Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Another Little League Season Come and Gone

All "off season" I tried to explain to the Little Boy that his baseball skills were pretty refined, most particularly, his fielding. He's an excellent fielder and has terrific eye/hand coordination.

I tried to explain to him that he was at the stage where he needed to focus more on developing his weaknesses. In his instance his weakness was hitting and by extension, his power (or lack thereof in his case). Athletically, lack of power is both my kids weakness. I explain to them that it isn't their fault - it's mine. These things are genetic. If the Little Girl were 15% stronger, it would be scary what she would do in a pool.

The Little Boy basically disregarded my advice and did little to improve his strength, though in fairness, the swimming probably counted for a little.

And so flash forward to  last night in the fourth inning with him at bat, the bases loaded and his team down by one. The moment he's been waiting for. He got up and - popped up to the first baseman. His team later lost 6-3 (after starting the game 3-0!), thus concluding their season. And I couldn't get "mad" - the theme this season relating to his hitting has been to make contact and that he did.

At home later that night, I gently tried to tell him that it would have been interesting to have seen what would have happened if he heeded my advice. Maybe that pop out would have had 1% more power and gone past the first baseman for a single, driving in two critical runs. I tried to explain to him that sometimes athletes train for a lifetime for one brief moment in time. I wasn't trying to make him feel bad (at all) but pointing out what I felt could have been an important life lesson. I wish this story ended with a positive affirmation but it fell on deaf ears. He blamed it on the bat.

Actually, all wasn't lost. The Little Girl was listening from afar and started doing push ups. That wasn't exactly my point, but good to know someone is paying attention.


Anonymous said...

hahaha. this is great.

Here's some advice for you that might fall on deaf ears as well: let the 11 year old kid enjoy without too much pressure. Next thing you know he's going to swing and miss and look at you to see what face you are making in the stands.

Don't get me wrong, I KNOW you are one of the most supportive parents when it comes to your kids and their sports. Please don't take my comments as a critique of your overarching philosophy.

That being said, as a first time softball coach, it is truly interesting to see how the kids play differently based on how their parents encourage, or put pressure, on them individually.

Now, 11 is getting close to the time when you need to start pushing, so I just might be eating my words in five years, but my inclination is that once the moment is gone, don't look back too hard.

anyhow, props to my boy Zev.

Michael said...


I agree with you to a degree but I'll add, fwiw, that little Z could improve his strength dramatically by doing pushups three days/week. I urged him to do so as well as I do my daughter Dylan, who doesn't heed the advice either.


Anonymous said...

It's amazing that no matter how much we resist, we all eventually become our parents. Imagine how you would have have felt if your dad was prodding you to do push-ups when you were 11!? I'm guilty of the same thing. All we're trying to do is help our kids, and all they want is for us to let them be. The cycle continues.