Local baseball coach worries COVID-19 is causing players to act out, lose focus

A longtime local baseball coach says kids have certainly changed during this pandemic – but not in a good way. 

“Our focus was on, 'Keep everybody safe, keep everybody healthy,' and then suddenly one day you start to see wait a minute these kids are acting differently overall,” said Jim Price of Bash Sports Academy

This is the fifteenth summer Price has held baseball camps at Wells Park on the North Side through Bash Sports Academy.

“We’re not making major leaguers, we’re making better people,” said Price. 

But this summer, Price said he noticed even returning players were acting different - acting out, losing focus and getting angry.

“Anger is a big one. Kids are getting angrier more easily, more quickly, They’re staying angry longer than they used to,” said Price

Dr. Michelle Cutler, a child psychologist, says the changes are not surprising with kids missing out on their social connections due to the pandemic

“When kids haven’t been in school to do this, we would expect that they’re going to need a little bit more help and guidance from us as adults to remind them how things are supposed to go, right?” said Cutler.

Cutler says kids can relearn social skills, but with in-person learning up in the air, it's crucial for kids to have some interactions with friends, safely.

“We know those things can biologically affect the chemistry in the brain, help their mood and help their functioning so absolutely we should be working with them to facilitate opportunities to be with other kids,” said Cutler.

Price ended up sending an email to his baseball parents about his observations. 

“I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback and of course every email starts with “Is it my kid?” said Price.

Price is hoping a heads up can help us all face this COVID-19 curveball.