Sunday, March 26, 2006

Tryout Update

Feeling a bit duntish today, but wanted to jot down a quick update on my son’s tryout..

First, my son had his Little League tryout yesterday. I think we were both a little nervous as we went to the field at 7:30am yesterday to give him a little warm-up for the tryout. Since it was only about 38 degrees outside, he needed it, plus I wanted to get him some swings in before going to the tryout.

It was pretty ugly. He did great catching his pop-ups and ground balls, but his hitting was terrible. He has been going to the indoor hitting clinic for the last month and has been doing great so when he was absolutely NOTHING in the morning, he was getting upset and frustrated. That made me get frustrated with him and the clash of attitudes was on. I knew he was much better than that so I kept trying to encourage him, but he just kept saying how bad he was going to do. That just got me mad, snowball, etc…

Have you seen that commercial for Nike or Reebok where the football coach is talking in the background about being a winner? The commercial shows a football team going through a practice and at the end the coach says, “The man who thinks he can, and the man who thinks he can’t are both right. Which one are you son? Which one are you?” I love that commercial, and made sure my son watched it while he was playing football this past fall for the first time. Anyway, as we were leaving the practice field to go to the tryout field, I reminded him out it, and told him to have a positive attitude.

Regardless, I was nervous that he wouldn’t do well after the morning that we had. We got to the field and got his number, which put him in the third group for the tryout. That meant we had to wait in the windy, upper 30’s temps for about an hour or more. He ran off with his friends and stayed warm while I huddles with some of the other parents and bitched about the weather. Typical New Englander crap by the end of March.

Anyway, his group was finally called and he had the first number of the group so that meant he would take his pop-ups, grounders and hit first as they went through the tryout.

My wife had showed up by then with my 2 younger sons and we held our breath as he caught each of the 3 pop-ups that they hit to him and made pretty good throws in to 2nd. Phew. Next were the grounders. He fielded each of the three hit to him, but his throws were a little short. They had the kids pretty deep at short fielding the grounders so no biggy. Again, he looked fine. Better than most in his group.

The last part of the tryout was the batting. The way they do the hitting is 5 swings, then dig it out to first, regardless if they hit it on the 5th one. The first pitch came in and he wiffed at it. I saw that the coach was really throwing it in softly and I wanted to yell out to him to make sure to wait on it, but I resisted the urge, not wanted to be that tool parent. Just let the kid do it himself, he’ll be fine.

Glad I resisted too because the next 2 he cracked up the middle and into the outfield. It was great! The fourth one he fouled hard down the first base line, then the last one, hit another nice one to the outfield. I swear, he hadn’t hit 4 that hard the whole half hour we practiced in the morning. It was great. He best part was when, after he hit the second pitch, he actually looked over to where we were to make sure we saw it. It is so funny when they are at the age where they can do so much on their own, yet they still really want to make you proud.

I was very proud of him. Like I told my wife, I was glad that he showed them what he could do. Even if he doesn’t make it, it doesn’t matter. He did the best he could, and that was all that mattered. He felt good about himself, did as well as he could have, and knew how proud of him we were.

Now, all we have to do is wait and see if he gets picked. The draft is this Thursday, so we’ll see. We should know by April 3rd they said. Either way, I think he will feel good about it. I think he has a great chance, since one of the coaches asked me after if his football coach was already taking him (his football coach loves him and is also coaching one of the teams here) or if he was “up for grabs”. Sounds pretty good.


At 9:52 PM, Blogger GaryC said...

Tell the boy how proud you are of him, sounds like he will be starting for someone this spring. Is it July before you get spring weather up there?

Congrats on the good tryout.


At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having coached baseball for 10 years, I speak from experiance. The best thing for parents to do at that age is not worry about statistics,wins or loses. Between allstar teams and my regualr teams, I coached over 1000 young men and only about 10% went on to play high school ball. Only 3 went on to play college. I gave sound baseball instructions but I also did grade checks, and even though our athelitc association bylaws didnt permit it, I would sit players with poor grades. As a result the statistic that I am most proud of was that to my knowledge all my players except 1 graduated high school. A large % went to college.

It also troubles me that (here in the south) baseball is now year around. There is no time for a kid to be a kid. Most kids in this area are sick of baseball when they get to high school.

You did the right thing by resisting the urge to yell instrustuctions, when the day is through it is just a game.


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