ecstatic when he agreed to the interview.
Joe: So, Jeff, it says here that you’ve never actually stepped on a baseball field. How do you manage to do that?
Jeff: Yes, Joe, that’s correct. I do all my coaching from the stands. I find it a much more effective method.
Joe: So you just yell from the stands… are you on the coaching staff?
Jeff: Yup, that’s right. And not technically, but the coaches have expressed on multiple occasions how they’re just so grateful for my deep knowledge and experience in the game. I just love giving back what I’ve learned over the years.
Joe: That’s great. Where’d you play ball?
Jeff: I didn’t. By experience, I meant YouTube experience. I’ve pretty much watched and internalized every instructional video there is. I don’t think there’s anyone with a firmer grasp on the game as me.
Joe: If your knowledge is so deep, why don’t you volunteer to coach your kid’s team rather than yell from the stands? Don’t you think that could get distracting?
Jeff: Why volunteer when I can do just as good a job from this side of the fence? I wouldn’t want to add that kind of pressure on my boy. Plus I wouldn’t want to get in the way of the other coaches. I could see how some people might find it annoying, but I think most of the parents, and even opposing parents, enjoy learning from me.
Joe: Interesting. So what kind of instruction do you give?
Jeff: Pretty much everything, from calling pitches, giving baserunning signs, and directing the outfield. Sometimes I’ll even help the ump out when he blows a call.
Joe: What’s your son think of all this?
Jeff: Oh we don’t talk much. After games he’s usually so zoned in and focused on improving for the next game that he pretty much ignores me. Gotta love the intensity.
Joe: Yeah. Well, thanks for your time, Jeff.
Jeff: Anytime! Feel free to email me with any questions you might have. I’m here to help.