Most people tell me I am over reacting when I talk about how nuts it makes me that my son spends the majority of his time in the outfield during baseball practice playing in the dirt.
He's out there to have fun, not to set records.
I agree with these statements for the most part. I do want him to have fun and I don't care if he never makes the JV baseball team but I still want him to pay attention. I want him to learn to play the game and keep his focus on the ball for the duration of practices and games. I don't think that is too much to ask.
All of this came to a head last Saturday at practice when my son, crouched in the outfield drawing pictures of the family pets in the dirt, got clunked in the head with a fly ball. It was nothing serious. My son didn't cry and was more ticked about the interruption into his dirt-based masterpiece than any potential injury but the incident did serve the coach rather well in his continued plight to warn parents of the dangers of outfield dirt-playing. I sat on the bleachers for the duration of the speech, red faced knowing it was coming. And it came, "Don't be like poor T out there today. He got hit in the head with a baseball b/c he wasn't paying attention to the game. Now, thankfully, he's got a hard head and wasn't hurt but, Moms and Dads, we've got to teach these kids to pay attention to the ball."
So, I've got two missions during the upcoming baseball season:
- Avoid any contact between the baseball and my son's noggin.
- Never hear my son's name used as the coach's cautionary tale again.
I'm thinking I may need to invest in some sort of tunnel vision safety goggles that hone in on the baseball and force my son's head to move in whatever direction the ball goes. If these don't exist yet, I need to invent them. I'm sure they'd sell like hotcakes. If anyone has any sage little league advice, I'm all ears.