Parenting/Summer Sports/Questions/Catharsis

  1. #1
    gchs_uk9's Avatar
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    Parenting/Summer Sports/Questions/Catharsis

    I'm going to post this because I just want to get it off my chest. I coached a coach pitch team this summer and we weren't very good. In fact, after winning our opener we lost our last ten games and then went out in the first round of the playoffs. Our league had seven teams and, as is typical in a small town, all of the coaches know each other and get along well.

    Once the season ended the league champion requested players for the 8-year old all star team. My team was full of 7-year olds and a couple of 9-year olds. The only 8-year olds were my son and another boy. My son is far from a great baseball player (he's much better at basketball) but loves to be part of the team and, in truth, did make a lot of progress this season. I nominated him for the all-star team in part to get experience playing against better players and to get to experience a few victories. Plus, it would allow him a chance to hear other coaching voices beyond his own father.

    Today was the first practice. While the kids were warming up the head coach met with all parents, discussed costs, the number of tournaments, etc. The cost wasn't prohibitive but the number of tournaments seemed to be too much for me. He said we would play six consecutive weekends, with pool play (typically three games) on Saturday and then bracket play on Sunday.

    I spoke with my wife after practice and before our evening church services. We discussed whether the commitment was too much. We discussed if the improvements he would make would be worth the time away from other things he loves. He'd have to give up lots of time at his grandparents' pool. He'd have to give up short trips with his dad and movies with his mom. And he'd have to miss church almost constantly for a month and a half.

    We decided it was too much. After church this evening I asked him if he was willing to give up all of the fun he has in the summer for baseball. I'll admit I might have slanted my questioning but he fairly quickly said he'd rather do the other stuff and give up the all-star team. I told him that was fine.

    Here's the final part: my 85-year old grandmother is in the nursing home with Alzheimer's and Hospice care was called in to begin treatment this weekend. She doesn't have a ton of time here on earth but she's okay with that and talks openly of wanting to see her sister in heaven. My son visits her once a week in the nursing home and the time together has been good for both of them.

    However, he has no idea how to process death and has never experienced the loss of anyone close beyond a couple of church members. When we discussed the all-star team tonight he broke down in tears, partially because of not joining the team but also because he's struggling with his great-grandmother's impending death. It was tough to deal with.

    So my question is, was taking him off the team the right thing to do? I know he would have liked (not necessarily loved) being part of the club, but I'd hate to think he was manning right field on some random ball field when his grandmother passed away. Our family is very close and I want to enjoy all of the time I can with him. Am I wrong in thinking that the best use of our time together, and with others, isn't wiling away countless weekends for the rest of the summer?
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    gchs_uk9's Avatar
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    Thanks for reading/commenting but you don't have to. I'm mostly just looking for an outlet to talk through a difficult conversation I had to have for the first time.

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    Jumper_Dad's Avatar
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    My son was 9/10 when we lost someone very close, my wife's brother and his only uncle. Kids are much more resilient than we give them credit for. Let him ask all the questions he has and answer honestly...he'll be fine.

    As far as the other goes, he will remember pool time at grandma's more that tourney ball 10 years from now.

    FWIW it sounds like you are doing a great job.

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    Pura Vida's Avatar
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    The right answer is in that parent manual......, that nobody seems to know where to find!!! lol

    I totally would have made the same decision as you and your wife.

    Hang in there on this parenting journey!!!

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    TheDeuce's Avatar
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    If you admittedly slanted the questions, it sounds like you made the decision for him. I don’t agree with that, but no one knows your kid like you do, and if that’s what you think is best, thats the right thing to do, for YOUR kid.

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    Ultimately, you have to do whatever you think is best for your kid. I can tell you, when my kids were at that age, I most likely would have stayed with baseball. That being said, if I had the same choice to make now, I’m not sure what I’d do. My oldest son played high level, travel baseball, and my youngest traveled all over wrestling. We often chose sports events over family events. As my boys got older though, they more often chose other things to do over sports when given the opportunity. But we still talk about and reflect on the many sports trips we made when they were younger. I will echo what was said earlier. Kids are way more resilient than we give them credit for.

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    gchs_uk9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDeuce View Post
    If you admittedly slanted the questions, it sounds like you made the decision for him. I don’t agree with that, but no one knows your kid like you do, and if that’s what you think is best, thats the right thing to do, for YOUR kid.
    Slanted was probably too strong of a word but that's the part I've struggled with.

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    bulldog77's Avatar
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    Right decision. Done the right way. He's 8, of course you ultimately have the responsibility to make that decision but giving him the opportunity to feel as though he helped "make" the decision is a great move. I've been involved in baseball at many levels for more than 50 years as player, coach, administrator, yada, yada, and I think the schedule you were given is too much for an 8 year-old. Learning to love the game doesn't mean living it 24/7 for every kid. Sometimes less is more.

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