Friday night was the kind of night that every baseball fan dreams about. After a brief bout of showers about 20 minutes prior to the 7:05 p.m. first pitch, the clouds parted and it was as if God declared, “Let there be light…and a gentle breeze…and a crack of the bat…and soft serve ice cream…and, finally, toss in a good-hearted heckler to top things off.”
I am on my second summer coaching my daughter and her teammates in fast pitch softball. Although summer is the season when the actual league and tournament games occur, there are several months of off-season practice that go into this commitment as well.
After spending so much concentrated time together, I can say with utmost certainty that I am learning as much about how to play the game as they are – because I am experiencing it all over again through the eyes of 9-, 10-, and 11-year-olds.
“I hope Coach Kim remembers the stickers,” my daughter said as she spilled her thoughts from the back seat of the van on our way to school.
Glancing at her stoic expression from my rear view mirror as she gazed out the side window made me smile. It was not the first time, and I imagined it wouldn’t be the last, that she mentioned those stickers.
About a year ago, I wrote a piece about how my son was shifting (youth sports) careers as an 11-year old. It was hard to write, not because the words were difficult to articulate, but because it's a somewhat touchy subject.
Several parents reached out to me following that post to say they had been through the same process (of switching teams) or were on the verge of going through it with their own son or daughter.