|Play in Dirt...I mean Coach Pitch Season|
My husband and I were both athletic growing up. My husband was in karate for a very short time, basketball, hockey, football and baseball . I was in basketball, soccer, gymnastics, field hockey, and softball . So we always planned on getting our girls into sports. We started 2 years ago by putting Boo into an organized swimming class. She has been swimming since the age of 2 ½ or 3 and so is very comfortable around water. We knew it would be a great match for her and it was. She quickly moved up the classes into the "invite only" group. So this year we figured after swimming (which we always stop lessons in May since Nonni has her pool) we would try something new. So my husband signed her up for Coach Pitch Ball. I was concerned she would be really far behind because she was never a part of T-Ball. I was worried that all the other kids would be leaps and bounds a head of her but internally I was excited. I was excited to watch my daughter play the one sport I loved more than anything. I had visions of her being a natural and having my strong and accurate arm while having my husbands batting skills and surprising us all. But more than anything I had visions of her loving the sport as much as I did and wanting to learn all about it.
Well.....none of that is the case. First of all she tells us she hates it. She doesn't like having to get dressed to go and then stand around for it to be her turn and although she does have a strong arm and a very nice swing she is not a natural. For the first few practices she thought the purpose of throwing the ball around was to throw it as hard as she could so the other person couldn't catch it. So she would throw it over their head and to the side of them and then get excited when they didn't catch it. We corrected that situation just in time to discuss why she shouldn't stand on the bases even though the coach said "it was her base." For a short time she would run with the base runner every time the coach yelled "run" because she thought he meant everyone and because she was bored standing around. She is scared the ball will hurt her, she gets frustrated when she can't hit the ball, and she finds the dirt more fun to play with than anything else. So this would make anyone think she is far behind everyone else who must have gotten these things out of their system in T-Ball...right? NO. She is 100% at the same playing level as everyone else on her team. Their are only 2 kids who really understand what to do and the rest of them sit on the bases, play in the dirt, stand facing the other direction because it's more fascinating to see the cars drive by, stare up in the sky because they want to see the red tailed hawks or airplanes that fly by, or put their baseball gloves over their face and pretend to be some kind of monster or something. These moments initially frustrated me because I really wanted Boo to love the sport but then I quickly realized she's only 6 and the truth is baseball is a boring game when your that tiny (her age group is 6-7) and have to stand around or constantly wait your turn. I have seen improvements. She can now hit off the machine and her hits are pretty good. She has no field skills but that will come in time. I guess I loved it so much because I was 9 the first time I played. I was ready and eager to learn the game and maybe one day she will be too.
I have come to grips with the fact that she may never like the sport. My mom put me in basketball because she loved watching the NBA. I hated basketball. I was always short (which is why I was a gymnast) and I was never good at basketball. So I have to prepare myself that Boo may never like softball. Her sport may be swimming. She is already very good at it and she loves being in the pool. Next year she will be old enough for competition and we'll see if that's something she wants to pursue. I still have Baby Bird. Maybe she'll be my softball lover or maybe she'll be into soccer. She is skilled at running with a ball and she may find that her sport. The truth is I'll be happy if my girls enjoy any sport because I believe sports promote self-esteem, provide a healthy body, and motivate athletes to do better and be better.