Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lessons learned

Well, it was bound to happen. Buddy's first year in college is officially over. He had his last final exam this morning and barring any unforeseen circumstances, he is a sophomore. I wish that I could say that it went quickly, but it didn't...for a number of reasons. The ups and downs of year one plus the uncertainties of what was ahead led to some stressful thoughts and conversations.

I have to give the athletes credit. They often get a bad name around college campuses for being lazy or not-very-bright...but they have to be eligible academically to play their sport. They have a minimum number of study hall hours that they have to log in each week, and the coaches and advisers are watching their grades with the scrutiny of a surgeon. The travel is long and often boring. They spend countless hours in hotel rooms or lobbies in college towns where they are not wanted. If they wear their college gear out to dinner, they can be harassed by the locals.

Now, on the the positives....they have to log in a certain amount of study hall hours, they have to keep their grades above the basement, and they are closely monitored by the coaches. It's like having a second mother on campus watching her child and helping him to achieve. This works for me. As far as travel goes, they have opportunities at such a young age to see regions that they may have never visited and spend time with people that they probably would never have met if they were relegated to campus only.

So, all in all, it is great being a college baseball player. They receive lots of free clothes, shoes, sneakers, bags, uniforms, hats, and gloves designed to their specifications. Their uniforms are collected and washed by a team manager. Their travel is taken care of by the athletic department. They are given a decent food stipend each day. Further, the players have a trainer, nutritionist, team doctor, team orthopedist, academic adviser, and sports psychologist. In return, they have to work hard, attend all practices, be on time, and give 110%. As far as I am concerned, this will bode well for his future in whatever he chooses to do. The lessons that he learns by multi tasking, focusing, and working with team mates have been invaluable. As a bullpen mom, I am pleased.

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