Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Piss and Moan, Piss and Moan

Baseball, Georgia heat (Are you kidding me? 95 degrees in September?) and Competitdads do not make for an enjoyable Saturday afternoon. Don't get me wrong...normally I really enjoy watching my boys play ball. But sometimes, other parents and coaches who are more interested in winning than teaching, can make it a real downer.

The league my boys play in has two seasons: Fall and Spring. Spring is the competitive season. There is a tournament, team rankings, player stats...the works. It is generally expected that Spring ball is played to win. And if you have a child that is not at a high skill level, you expect that your child will most likely be playing in the outfield a good portion of the time. If you choose to have your kids play Spring ball, you accept this and you teach your kids to accept it.

But Fall ball is about instruction. There is no tournament and teams are not officially ranked. It is generally expected that kids will be drilled in the basics and also get an opportunity to work on skills and play positions that they would not get to play in Spring ball.

And yet, some Coaches and some Dads insist on treating Fall ball, like Spring ball.

In the Spring, Husband coached Diminutive One's team. That combined with the fact that Diminutive One was the oldest on the team, having been in that league for three years due to a late birthday, made him one of the more competent players. He got lots of field time. But even in Spring, Husband made sure that all the kids got a chance to play infield at some point. Our team didn't have the greatest record...we were about 50/50. But every kid came away from the season feeling that they had contributed to the team.

Diminutive One finally moved to the next league this Fall. It is his very first season in kid pitch. It's the first season in kid pitch for a lot of kids. So it's an important season in terms of instruction and acclimation.

This is when the kids start learning to pitch. Diminutive One is really excited because his brother has been pitching since he was 8 or so. He idolizes his brother and so, wants to emulate him. He has some rudimentary skills from watching and playing with his brother, but he has had no formal instruction. Husband is pretty baseball savvy, but has not felt knowledgeable enough to teach anything beyong the very basics of pitching.

Some kids, having never faced a pitcher their own age before, and wary (rightfully so) of wild pitches, step out of the batter's box every single time. Some kids swing at picthes that are nowhere near the strike zone. Some kids don't swing at all.

There are new rules as well. Stealing bases is allowed now. Some kids steal indiscriminately. Some kids, even when told to run, won't, for fear of getting picked off. Some kids will run but can't stop watching the ball.

So there's a lot of new stuff. Which is why INSTRUCTION in Fall ball is really, really, really, really, really important for kids moving into a new league.

Husband is having work issues and didn't feel he could give a team the time and attention they need this season. It always makes me apprehensive when he doesn't coach, because we're at the mercy of chance when it comes to whom we actually get as Coach. We've had some doozies.

Husband was initially very optimistic about this new Coach, because it's clear he has a lot of experience and knowledge. Unfortunately, he also has a skewed perception of what Fall ball is for and a very healthy appreciation for the merits of nepotism. It was very clear to me from the very first practice, that there were certain kids that were going to get all his attention. His own kid of course, and those who had played Allstar ball over the summer.

Diminutive One played outfield the entire game, even though he is a good catcher, has a strong arm, an accurate throw, and knows how to field a ball properly. And the Coach's son pitched almost the entire game, despite walking batter after batter. I don't think Diminutive One has a snowball's chance in hell of getting near the pitcher's mound.

So I'm feeling kind of pissy about all of that. Husband has already talked to the Coach about it, and he will persist, if he feels that Diminutive One or any other kid for that matter, gets shortchanged. But I'm annoyed that it's even an issue. It shouldn't be.

On the other hand, life is not fair, and it's a disservice to our kids, I suppose, to cultivate that expectation.

But it still pisses me off.

We've been baseball parents for a long, long time. Both boys started at five, and Pre-Pubescent One has played quite a few summers of Allstar ball. We've seen the good, the bag, and ugly. I know that you have to accept the bad and the ugly when your kids play team sports.

I do think team Sports are an important part of character development for kids. So we press on. Some years are good, some years are bad. But, luckily, it never seems to affect their love of the game. I guess that most of the time, it bothers me more than it bothers them. Which is a good thing.

I sure hope there's a Major League Contract in the cards for one of them.

4 Comments:

  • At 8:48 PM, Blogger painted maypole said…

    or perhaps, at least, a scholarship?

    I am glad to not have to sit out on the ball fields. I am so not a soccer mom in that regard. ack. I can think of nothing more boring.

     
  • At 9:51 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    How sad that it becomes a source of stress instead of a source of joy. Baseball was the only time in my life that I felt close to my Dad.

     
  • At 9:58 PM, Blogger jen said…

    i recall Spring Coach being a real piece of work, too. Favoring his son? Dare I detect the obvious theme?

    YOU should coach.

     
  • At 12:14 PM, Blogger slouching mom said…

    Ah, yes. Jen's got it. You should coach.

    I hate immature grown-ups more than I can say.

     

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