Saturday, February 3, 2007

It IS Just A Game!

My son, Ten, likes to participate in various sports. He enjoys soccer, basketball and baseball. As a result the year is filled with his active participation in one sport or another. Both my hubby and I are happy that Ten likes to be active (that is when he isn't hogging one of the computers) lol. My darling hubby really likes baseball the best, and through his enthusiasm for the game he has, I think somewhat unconsciously, steered Ten to have baseball be his favorite sport as well.

Well, a few weeks ago they had "try-outs" for baseball. (Can you believe try-outs for little league???????). Out where we live there are two divisions for each level of little league. There is the "A" division which is highly competitive, with stressed out coaches as well as extraordinary pressure placed on the boys to play well. Then there is the "B" division which is still competitive, but on a lesser scale. In the "B" division, the ability level of the boys range from very skilled to never played baseball before. The coaches, while still somewhat competitive are far more "relaxed" than the "A" division coaches and there isn't as much pressure put on the boys if they are in a batting slump, or if they make a mistake.

Now out where we live, although I guess it's probably true in other places as well, there is a competition among the parents for the bragging rights to say "My son plays in the "A" division! Why these moms and dads feel it matters which division their son plays in is beyond me. I figure that the most important thing about playing baseball is that I want my son to have fun playing the game. Sure he needs to practice good sportsmanship and be a team player, and I would always want him to play to the best of his ability, but I let him know that the world doesn't end when he's in the middle of a "batting slump" or if he misses a pop fly or grounder. In "A" the coach would be all over him, as would his teammates. In "B" the coach might be frustrated, but he/she wouldn't necessarily take it out on the boys.

During my son's tryout, my hubby told me that Ten hit the balls way out into the outfield, he pitched 2 strikes and 1 ball, he caught the pop flies, but missed the two grounders. My husband was upset that this would mean that Ten would not be drafted into the "A" division. Now, please understand, if through the tryout procedure Ten qualifies for "A" division, I would deal with that (I wouldn't be too happy because I think that there is an unreasonable amount of pressure placed on these young boys), and conversly, if he qualifies for the "B" division, I would be O.K. with that too. My hubby, on the other hand, feels that our son is a good player, and wants our son to be in "A". (big surprise). Hubby feels that Ten would play up to the level of the other boys, and improve his game. Ten is completely oblivious to all of this.

The reality is that it is out of our hands. The only decisions within our power are: 1) whether or not Ten plays baseball and 2) if he is drafted into the "A" division, whether or not we will let him play there. I have tried to explain to my hubby that I strongly believe that things, whether they seem good or bad at the time, happen for a reason. We may not know what the reason is at the time, but eventually it will be revealed to us. I am trying to impress upon my hubby that if Ten belongs in "A" he'll be drafted onto an "A" team, and if the competition and pressure are not what Ten needs in his life right now, then he'll be drafted onto a "B" team. As a parent, it will be my responsibility to be sure that Ten is enjoying himself. Whether he is drafted in the "A" division or the "B" division, he'll get to play baseball, improve his skills , and hopefully have fun along the way... after all... it IS just a game!


meno said...

The competition among parents just never ends. People i know are always telling me their children's grades. I just say, "that's great," and don't chime in. I am sick of it.

Hope he has fun.

Joan said...

I just don't understand "Little League parents". If they are soooo interested in competition, why don't THEY join one of the adult sports leagues that are surely available in their area and find out what it's like to have people yelling at them from the sidelines!

Renee said...

yup...Ten will be on the team he is supposed to be on...

just like everything will work itself out for me too. The first situation did work itself out very well... we found a bunch of money I didn't see. YAY.
the other two should work out as well...I just have to be patient, which unfortunately isn't one of my qualities. hee hee

sari said...

It starts even earlier than ten, for sure.

We're thinking of letting Eight stay in the "fun" league and not even play little league this year.

It's kind of like with teachers for the year, at our school, you can request a teacher. I try not to because I don't know it all and what if I choose someone and someone else would have been better for my child? You have to let the chips fall where they may unless you KNOW something for sure.

Lynn said...

Meno: Same goes for me...when people tell me what genius's their children are (it's amazing how many "highly gifted" children live in my neighborhood)..I just smile at them and keep my mouth shut.

Joan: You're right...these parents should be put in the same pressure filled situation their kids are in...let's see how they like all the coaching from the sidelines!

Renee: Glad things are looking up for you...Patience isn't one of my strong points either!

Sari: I agree...this competitiveness starts waaaaay earlier :~( As far as parents feeling that they know which teacher to request for their child...I have found that parents tend to request the teachers that would work best for THEM.

patches said...

Good luck to ten, may things work out for the best. Missus Chica doesn't have any kids of her own, but she tries to support her nephews and niece in all their extra-curricular activities....whether she really likes them or not. Pro-character building ; )

Lynn said...
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Lynn said...

Patches - I am sure that Missus Chicca's nieces and nephews appreciate her support. Ten loves it when people come to watch him.