It’s funny. One theme that DID not come up in my Slice of Life challenge with Two Writing Teachers as a topic last month was youth baseball, which has been a consistent topic to write about over the last few years as I help one or more of my sons’ Little League baseball teams, and all that begins in March. I usually write about the evaluation day, and then the team lottery, and more. But this year, I got sidetracked with other topics.
Last night, our team came together for the very first practice of the year. It was a chilly but mostly sunny evening, and after introductions and a little team history (we were the “the little team that could” last year when a mediocre regular season turned into one of those magical runs in the playoffs that landed us in the championship game that went into an unprecedented extra innings — we finally lost, but what a game!).
It’s too early say how this team will come together this season but the older kids (including my son) are anxious to get things going (he and I have been throwing a ball around for weeks now) and already began to emerge last night as leaders with the younger kids, who are nervous about moving up to this level with faster pitching and quicker bats. We spent much of the night allowing them all a chance to bat, and hit, and have fun.
Our head coach gave out a clear message: “We’re going to work on skills so you can improve your game but we’re going to have fun. And if you feel like we’re not having fun, you need to let me know so us coaches can make some changes.” And he is serious. Serious about fun. We’ll see how it goes. All I know is that the crack of the bats and the pounding of the ball in the gloves is as much a signal of Spring as those flowers trying to work their way up to the sun.
Peace (on the field),