I Hate Youth Baseball And Other Musings


There I said it. I hate youth baseball. It’s supposed to be fun, and I’m sure for some parents it is. For me, it’s hell. My kid isn’t good. He tries. He practices. He wants to be good. He actually hits really well at the batting cage and in lessons, but he gets up to bat and loses it.

Tonight we played his rival team. I call them his rival team because their coach used to be our assistant coach, and he used to be a very good friend of my husband’s. He’s not an awful guy, but he clearly thinks my kid has zero talent and preferred him being on the bench, even when his own two kids were not exactly stellar.

My son has a hard time letting go of that, and the chip on his shoulder couple with this guy’s twins making fun of my son made this game an important one. We beat them last week 11-5, but tonight there was also a middle school band concert. We were down two good players, and they were missing quite a few weak players. It changed the dynamic of the game.

That all being said, my son blew it in the last inning. He had the chance to catch two pop flies (look at me with the baseball lingo) and he missed both of them. I immediately saw the heartbreak on his face. I knew for him, that was the biggest failure he could have.

Needless to say he came home devastated. I didn’t try to talk to him at the field because I thought he needed a little space, but when he came home I hugged him and he hugged me back and started crying. That’s not something he’d normally do, but I knew he was crushed. I knew all he saw ahead of him was torment torment tomorrow at school, and worst of all I knew he felt he let his whole team down.

I could explain to him all day things that other kids did that added to the loss (and there were quite a few) but we lost by one point. It was a good, solid game. But my son is heartbroken and I can’t fix it.

I hate this part of parenting. I know I’ve written about it before. My son is a kid who really wants to have this great natural athletic ability, but just hasn’t found his way. The only thing he does exceptionally well at is golf. Of course I intend to encourage him with that, but I also don’t want to make him feel like he should give up on baseball.

It’s a fine line. I don’t want to set him up for failure. I want to teach him he needs to work hard if he has a goal, but watching him fail over and over is killing me.

Now next week I’ll miss his game due to my daughter’s chorus concert. Just my luck the kid will have the game of his life and I’ll miss it, but all I want is for him to have his one shining moment. Is that too much to ask? He’s not going to be the star and that’s okay. I do think he can be a solid player, though, if he can work through the internal stuff he has going on when he gets up to bat.

Of course I’m mom, and I’m talking psychobabble. What do I know? I know that watching your kid hurt sucks. That’s all!


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