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Coaching Little League for 10yr old with TS

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I am so grateful to have found this forum. I coach a Little League baseball team, and one of our players has TS. He is a wonderful player, and a very happy kid. Our players are not phased by his facial tics, however last night, for the first time we had a problem with verbal tics. He was repetitively saying "shut up!" He plays second base and is does well at that position however our short stop became very defensive, not understanding that the phrase wasn't aimed at him or why the child kept saying it. I am looking for advice from parents/coaches. At the start of the season we had no problem with verbal tics and his parents informed us he didn't have any. I believe these maybe new and early stages of the symptom (from resources I have read). I am basically looking for tips on how to make playing a great experience for him while easing some anxiety (or even the excitement) that increase his tics. I plan to speak with his parents as well, but I would love some input from other parents/coaches. Thank you in advance <3

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how nice that you want to help this way.


There are so many potential things that may be triggering the vocals!

Yes, excitement/anxiety etc can trigger more tics, but so can pesticides/fertilizers on the field, the bright lights of night play or even what he ate earlier, or any snacks or drinks during the game that may have either artificial additives, or things he is sensitive to...etc etc etc. Even seasonal allergies could be playing a part.


Coprolalia (which is what he may have been exhibiting) is one of the hardest vocal tics socially so hopefully this will pass quickly.

There is some benefit in having a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.


It would be great if his parents start learning about what can trigger tics for him as that would go a long way to helping.

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My ds10 also suffers from TS (may be Pandas - but that is a whole other forum!) but loves to play baseball and is good at it. He too has had some difficulties with other players usually on the opposite team. Up until this season he has played with a group of boys he has grown up with, all of whom just accept his "things he just does". One of his tics last year was a very pronounced sticking his tongue out whilst stretching his neck up so of course players on the opposition thought he was sticking his tongue out at them. He did this too when he was pitching. He went up to majors this year and started playing with a new group of boys and I was very worried how this would go but all the boys just seem to accept it. One thing that you could do is have him at 1st or 3rd base (depending on if you are home or away) so that you could intervene if there are comments from the opposition or even your players. You could ask the parents if it's ok to mention to your team that he has this condition and that he sometimes says things that may be deemed inappropriate. It's just a thing he does and he can't help it. I think at this age, kids (especially boys) will just accept it.


The excitement of the game is always a big tic inducer for my ds. His tics always ramp up at this time of year. Like chemer mentioned, it could also be seasonal allergies, something he ate etc - these are areas we are exploring and are beginning to see improvement in his symptoms. Perhaps you could forward details of this website to his parents. For me personally I cannot express enough gratitude for finding this site.


Thanks for being so aware and taking the time to help this child.

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You really seem like a great coach and to be so concerned is one in a million. My boy at that time took longer to get into the field bc had to have everything right. And then getting up to bat bc of axiety did not do well. My boy got better over the years. Sometimes tense boys have a bad year and I agree with chemar with all the things that could make it worse. These parents have to know and you seem very kind and understanding. If u bring it up in that manor hopefully they will understand. I have never met a coach that cares so much and remember this boy is trying his hardest. Good luck and hope everything turns out well.

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