Our introduction to organized sports began here when RJ joined his first baseball team. We’ve been full steam ahead every since. We typically play baseball in the spring, and he chooses to play soccer in the fall. This year he decided on baseball again this fall. My motto of one team, one sport each season fell through and now he’s also playing on a travel ball team for the first time. Two baseball teams which have our weeknights and several weekends on lock down.
The first of about 3 or 4 travel ball tournaments was last weekend. This team will only travel to tourneys 30 mins or so away. The kids on his team are 5 & 6 year olds. However, all the other teams we play have kids who are 7, 8 an almost 9. The coach let us know up front we probably would not win any of the games. A year or two age difference make a huge difference on the field. The objective this year is to get the kids use to playing together and expose them to a higher level of play. That’s great in theory for adults, but not easy to relay to kids.
The coach knew what he was talking about. We played four games last weekend, 2 Saturday and 2 Sunday and loss them all. BIG TIME! The balance of exposing the kids to the higher level of play and not totally crushing their spirits is a delicate one. There were tears, frustration and anger from my kid.
Side note: I’ve never been more exhausted from literally doing nothing than I was last weekend. Once we got home and I sat down, I could not will my body to move without taking a nap first.
There is an episode of blackish where Miles is great at basketball until he joins a team at the next level. He then discovers he was great at the level where he was, but needs LOTS of work in the new league. Well, that’s RJ. He’s great in his rec league. His team last spring went undefeated and won the championship. His fall team has one more game, but right now they are undefeated and clinched the championship last night. With all of this winning, my child is not a graceful loser.
I’m a dugout mom on his rec team. The mom’s just watch from the stands and the dads handle the kids on the travel team. It’s tough for me to watch his frustrations from afar. Plus, I get too nervous to just sit and watch. So, I would go over to the dugout every now and then to offer encouragement and Skittles. He appreciated the candy more than my pep talk.
Despite the results of the games, I have a feeling that travel ball is here to stay for us. I’m preparing myself now by stocking up on Skittles, a few encouraging words and coffee so can survive it all.
Does your kid play a sport? Has he or she ever played on a travel team?