We have followed our kids around for sports and activities since they were old enough to take swim lessons at the Big Rapids Community Pool at four years old. They tried one sport after another joining friends, socializing and in search of their niche.
We enjoyed almost every moment of it, well almost, some of those soccer games in pouring rain/sleet and tennis matches in 34 degree weather really challenged our commitment but we both fully supported all of our kids throughout the years.
Jackson is playing baseball at the college level now, it’s a different journey than high school sports or even little league. And as I was watching games earlier this month in Orlando I pondered some thoughts….
What’s the means to the end for this sports thing our kids do? What exactly is it we’re hoping to accomplish? Why were we so intense when they were in middle school and were so laid back now (okay there may not be a “we” there… that’s all “me”, Mark really wasn’t as intense as me), we have talked about this extensively!
Our biggest hope for our kids wasn’t to secure an MLB contract, or to get a full ride scholarship to the biggest college in the country, it was to learn the most important lessons you can learn at each age…. How to work hard, how to lose gracefully, how to have integrity in all, how to keep to our values and our morals at all times…. How to be a leader, how to “know your roll” or “stay in your lane”, team above self, lift others up…. you see the theme here?
Sports are fun, intense & exciting, but for 99.9% of all people, sports end after high school. And for a small percentage, continue on for a few more years in college and then end. And hopefully they have learned all those things above and can go on to be productive members of the work force and a family!
Probably the best “camp” Jackson ever went to was the United States Air Force Academy baseball camp. ALL of these things were first and foremost with this coach. Baseball &skills were taught and taught well, but these other things were the higher priority. And it was evident when we picked him up!
Because really, who remembers the score of a baseball game played 3 years ago? Not many, but who remembers the actions/videos of amazing sportsmanship moments or acts…. most of us do!