I love my kids. And obviously in my house, I love baseball and the New York Yankees. I never force the sport on my kids. Some of them love it, others don’t have the patience for it and that’s fine. But whatever sport they play, they work at it. Some more than others until it clicks. And when it clicks it can be the most innocent and wonderful experience in the world, because they are doing something they love. They are learning, but they are having fun. My 14 year old does that and it clicked quite late for him because he’s been quite a success on the diamond these days and it’s a beautiful thing, but it took alot of time, heartbreak and dedication to the sport. For my 12 year old, when it clicked, he was like gangbusters and he works very, very hard to achieve his goals, not baseball, swimming. Never forced, but good values helped get my older kids into a mindset of overcoming obstacles, even when they stumble, because the road is long and over time they know that not giving up will get them there. It’s absolutely crazy that a kid needs to compete at such a high level in this day and age, but this is what our society is now. My wife and my mindset is “Have fun, work hard, but when it’s no longer fun, re-evaluate.” And by the way… that doesn’t mean you quit when it gets hard! Maybe it’s a break, a day off, but if you LOVE it… you stay with it and always improve your skill… but you gotta be smiling, because not only should it be fun for you… that smile is an indication that you see the improvement in your skill and want more.
I’m rambling now, but I wanted to get back to that right now and share with you my 7 year old’s drawing. It was a school assignment. My 7 year old is just now really getting the hang out of baseball. We play Wiffle ball all the time at my house, all of us. We make bases out of trees and sweatshirts and lawn chairs in the yard. We laugh, hang out as a family, but at the same time, my kids are loving it, because baseball is a GAME, and Wiffle ball is sometimes even more fun. Here’s that drawing. He drew it in September… but I just stumbled across it again, and yup, even now in November, we’re still playing Wiffle ball. The difference however is he loves it more now, because he’s improving in his skill… and still having fun doing it.
Keep pushing values in your kids. Keep them positive… let them know there are no limits. Most of all though… make sure they are always having fun. The pressure these days can be enormous for kids. You gotta keep it simple, that’s when we blossom most. That’s how I feel at least.
Enjoy your Friday.