I quit baseball in the middle of a double header in high school freshman year. All I wanted was to make the team. That was the time when you had to try out to actually make the team. Not like now where everyone gets to be part of the team regardless of talent. “You may not play, but you are still part of the team.”
I worked hard, literally prayed to God that I made that team and didn’t care if I even played. I just wanted to be part of the team. I had talent. Athletic, strong arm and a lefty.
I made it (told God please put me on the team and I would be happy regardless if I played), but it wasn’t enough. Once I was there, I was riding the bench.
I remember when the star player of the team told me to hold his glove when he went to bat. The wood from the bench warmed me in the sun at the time (I may have got a splinter), but I realized this was not good enough for me.
I am better, “when you lose respect it’s time to leave the table” and I quit.
I walked out in the middle of the doubleheader because I was so upset, I wasn’t playing and no one stopped me. My mother was there and let me walk out. I never met my father as he never was in my life (no sad stories and not looking for sympathy since I moved on, made me stronger today). It would have been nice to have some advice at that time though…Not anyone’s fault but my own.
By the way I heard I was going to start the second game of the double header that day.
REGRET THAT DECISION TO QUIT TO THIS DAY.
Sophomore year of High School I convinced my mom that I should play football. She was concerned I was too small (“I was”) to play was going to get hurt. Not like Lucas the movie (please do not tell me you never heard of this movie). I wasn’t big, but fast and loved the game and still do, but I was not in shape.
I remember how I made it through 9 days of 2-day practices, but couldn’t make it anymore. The hot sun, lots of water and feeling that I didn’t belong got to me…
I was playing defensive back and during practice the star tailback came running at me full force. I went for the tackle with everything I had (no fear), open field, dropped to my knees and I got leveled. It was a picture-perfect tackle (not). He went for the touchdown. I know, don’t drop to your knees and stay on your feet (heard it from the coaches).
I quit again, not because of my horrible mis-tackle, but I could not feel my legs. I was so sore I couldn’t move my legs from all the practices. Football is a tough sport.
To be honest, as much as I love football. I played football at the time to be cool and popular. It wasn’t the right choice for me playing, but I did miss an opportunity with baseball.
For the record, I never quit anything again in my life ever since.
I have more to say about being a parent of your children when in sports, but watch out. I work in a corporation. I have been in a corporate environment all my life. Coaches are not looking for feedback even if they ask for it. Unfortunately, talent is being wasted in my household because I didn’t follow the rules…
I provided feedback…
Did I tell you that being in a leadership role during most of your career that I have become pretty good at it. I was just trying to share my wisdom. When you are a leader you must lose your ego and let your team shine.
A lot of the sport’s coaches my children have been with have big egos, hence losing teams and players that do not have fun anymore. It’s too bad…
Being a parent of a high school athlete comes with its own set of challenges and responsibilities. Here are some tips to help you navigate this role effectively:
- Support their passion: Encourage your child’s interest in sports and show genuine enthusiasm for their athletic pursuits. Attend their games, matches, or competitions whenever possible, and be their biggest cheerleader.
- Balance academics and athletics: Help your child understand the importance of balancing their schoolwork with their sports commitments. Emphasize the value of education and time management to ensure they excel in both areas.
- Encourage self-discipline: Teach your child the importance of discipline, hard work, and dedication in sports. These qualities can translate to success in other aspects of life as well.
- Foster independence: Allow your child to take ownership of their athletic journey. Let them make decisions about their sport, such as which team to join or which position to play. This helps them develop independence and responsibility.
- Provide emotional support: High school athletes often face pressure, both from themselves and from others. Be there for your child emotionally, offering encouragement, understanding, and a listening ear when they need to talk about their experiences, struggles, or victories.
- Respect the coach-player relationship: Trust the coach’s expertise and authority when it comes to your child’s sports development. Avoid overstepping boundaries or undermining the coach’s decisions.
- Encourage a healthy lifestyle: Promote good nutrition, adequate rest, and injury prevention practices. Teach your child about the importance of maintaining their overall health and well-being.
- Teach sportsmanship and values: Emphasize the importance of good sportsmanship, teamwork, and respect for opponents, coaches, and officials. These values are crucial for success in sports and life.
- Manage expectations: While it’s natural to have high hopes for your child’s athletic success, avoid putting too much pressure on them to perform at a certain level. Focus on their effort and enjoyment of the sport rather than just the outcomes.
- Prepare for setbacks: Athletics can come with disappointments, injuries, and setbacks. Teach your child how to cope with these challenges, emphasizing resilience and perseverance.
- Plan for the future: Help your child explore opportunities for college athletics or other career paths if they have aspirations beyond high school sports. Ensure they have a well-rounded education and skills to succeed in life beyond athletics.
- Be a role model: Demonstrate the values and qualities you want your child to develop. Set a positive example through your own behavior, including how you handle wins, losses, and challenges.
Remember that every child is unique, and their needs and aspirations may vary. Communication is key, so maintain an open and supportive dialogue with your child to understand their goals and concerns as they navigate their high school athletic journey.
Maybe I have more to say but I am on a positive path right now (Okay let’s start with High School Hockey in the Mid-West)? There is a lot of opportunity for improvement. Next time…
I do not look at sports the same way I did when I was younger.