This weekend, my 6 year old had her first ‘softball tournament’. Now, this was for the league, and nothing crazy like some of my pitching lesson kids have for a schedule (though they are much older) but it was still a big deal for our family. Her team, the Hawks, had three games on Saturday and they played the best ball they had all summer.
Though this is league ball, we still learned many things and I’m constantly reminded of what the game is truly about.
6 Things to Remember About Youth Sports
1. No matter what, if you try hard and have fun… this is all that matters.
After a lifetime of youth sports and an athletic career that took me through my college years, the years that I had the most fun are still the most memorable ones. The coaches who allowed fun to be had but had high expectations of hard work are still my favorite, and those coaches were not all softball coaches, some were basketball, too.
2. Be thankful for volunteer coaches.
When parent volunteers step forward, this is so special in youth sports. In the athletic climate we have these days, sometimes the effort goes unnoticed or seems expected. Let me tell you, anyone who steps up to accept the challenge to coordinate 11 kids on a softball field has my vote! Youth sports would not exist without parent volunteers!
3. The things your children remember aren’t always the wins and losses.
My sister brought my niece to the game and couldn’t have made my daughter any happier… wait, then there was a gift bag full of markers, notepads, sporty clothes, hair clips and more. It was a great day.
4. Every team will hold a special spot in your memory.
No matter where kids end up, or who they play for, each team and coach they played for will reserve a special place in their heart. If you have the opportunity to coach a child, making the experience positive is the most important thing to do. Small things you can do and say to make each child feel special and needed by their team will make the experience memorable.
(The little cards the girls are holding were their ‘special awards’, like “Golden Glove”, “Brown Haired Bomber”, “Super Speedy Softballer”, “RBI Queen”, “Double Dependable Defense” and more.)
5. Surround yourself and your child with quality people.
This is important. When you select a travel-ball team to play with, getting on a team with great parents, coaches and players is crucial.
6. Remember, these years don’t last forever.
Before you know it, your little one will be done with sports as you know it. (Then you’ll be pining away until your grandchildren can play!) Soak up every moment.
I had to put these two pictures together, as you can see… holding the bat while putting on batting gloves is a genetic trait.
Don’t blink… precious time flies by too quickly.