• She Broke My Heart With Just Five Little Words

    Posted by on April 30th, 2010 · Comments (9)

    I’ve mentioned recently that this the first year that my kids have played Little League. For my son, 6, it really hasn’t been an issue – since he’s playing T-Ball and he more than has the skills to handle that. But, for my daughter, 8, it’s been a bit of a challenge since she’s never done anything like this before and is playing against (and with) girls who have more experience and who are sometimes older.

    Actually, in terms of understanding the game, and its basic rules, my daughter is way ahead of my son. She knows the positions on the field and understands the concept of an inning, etc. She can watch a game and tell you who is winning, how many outs there are, etc.

    He’s just doing what he’s told on the field and hacking away at the plate – having fun, etc. – which is what T-Ball is all about, for the most part.

    My daughter is playing “Rookie Girls Softball” where the coaches do the pitching during the games. And, four games into her season, she’s still somewhat confused at the plate.

    So, today, before her practice with the team this evening, I decided to spend some time with her – breaking down her swing and addressing areas where she has room for improvement. Specifically, this is using a balanced and workable stance, having a proper grip, using a fluid and tension free swing, and ensuring lead-arm extension. If she could learn to master these four simple things, and use better selection on when to swing, it would make a great difference in her success and overall Little League experience.

    We talked about this for maybe ten minutes…taking some practice swings, indoors, to try and get some of this down for her before her practice…and…then…she said it.

    She looked at me and offered these five simple words: “O.K., can I go now?”

    Ouch. I’ve now become the dad who tortures his kid with baseball instruction. Talk about hitting a low point…

    Comments on She Broke My Heart With Just Five Little Words

    1. jrk
      April 30th, 2010 | 4:52 pm

      I thought they were going to be, “I don’t like playing baseball.”

    2. MJ Recanati
      April 30th, 2010 | 5:02 pm

      @ jrk:
      I thought so too.

    3. #15
      April 30th, 2010 | 5:33 pm

      She doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Tell her to put a sock in it, take a lap around the field, and get warmed up for the wind sprints. NOW!

      Okay… I’m back.

      Been there and done that Steve. Coached both of my girls teams for the better part of 9 years in total. The older one was a natural at it – hit, field, not afraid of the ball, etc… The younger one… well… she was only interested in the pink batting gloves and she, gulp, threw like a girl (despite expert instruction, I might add). But, I finally flipped the switch on for her too. I can’t say I thought this through and planned it, but at about age 7 1/2, after two years of her not getting it, she came out to watch me play in one of my men’s league hardball games. I raked a dinger, shrugged off a HBP, I had a late inning single to score the go ahead run, and we won a close, come-from-behind game (followed by some child-like high-fiving and back slapping among “kids” in their 40′s and 50′s). Changed her whole attitude toward it… I think, because she finally saw it could be fun. She never got as good as her older sister, but she wanted to play from that point forward.

      I guess the old saying is true… You never know who’s watching.

      Here’s a good one to scare the other parents. I ripped it off from the great Paul Blair. Teach the kids how to respond to this rhetorical question… “How do we spell fun???” “W-I-N”. The latte sippers in the crowd will spit steamed milk out of the noses, but the kids will love it… And some will never forget it.

    4. mondoas
      May 1st, 2010 | 9:34 am

      breaking down her swing and addressing areas where she has room for improvement. Specifically, this is using a balanced and workable stance, having a proper grip, using a fluid and tension free swing, and ensuring lead-arm extension.

      Love how you want your kids to play sports but please tell me you did not explain it to her that way? To some kids, maybe not yours, that sounds like a foreign language…QUE?

    5. May 1st, 2010 | 8:14 pm

      @ jrk:
      @ MJ Recanati:
      Luckily, she’s yet to say that – but, if she feels that way, I hope she would tell me!

    6. May 1st, 2010 | 8:16 pm

      @ mondoas:
      LOL. No worries – I was not using those terms. More so, it was a demo on what to do, and what not to do…which is easy, because she’s a lefty. So, she can stand next to me, looking at me, and follow along as a natural opposite.

    7. May 1st, 2010 | 8:20 pm

      @ #15:
      You know, it’s funny. Last week I did help out her team by catching BP for them. (Lots of swings and missed among them all.) But, it was great to be behind the plate again and having that back and forth toss with the pitcher (one of their coaches). It really got the fire burning. It’s been 20 years since I last played regularly. And, I was thinking “Hey, maybe I played in a men’s softball league now, and they came to watch me play, that would get them to pay attention some more?”

      Then again, unless they were watching my play thru a DS game, the odds are great that they could care less…

    8. Raf
      May 1st, 2010 | 9:40 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      It’s been 20 years since I last played regularly.

      Whoa… Why so long?

    9. May 2nd, 2010 | 8:32 am

      @ Raf:

      Life.

      I quit playing regularly when I was 27 because I wanted to free up my weekends to run around the Jersey Shore and have fun. Then, two years later, I got married. And, ten years after that, I had kids. And, here I am, 20 years later.

      But, for the record, from (about) 1998 through 2006, I was in no shape to play. (Too fat.) But, condition-wise, for the last four years, I’ve been more than good to go.

      Would just need to find a league for “old-timers” like me that plays EARLY on the weekends. Never found such a thing, at least locally.

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