Harrison had his second game this weekend. He played real well and they won the game. (Harris made one run.)
Let me tell you a little about how this season has been playing out so far. See… the first time he held a mitt was last fall. He LOVED playing baseball and had an excellent coach and a wonderful team of parents behind their kids. He played in the 7-8 age group (being eight) and we even had some 6 year olds on the team. He was by far the biggest kid on the team and was one of the better players – only because he was older and more serious, not because he really knew what he was doing. But he loved it and looked forward to learning more skills each practice. He loved it so much he didn’t even know they kept a score until half-way through the season! Even then he didn’t care. He just loved to play the game.
Well, that was Fall Ball. Now we are into the serious Spring Ball season and things are VERY different! He had to move up to the 9-10 team (being as he turned 9 the day before the season started) and these little dudes on his team are GOOD players! Harris is one of the youngest on the team and the LEAST experienced. He is like the goldfish in the tank with sharks! If they weren’t all on the same team – they’d eat’em up! They don’t see this as “just a game” and they aim to WIN, WIN, WIN. That environment would scare the heck out of me! Very intimidating to say the least. But it’s life – right? And since he made the commitment to be on a team, I wouldn’t let him quit just because he didn’t like it any more, or because it was hard. You make a commitment – you’re in for the long haul – that’s the way I was raised and that’s the way I aim to raise my boys.
“So… like it or not… you’re in until May 15.”
One good thing about this year is that his best buddy Tucker is on the team with him. Tuck isn’t one of the best players either, but he has had a little more time with the game AND his dad used to be a professional player so he has lots of personal coaching at home! And as much as I thought Harris would LOVE playing with Tucker – he just hasn’t LOVED playing baseball like he did in the fall.
In fact, he told me that he hates it 100%. 😦
One night on the way to practice a couple of weeks ago, I challenged him to find something good or positive about practice that he could focus on. His response was, “Well, I’m not taking that challenge.”
Of course I asked the little man why! He said, “Because, If I tell you I like something about it you’ll sign me up for it again next year.” (Insightful!)
So, I proceed to tell him that even if he LOVES baseball again – there is no way I’m going to go through all this angst again next year. “NO WAY are you playing next season… I don’t care how many positive things you find in your practice tonight! So rest easy and enjoy yourself. You won’t be playing again if I have anything to say about it. In fact… you will have to BEG me… get down on your knees and beeeeeeg me to play another season. EVER.”
He was real quiet for a while, and then he said a quiet “really?”
THAT got him think’en!!
After practice, he hadn’t been in the car long and, seeing that he seemed more “chipper” than usual, I asked him if he enjoyed practice a little more tonight. He said, “Yea, it was pretty good.” Of course I have to razz him a bit about that… tickle and poke him some! He turns to me and very seriously said, “Mom, don’t get too excited, I only like it 1%.”
I just about died laughing – inside of course – because that meant that he had advanced his “tude” 101%!!!!
Ever since then he has not fussed about going to practice. He may pray out loud for rain, but no bad attitude or back talking me.
A much happier mama has emerged as well!
Then, after his first game last Tuesday, while we were walking to the car, (It was a great game and he scored run!) I asked him how his percentage was doing now. Casually he said, “Oh… it’s at about a 30.” I did the happy dance. (in my head of course!!)
Then, yesterday, after his second game (where they won 12-1 and he scored one again – sliding into home base! His favorite thing of all!) I asked him how he was doing with his percentage and he answered a confidant 40%. I flipped out (not in my head) and he said “No… wait… maybe it’s only a 35.” I tussled around with him and laughing he said, “I was just kidding mom – it really is 40%.”
That’s a 140% improvement!!!!!!!
Wait. He’s not ever playing again after this season. 😦 Crap. That reverse phycology thing really works!
Hey, I’m good either way. Baseball may not be his forever passion – and that’s fine. If it’s not we’ll continue to look for it somewhere else. I’m okay with that. I do love the whole baseball thing… but Spring Season really is a LOT different from the more casual Fall Ball season. I think he just wants to “play” baseball. Not play the “killer” kind of ball that his teammates aim for. I get that. And if he really DOES want to play again next season? Well, he’ll have to get on his knees… and beg!
Here are some pictures from this weekends game:
mentally practicing his moves while waiting for our field to open up.
With his buddy Tucker, waiting for the field.
A short nap – while waiting…
But finally the other game finished and we were able to start ours.
A little warm up time.
Let’s Play Ball!
These guys are ready! Can’t you see their excitement?
Getting a little advice from the coach before getting in the batters box.
“Ball Four!” Good eye Harris.
Stole Second Base.
Got on third, and…
…ready for home!
That’s his “game face”! (actually, he has the sniffles!)
Here he comes!!
Let’s look at that again.
Whooohooo! Harry scores!
(He just LOVES to slide!)
He was on the bench most of the game, but he did get some time in right field.
Oh, the joy of victory!