My son is eight years old and, this year, has decided that playing baseball was the "must do" sports choice.  Last night was his first game, and it was a very cool moment. 

Just a couple days before, he had voiced some reservations as I pushed him to join me in the backyard and play catch.  Evidently, the last practice (which had been more than a week prior due to spring break) had resulted in him getting "hit" by the ball when catching fly balls and striking out when batting.

Connell - Jeff's Son Batting

We talked about those timeless generational lessons - how practice is required for most of us to ever grow into proficiency, how it's not about how well play compared to someone else but how hard you are trying and how you are improving, and how you will get hit by the ball and strike out sometimes.  Even the pros do.

We played for about 30 minutes and as we were throwing the ball he became more comfortable.  When he didn't get his glove closed quickly enough, some frustration, and then a recovery and continuation of our little backyard back-and-forth.

When he got up to the plate in his first game last night, the first attempt ended with a strike out (and some frustration).  A couple quick conversations with a couple of us adults in his life, some guidance by coaches, and a few innings in the field, and he was back up to bat.  He got a hit and made it on base.  It wasn't the biggest or strongest hit, but I was so happy for him.  I remember how good that felt, even from way back when I played (and how rarely it happened for me).

Another milestone passed and new memories made.  I'm proud of that kiddo, and excited to see continued growth and improvement this season.


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