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Old 03-16-2014, 10:26 AM   #1
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My Son is 11 and starts baseball soon for the first time so I'm nervous for him. We know how mean kids can be. I worry that since other kids have had several seasons ahead of him they will make fun of him for being a rookie, or tell him he's no good.

Part of this is my fault. Because I was single and worked a lot I was never able to put him in any sports or activities so now he's getting a super late start. I left my dental assisting career and went back to being a hair stylist last May so I can work a more flexible schedule, it's also WAY less stressful but that's another thread... I always felt massive guilt about having to deny him of sports every Summer and had to do something about it.

I'm sure part of this anxiety is stemming from my own childhood. Kids were so terrible. I was picked on relentlessly, told I suck, I was always chosen last for every gym sport and when I wound up on someone's team dead last just to make it even I would see eyes roll and the girls would say, "Ugh great!". Grade school for me was pure h*ll. I'm sure my son is a lot more thick skinned than I was but still..

I'm sure I'm projecting too much. I just keep hoping he winds up being good at it. The coach knows this is his first time but that doesn't mean anything. There have been parent vs. parent and coach vs. coach fights that have broken out in the past and I won't tolerate any of that nonsense. It's not the major leagues.

Any experience? Advice?
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Old 03-16-2014, 03:19 PM   #2
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Ok so not a parent but raised by a working single mother. My older brother was put into all kinds of sports including baseball. I can remember how nervous my mom and I would get hoping he would get a hit. Honestly he was not the best player and do think he took some flak for that and wasn't shown the favoritism by some coaches. But overall I think he enjoyed it, the friendships, being apart of a team, and some coaches were good men that he liked to spend time with.
I was never entered into sports and really regret it. I live in a small town so you see groups start from t ball all the way to varsity. My best friend was like that and went to state in high school and soft ball holds some of her great memories. Also I noticed with the girls that those who maybe considered overweight but played had way more self confidence than I ever did during school.
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Old 03-16-2014, 04:23 PM   #3
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I played sports off and on when I was a kid and my experience was that sometimes you get a nice, supportive, REASONABLE coach and kids and parents who don't take it all way too darn seriously - and sometimes you do NOT. If your kid is on a team where everyone is a little crazy pants, feel free to pull him from the team. There is nothing to be learned or gained from all that.

Talk to the coach, there are things he can do to catch up - mainly practice outside of team practice. Pair up with a kid who has played for longer and let them practice together a few times/week. Another thing I remember from being in team sports is that the super stars usually just practiced more than the rest of us. They didn't go to team practice and call it a day. They hit the batting cages, had parents who would get out and help them with drills or find another kid who would practice with them, etc.
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:34 AM   #4
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I understand your fears, I worry about this a lot. My main concern is that in a couple of years I plan to put him in martial arts. Not to make him a fighter, but to grow his confidence so that he can embark in activities later on. But as a Mom, I hear you on your worries. All you can do is reassure him when he's down and show him by example that you stick with it and learn to ignore the bullies.
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:38 AM   #5
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My son is now a senior in high school, and has played in sports since 3rd grade. One thing I noticed is that it didn't matter that much on those who had been playing a long time compared to those who just started up until about 8th or 9th grade. The boys were growing and developing so much at different times, that you never knew who would be the stars from year to year. Some of the boys who we thought were so good when they were younger are no longer playing.

I think overall that the boys just have fun being a team. The parents and coaches can ruin it by wanting to be so much more competitive than necessary, but you just have to stay out of that. There were times that my son was on winning teams and times he was on losing teams. I figured he needed to learn to handle both situations, so I just showed up and offered support. He wasn't always the best player in the early years, but now he is looking forward to playing football in college next year. I didn't get on him when he wasn't the best player on the field in any of his sports. The only time I got involved was when he wasn't trying hard or if he had a bad attitude.

I hope your son enjoys it! It's been a great ride for us!
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:38 PM   #6
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My advice is to practice with him or to have someone practice with him every day he doesn't have team practice. 30 minutes a day of catching and throwing with an occasional trip to the batting cages will see his skill level and confidence sky rocket.

Unless he has some natural talent he isn't likely to be the team star but at that age he doesn't need a lot of skill to be a solid contributor.
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:37 PM   #7
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I don't think you ever mentioned that your son wants to play baseball. Is this something he wants to do? If so, then definitely support it. None of my 3 children (now very successful adults) wanted to be involved team sports and they turned out just fine. My son was really into karate until he was about 12 at which point he decided to quit. He was never involved in any other sports after that outside the required gym classes. Both of my daughters danced all through school - elementary through college, and not on teams. They did these things because they wanted to and I was able to make it possible. I don't think team sports are a requirement for success in life.
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:39 PM   #8
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My DH has coached kids who were playing their first time as 10- or 11-year-olds. Honestly, the other kids on the team were supportive and tried to help. I would explain to the coach your sons situation, be sure to get him to all practices and games, and try to find a way to practice with him. I know my husband has offered to work with the kids before or after practice, maybe your sons coach will be like that too.
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annieway View Post
I don't think you ever mentioned that your son wants to play baseball. Is this something he wants to do? If so, then definitely support it. None of my 3 children (now very successful adults) wanted to be involved team sports and they turned out just fine. My son was really into karate until he was about 12 at which point he decided to quit. He was never involved in any other sports after that outside the required gym classes. Both of my daughters danced all through school - elementary through college, and not on teams. They did these things because they wanted to and I was able to make it possible. I don't think team sports are a requirement for success in life.
Sorry, I thought I was pretty clear when I said, "I always felt massive guilt about having to deny him of sports every Summer and had to do something about it." I meant he was asking and I had to say no every summer because of my job, I don't think team sports are a requirement for success in life either but it's something he really wants to do so I made it happen this year.

Thanks for all the input, everyone. He is going to the batting cages on the weekend and I will talk with the coach about my concerns. I'm sure he will do fine, I was just having a moment.
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:16 AM   #10
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You have a valid concern and have already received some great advice. Here where I live a couple of sports are taken extremely seriously by both the kids and the parents... As in borderline crazy seriously! Boys basketball specifically. An 11 year old with no team experience would be viewed as a detriment to the team and would likely be heavily resented. They do not mess around when it comes to basketball, even at very young ages. We didn't want to put our son, who is a bit light in sports experience, in that position, so we passed on basketball. Instead we (and he) picked football and wrestling, and he's having a great time! Football has many players on the field so his lack of erm talent lol doesn't make or break a win. He loves being part of a team so much. Youth wrestling is a newish sport in our area, so he gets lots of attention and extra coaching (which he needs.) Baseball didn't appeal to him, but I thought it would be a fine fit also for his situation. I say go for it and I hope he loves it! Good luck my son is 9.
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:21 AM   #11
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Teamsports are the best to learn several thinks, to become widely accepted is one of those lessons
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:06 AM   #12
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So much for being nervous, now I'm irritated because practice is 7-7:30 till 9:15-9:30pm on a school night AND Sundays when I work. When I originally asked they told me practice would be around 6pm during the week and on Saturdays when I'm off. I sent out an email voicing my concerns. I already spent a lot of money for this and my son would be heart broken if I told him he can't continue. I told the coach I will do my best to have someone get him there...sometimes he's with his dad and he doesn't have a car avail if his wife goes to work. Me ex isn't the easiest person to deal with either. FML.

I will wait to see what his reply is. I realize the team doesn't revolve around us but I did contact prior to sign up to make sure practice would jive with my work schedule. I'm so stressed.

/vent

Update: Things have since changed. It's not late at night anymore or Sundays. I got all bent for no reason.
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:15 AM   #13
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any news by now? how did you manage it?

how about a ride sharing? I used to do this too, when there was a parent with a day off, he filled up his car with kids and got them to practice
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:03 PM   #14
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So far we're surviving. Thanks for asking.
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