Baseball Time!!

It’s that time of year again. Baseball time! And to get it kicked off, I wrote a story about our baseball experience this year over at Coach Daddy.

The title is “How the Army took Baseball from Us”, but allow me to add that it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. If Caleb had played on a team here, he would have had either a practice or a game every single night of the week! What!!!! I’ll do that for a kid who loves it. I won’t do it for a kid who doesn’t love it.

Here’s a snippet:

Okay. Now, first of all, the Army did not literally take baseball from us. And yet it did. We didn’t have to let it happen, but we’re tired people, and so we did.

 

See, we have four sons, between the ages of 11 and 3. It’s exhausting, but it’s adorable. It reminds me of when I was little and living in rural Alabama and our dog would have puppies. Those puppies were work, but they were so cute and cuddly it didn’t matter.

We have played tee-ball and baseball over the years, ever since they were each 4 or 5 years old…..

Click here to read what happened.

Oh!!! And heads up, y’all. I’m going to do a Facebook live un-boxing of the Daily Goodie Box I got in the mail today. I’m aiming to do it around 1:15 pm this afternoon, with my sidekick, John David.

Game Day Photos

game day photos

JD bonded with another dirt-loving two-and-a-half-year old at one of Daniel’s games. Don’t you love those moments when you come across another bird with your same feathers?

The vast majority of these photos were taken by our family photographer, Aunt Janet.  Thank you, yet again, Janet!!

Baseball season has been time-consuming but joyous this year. Joshua joined a team late in the season that was short on players because after seeing his brothers enjoy playing so much, he wanted in on this action too! That puts Joshua in the “Mustang” league, which is an exciting game to watch. At this level, the players get to pitch, get out in three strikes, and even steal bases.

Caleb and his buddy, Aiden, are having a ball in their league as well. Alan is their coach, and Caleb and Aiden have some mad serious baseball skills. In fact, we were so confident in these two that we let them also play for Joshua’s team last week, as their team needed a couple of back-ups, and Caleb and Aiden held their own. They may be the youngest players on the team, but you’d never know it. Both boys scored one point for Joshua’s team, and the funny part was that Caleb even struck out and still scored a run. How? Well, when the catcher dropped the ball, Caleb stole first base! I didn’t know you can do that either, but I saw it with my own eyes.

 

DSC_1131

Daniel is in a tee-ball league. I may not fully understand all the baseball rules, but by golly I’ve got tee-ball down pat, and so does Dan. I love to watch him catch the ball and throw it to first base. (See those cleats? Those were Joshua’s when he played tee-ball!)

 

DSC_1147

Nonna and Aunt Janet got to see Caleb and Daniel’s games.

danwithjanet

It was super cold!

DSC_1137DSC_1139DSC_1140DSC_1155DSC_1162DSC_1163DSC_1164DSC_1167DSC_1169

By the way, my nails have been quite the hit.

I may not play ball, but I do support it. 🙂

 

Okay. I just realized I had promised 17 Mile Drive and Seal Pups in this post. Next time! Really really!

 

4 Ways to Encourage a Love for Sports in Your Children

4 Ways to Encourage a Love for Sports in Your Children

4 ways to encourage a love for sports in your children

Daniel scoops up the ball for his tee-ball team.

Alan and I are such a funny pair.  People are always calling us “laid back” and fun, and sometimes, when they say that, I wonder, “Wow. Who else do they know because I think we are crazy high stress.”

And that’s just it. It depends on who you’re comparing us to. When we first started out as sports parents, we were just plain dumb about it. We’d over-coach our boys, worry about it when they didn’t want to play, and sign them up for sports they didn’t even like. We’d critique, and teach, and then wonder why our kids didn’t love it at first.

But over the years, we softened our approach. It made a huge difference. We went from having a son who said, “I just don’t want to ruin my own Saturday by signing up for baseball,” to having that same fella’ say, “Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays are my favorite days because that’s when we play baseball.”   All in one year!

 

 

4 ways to encourage a love for sports in your children

Alan is pretty much always the coach. Alan has a serious talent for it.

We’ve learned a few grossly important lessons in how to foster a love for sports. 

Rule #1. You should have ZERO EXPECTATIONS.

And I do mean zero, especially when your kiddo is playing for the first time, or even the first few years. Do not expect anything at all. They are only learning how to play.

That way you can be over-the-moon excited when they make any good plays or catches or anything whatsoever, which brings me to rule #2.

4 ways to encourage a love for sports in your children

Caleb, getting ready to run to first base

Rule #2: Every small victory is a BIG DEAL.

What you praise can depend on your child’s level too. For a newbie or a struggling athlete, dig deeper.

“Wow!!!  You were totally paying attention and watching everything. That was so good!”

“You almost caught that ball that one time. That was great! You are going to be catching it so soon!”

“You are the best batter ever!”

Work with whatever they do. Praise them. I’m always reading articles telling us not to praise kids for their accomplishments. Ludicrous. That’s a super way to end up with a kid who doesn’t want to even try anything because they never feel successful. Trust me. Alan and I have sucked the enthusiasm right out of our children like that in the past, but we are learning!!

Now we are just always so excited.

We’ve been praising Caleb all year long, during the off season of baseball.

“Wow! Caleb you can throw!!!  You have an arm. Yow! You gotta sign up for baseball this spring because, man, you are amazing.”

“Great catch!!  Shew!!  You have got to go back to playing baseball!”

And he did. He couldn’t wait to sign up, but he’s been practicing all winter, so he actually is pretty amazing. He tagged 2 or 3 different kids out as first basemen this past Saturday, and I couldn’t get over how far he has come. Yes, I know I’m his mom. I stand by my assessment. Amazing.

4 ways to encourage a love for sports in your children

Dan and his best baseball bud

 

Rule #3: Help them make friends, or help them sign up to be on the same team as their friends. Either way, having friends on the team way ups the fun factor.

We were all in on it this year. We’d see Caleb’s buddy outside and whisper in his ear, “Please sign up for baseball with Caleb. Y’all can be on the same team. You will love it. Tell your dad.”

4 ways to encourage a love for sports in your children

Occasionally do extra fun things to celebrate a good game or a new achievement.

 

And that brings me to our last rule.

Rule #4: When the game is over, your child doesn’t need your play-by-play critique of his or her game. All they need is “Great game! Did you have fun?” That’s it.

A few praises on what they did well that game won’t hurt either.

Most importantly, never despair if it appears your child has no athletic ability. They just need time to develop these skills. We’ve seen so much improvement with each individual season of basketball or whatever sport they try. It just takes time. They need us as their cheerleaders to keep trying and not give up.

And never compare your child to someone else’s. Just love your children for who they are. Who cares if their talent is in a different area than yours is? Keep up the praise. Maybe they will come around. In the mean time, please don’t sit on the sideline yelling instructions out to your five-year-old. It’s just wrong, and it’s a perfect way to kill any love that they may ever have for the game.

Just stick with the praise.

Great job reading!!!  😉 (Kidding, but you get the idea.)

4 ways to encourage a love for sports in your children

Action shot!

See you at the ball field!

 

 

 

1 2 3 4