Thursday, June 12, 2008

T-ball is SO Much Fun!

And SO nerve-wracking! I've got two in t-ball right now, one playing on the boys' team, and one playing on the girls' team. I probably don't need to say what a huge difference the two teams are. But I will. I'll start with the boys. The age range for the boys is barely 5 to almost 7. So you have boys that have been playing for a couple of years who are probably about ready to strangle the first timers who act like- you guessed it- four year-olds! We are about halfway through the season, and I can't tell you how many games we've won- we just don't keep up. But at the start of the season, I was a bit concerned because the coach seemed a little unorganized. But boys being boys, they have (mostly) improved dramatically. Being one of those parents who plays ball with her children almost daily, it's my suspicion that the boys who are improving are getting help and practice at home. At our last game, my son made a great play at 2nd base. He stopped the ground ball, then ran to second base and got the runner out. Sounds simple. But at the beginning of the season, none of the boys could make plays because they fumbled the ball if it came to them. It's hard to make a play when you can't get control of it! At this point, they are actually throwing to their target- and they're CATCHING it! As I cheered for my son after his play, and noticed EVERYONE on our side cheering, I almost cried as he radiated joy on the field. All that practice paid off! I remembered all the great plays I had made as a softball player and how good it felt. I am so glad that he gets to experience it, too! Here he is at a recent game:

The girls' team is a bit of a different story. They have great coaches- a TEAM of coaches, actually- and their practices are very organized. While they are the same ages as the boys, I suspect they are more interested in wearing the uniform than learning the game. It seems that by now there are certain things they should have learned. And they just haven't. I'm not sure what the problem is. My daughter was playing 3rd base, and I could tell that the next batter was going to hit in her direction. There were runners on 1st and 2nd, and I hollered, "Anna, if the ball comes to you, run to 3rd with it!" It took a while for the batter to hit the ball, but when she did, it went right towards Anna. She stopped it beautifully, but then stood up like, "what do I do with the ball?" LOL This would not be so bad if the pitcher, who gets nearly every ball hit to her, also didn't know what to do with the ball almost every single play. And by the end of the game, STILL hadn't figured it out!
Since this is Anna's first year, I was just happy that she stopped the ball! It is hard to teach kids the game at home without having runners and other players. So that will come with time. But I can tell that hardly any (if any at all) of the girls' parents are playing with them at home. I wish they would. It is so rewarding for both parent and child. Getting to see the hard work pay off is something many kids don't appreciate these days because they don't put the work into it! Coincidentally, we are learning this with piano and swimming as well. Practicing a little every day makes a huge difference, and makes a child confident that he or she is able to do well. Anyway, here is Anna in her first game:

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