So, it’s February.
In the past this has just been “The birthday month” for my family.
My youngest baby Lucy had her first birthday on the 14th. My middle child Molly turned 6 on the 17th, and my wife actually has her birthday on the 17th also – I won’t tell you how old she is 🙂
So normally we just spend February celebrating these beautiful ladies:
And while we’ve still been partying even more than usual this year with the addition of the baby, Can you guess what our main focus this month has been?
Yep, February is no longer reserved for just major league pitchers and catchers but also for loose-toothed 7 year olds like my boy Mason.
We have done the rec league thing for several years and that has been great. So back in November we found out the league was having tryouts for the 7U “Elite” team.
I was surprised they had a league for 7 year olds. I mean, they don’t even face live pitchers around here (Texas) until age 9.
We were a little unsure whether we should take a step up at this point. I’ve heard travel baseball is…a lot.
Having played in the minors I always knew we’d try baseball but I never wanted to push the game on him.
If he went at it a few years and decided he didn’t want to play anymore I’d be okay with that (ok, this probably isn’t true. I most definitely would not be ok, but I like to think I’d pretend like I’m ok).
So we asked Mason what he wanted to do.
Not surprisingly, he said yes he wanted to try out. He then asked questions like “So will Beltre be on my team?” and we realized he was totally unqualified to make this call.
But we had some good friends who were going to try out and we’re like, “Alright then, lets do it.”
Anyway, he went out for the team and boom, he got picked! Seeing how proud he was of himself validated that we made the right choice.
…the practice schedule was released.
Here’s the conversation between me and my wife:
Me: Did you see the email about the practice schedule?
Amy: Yeah I did. Monday’s and Wednesday’s at 6.
Me: Sunday too. 2:30.
Amy: What? Three practices a week? When are the games?
Me: Well, probably on days we don’t practice I guess.
Amy: What are they, the Rangers?
…and then we wrote a check for $400 for uniforms and gear (I’m helping coach so part of that was stuff for me. But still!).
Suddenly we were like, wait, we signed up for what?
So we’re in the middle of our second week of practice and it has been fun so far. A 7 year old can accumulate a LOT of rust when being away from baseball for a few months, so we’re working out some kinks right now.
Mason isn’t the most natural athlete, so seeing him up against some of the kids on his team – who you’d swear were 9-10 years old – makes the insecure Dad in me want to get REAL impatient with him.
(For instance a couple days ago at practice he wouldn’t turn his glove over for backhand ground balls. He would just try the awkward scoop across his body. I got on to him – “What are you doing?? Turn your glove over, come on!” Wanna know how many times I’ve worked on backhands with him in his life? Zero.)
So, I *really* need to be aware of my attitude towards him this year. We’ll put in the work to get better but I need to remember that there is no scholarship or contract awarded at the end of the season. Be patient, have fun, get better.
Be patient, have fun, get better.
Be patient, have fun, get better. (I may need to write this on my wall somewhere!)
So I need your help. I’m not sure exactly what’s ahead of us so I’d like to hear from you. Any advice for a parent or player just starting out?
Please share, I REALLY want to hear from you. Email me at [email protected]
We have four practice games this weekend…so here we go!
p.s. Fun note: I sold my building material business so I will now be back to coaching and teaching baseball full time. I’ll be sharing the wisdom’s from baseball books, current and former players/coaches, parents, you name it here on this site and on other social media platforms – not sure which ones you guys enjoy most so we’ve created a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page, so I’d appreciate a follow! I’m planning on sharing my journey with my son this coming season as well, hopefully you can find some value there!