Friday, April 1, 2011

Unlimited Runs

I help my son coach my grandson's baseball team.  These kids are 7-8 years old and they are just learning the game of baseball.  This is the first year they are hitting a ball pitched to them and they are still figuring out what to do once they hit the ball.  Its a lot of fun to coach them and watch them learn baseball.

Yesterday we had our second game.  The first game was an exercise in learning the rules and having fun.  The kids cheered each other on and there was a lot of forgiveness when the kids on either team didn't know the rules.

The second game was totally different.  The coach on the opposing team was yelling at the kids.  He was a stickler for the rules (only three strikes and you are out - most of our kids went out on strikes) and he played a very aggressive brand of baseball, teaching his kids to run until they either reached home plate or had to stop because our kids had run in the ball. 

One of the rules is that the inning ends if one team scores 5 runs in that inning.  This is to prevent a coach running up the score on kids who are just learning. 

We were behind about 20 to nothing as the last inning approached.  Their kids hit well and took advantage of every opportunity to score.  Our kids hung in there as Jeff and I kept encouraging them to have fun and not worry about the score. 

As the other team got ready to bat for the last inning their coach announced "remember, we get unlimited runs in the last inning".  Like they needed it.  What a tool. 

We found out that the other team was made up of 10 all-stars from last year.  I guess they needed to play some beginners to get their confidence up before they faced someone who would not be so easy on them. The players weren't mean spirited, they were just 8 year olds having fun.  It was the Douche Lord (that's Maddy's word) coaches who took the game way too seriously. 

After the game Jeff went to put the equipment back and he talked to the opposing team's coach.  Jeff was being positive and said something like "it's all in fun".  The coach shot back "you need to push them, they like it".  It's tough when your ego is wrapped up in an event so much that you loose sight of the real purpose - the kids. 

I want to take on the saying "remember we get unlimited runs in the last inning" as my mantra.  Not in the way their coach meant it, but as a reminder that we shouldn't take life too seriously and that we should focus on what matters. 

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