Article by Wendy McCance
My son has been playing on a baseball team for a few years now. He has a naturally good arm and is always used as one of the pitchers on the team. This year, he ended up on a team who handled who got to pitch a little differently. The coaches decided that instead of having a couple of kids pitch the whole season, they would allow virtually any kid interested in pitching a turn to try out their skills.
Because there have been so many kids pitching, my son has only had a few occasions where he got to pitch. He has been seriously disappointed. He takes pitching seriously and wants to continue baseball throughout his remaining years in school.
This particular league is for 5th and 6th graders and in general, it’s incredible that each kid is getting encouraged to try out their abilities in a variety of ways on this team.
I have pointed out to my son that even though he has been disappointed that he hasn’t had as much time to pitch as he would like, this was still a good team to be on. Because he hasn’t fallen back on his strength, he has had more opportunities to work on his other skills. He has become a better batter and runner because he has had more time to focus on those areas. As I pointed out to him, he has become a better well-rounded player because he has focused on other areas that needed work.
The other night, my son got an opportunity to pitch. He was doing great when a batter hit a ball that flew right at him and struck him in the stomach. He fell to the ground in pain.
It was a horrible moment. Not only did he get hurt, but it happened when he finally got the opportunity to do what he loves. The coaches ran over to make sure he was okay. He was asked if he thought he could continue to pitch. This kid of mine got up, determined to shake it off and continue on.
Needless to say, he struck out the very next kid and was even given the game ball at the end of the game.
I was struck by the determination my son possessed. He really got hurt. The moment was so important to him that he wasn’t going to let an injury effect what he wanted to do.
This season has been a good one for my son. He has learned that he is a strong and determined kid. We have talked about how the season has gone and I mentioned that I was most proud of his spirit. Even though he was disappointed that he didn’t pitch much, he still went to each game enthusiastic to do his best. He has supported his teammates by clapping for them and letting them know that they did a good job. He dug in and practiced his hitting, running and catching skills even when he was hanging out at home.
He has realized that things might not always go the way he wishes they would, but he can still make the best out of the situation. My son has learned that he can go with the flow of the team, still have a good time and benefit from his experiences.
As a mom, I have worried endlessly that my son would be so disappointed with how the season played out that he would give up on what he loves and has a natural talent for. He has surprised and delighted me. This kid is much more resilient than I have given him credit for. He bounced back and made the best of what was offered to him. He has had moments when he was down on himself and his situation, but he worked through his feelings and I believe became stronger for the experience he had.
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