Monday, August 5, 2013

MLB Wannabe

Another great day in the northeast....yeah...this is what I am talking's the kind of weather in which a person takes a walk and enjoys each step....lovin' it!

What's new in our world? Hmmm....wellllll.....the big kid went to work out this morning at 6 am to do his flexibility and stretching exercises. While working out, he saw one of his former team mates from little is the story.....

When the kid was ten years old, dad was his coach. Actually dad coached him until he was 14 then he stepped back. I digressed.....before the season began, this kid's mother called dad at home and spoke to me for a few minutes to introduce herself....She began...."as you know, my son, Big Boo is the star of the team...." That's all I heard as I considered the notion that he was ten years old and we have not had a formal first practice yet. "Oh, how nice....I look forward to meeting Big Boo at the next game...." Considering her words, I excitedly looked forward to meeting this phenom at the ball park.

As it turns out, Big Boo was pretty good. he could pitch and throw and bat. He was also a very big boy (if you know what I mean). And lastly, he was sweet and very nice. All in all, I liked the Boo very much. As time went on....about a year or so, BB continued his private coaching lessons and was still pretty darn good. However, he started to have elbow asked his parents to have it checked out. But they continued to play him until the pain was so bad that they could not ignore it any more. When they finally took Boo to the doctor, he has some type of fracture. Yes, he played for quite a while with a broken arm. Needless to say....Big Boo's pitching career was over before it began....sad...

Fast forward to this morning as Buddy was stretching at the Y at 6 am. Whom does he see? Well, the kid is no longer known as Bog Boo; he is now known as Giant Boo who is tipping the scale at 300 pounds.

What happened to our phenom? the best player on the team? the next Andy Pettite? Wow, the great have fallen....

And here is my take on it, once again.....this poor kid was earmarked for greatness before he shaved his first whisker. He and his parents had this dream for him which included dominating the little league world, All State in high school, and first round draft pick along with his doctorate in nuclear engineering. It was a tidy little plan that was never actualized because they never let their kid be a kid.

I have been telling Buddy since he was a baby that no one knows how good a person is going to be on the athletic field until the age of 14. This is not validated be research but it is simply what I have observed over the years. The little league phenoms are just that....little leaguers....the fast kids on the Pop Warner foot ball team also fizzle out....the basketball stars in 6th grade often fail to grow over 5'8". Therefore, the playing field is leveled off in high school.

Now, did Big Boo have talent? Yes! he was very good. And he loved the sport...Yet, when he had pain, it was ignored so that he could play another stupid little league game that no one remembers. Ruined for life.....crazy.

So, here are my final words on the subject. Parents, let your kids play any sport that they want. They will be good and they will be bad. Coaches will love and hate them, that is part of the process. The kids learn from their successes and failures. Eventually, they stay with the sports or move on to something else like sewing, art, music, medicine, or karate. Don't force them into doing what you love....'cause...they ain't you....Let them find their passion with your guidance and not force. Remember, it is their life and not yours...just sayin'....

Enjoy the day!

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