My son has stated more than once he wants to be a professional baseball player. But, hey, I’ve stated I want to publish books. I don’t judge people’s dreams.
His first step toward the major leagues and making millions a year was All Star tryouts for a U11 summer league.
There were 45 kids trying out for 15 spots. No pressure.
I cheered him on. Every time he fumbled the ball, a part of me was crushed. Every time he made a good catch I wanted to leap around and shout for joy.
At the end of the 3 hours, he was tired. The balls coming at him were harder and faster than he was used to. And his confidence dipped way below average. His shoulders slumped. He moved slower. And he couldn’t field even one ball. Not one. Even ones he normally could.
While he waited his turn, he’d wipe the tears with his shirt. I tried not to burst into a fit of blubbering on the sideline. My throat ached. My heart broke. I wanted to hug him so bad. I would’ve battled giants and slayed dragons to reach him.
With his confidence sapped, his ability to play dropped significantly.
Later that day, I used my mommy powers to encourage him. I said, “If you really want this and want to make the team next year then you need to put in more time. You need to sacrifice swimming time this summer and ask Dad to hit balls with you at the park. Twice a week, for an hour.”
I went on to tell him that the surrounding towns have better organized baseball programs. Other teams practice 2 times a week and hit the batting cages. His team had one practice a week due to lack of field space.
He perked up. He understood. He had a plan. And he was willing to make the sacrifice.