This morning Rabbit asked me if we could go to the batting cages tonight. And on Thursday. We also have practice Wednesday and Friday. And an All-Stars meeting tonight. Tournaments Saturday and Sunday. This is starting to get silly.
In order to help maintain some form of balance my wife and I have decided to try out a "get out of jail free" card for practices. Once per month, for any reason at all, on 2 hours notice Rabbit can excuse himself from a practice. While I do not expect he will use it, I want him to know that this is fun activity, and not a full time job, previous paragraph not withstanding.
I came a cross an interesting letter from Little League headquarters. While I appreciate the sentiment, I have several problems with their position. Every Little League activity is pointed towards a tournament. Every game counts. Every trophy matters. While I whole heartedly endorse pitch counts and safety measures it is ridiculous to say that "Travel Ball" ignores those issues. I especially find this sentence noteworthy:
In reality though, those who support travel ball are in many cases fulfilling a self-serving goal by seeking out a “higher level of competition” for the expressed purpose of supposedly increasing their child’s chances of landing a major college scholarship, or professional contract.
That is absolutely correct that I want my son to play with a higher level of competition. I want him to fight for every opportunity. That is how he gets better at something he loves. Do I honestly believe that he will play baseball professionally? Not for a second. I just hope he plays baseball so long as it is fun. There are parents with $ in their eyes at these tournaments, but not more than I see in the stands of any Little League game. After managing for the last several years I have lost count of how many times I get spoken to by parents who know their child has the "something special" and that I am directly stunting their development.
I have yet to meet a 9 or 10 year old who is playing in the Major Leagues. Think about what you wanted to be when you were 10. By the time I was 14 I had my entire life and career planned out. Not a single aspect of my life today is how I envisioned it back then. And that is a good thing.
My hope for my son is that he develops discipline, camaraderie, problem solving skills and teamwork from his baseball "career." Everything else is gravy.