M.H. asks from Canton, GA on March 25, 2009
Baseball for a Child
Ladies, we just signed my son up for baseball and he just turned 5 in December,and is in Pre K, so I believe most of the boys on the team are older than him. The problem is after the game the coach chooses a player to receive the game ball. This is the fourth game they've played and my son, for some reason, has to have this ball. Well, last night they lost the game again and the coach asked them who wanted the ball and most of the kids, along with my son, raised their hands for the ball. Well, my son once again did not get the ball. Afterward he threw his hat on the ground and I saw tears in his eyes because he was so disappointed and he said he hated the game. My question is, at this age is this appropiate? Is this too much pressure for these kids to excel? I thought the lesson of the game was to exercise and have fun as well as making new friends at this age. While I believe in competition I believe in academics first which is what we focus on in our home. Bottom line I'm I wrong or is this too much pressure for a little boy that just turned 5.
L.M. answers from Atlanta on March 26, 2009
I would talk to the other parents if you can and see how they feel about this.maybe the coach will give every player as game ball after each game
R.L. answers from Charleston on March 26, 2009
I would take this as a learning experience for your child. The bottom line is in life we don't always get what we want. It is never too early for a child to begin to learn this. Maybe the coach sees that your child wants the ball more than the other children and he is trying to teach him about loosing. Also if you are lucky enough for your child to be on loosing baseball team this also will teach him how to lose. Anyone can be a winner. It takes strength, stamina and self esteem to loose and the to hold your head up high which are all things your 5 year old will learn as he travels through life.
1 mom found this helpful
K.W. answers from Macon on March 25, 2009
Most coaches do this, but he should not be asking who wants it. Of course, everyone wants it. It should go to the player that deserves it - not even necessarily the best player of that game, but the one that did something that stood out. By the end of the season, every player should have gotten the game ball. In all of my experiences, that is how it went.
I know it must break your heart to see your son get that upset. Maybe you could mention something to the Coach. Let him know you are not asking that he give it to your son, but that he choose another method of handing it out.
Good luck and I hope your son hangs in there with the baseball. There will always be coaches that don't "mesh well" with certain players, but team sports are still wonderful teaching and learning tools for kids.
E.M. answers from Atlanta on March 26, 2009
My son started playing baseball at 5 as well, and he is now 8. If your son's coach is like most others, every child will receive a game ball before the season is over. Check with your child's coach, or talk to some of the other parents to see if this is the case. Maybe it will be easier on your son if you tell him that everyone gets a game ball. My son treasures all of his game balls - he has one for every season that he has played (as do all of his teammates).
K.D. answers from Albany on March 26, 2009
I think you should talk to your son's coach. In South Georgia where I live they have future's league where kid's start T-Ball at age three and these teams do the "game ball"- However every coach we have ever had has made sure that each boy on the team receives a ball. As long as this is the way that the coach intends to go I think its a good teaching point for your son to encourage him to do his best and a lesson in patience. One thing you do not want to teach is if you don't excel regardless of if it is sports, academics, or life you can't get upset and quit. All that to say that if this is NOT what your coach intends to do you may want to reevaluate him playing - who's idea was him playing baseball is this something he insisted he wanted to do or was this something you or other family members wanted him to do? We have always held that if it is something the kids expressed interest in doing that they have to stick the season out. I don't know how things are where you live but here it costs for our kids to play so we use it as a way to teach them the value of the dollar. If it was something that I put them in then I feel my child's feelings about the game should be considered and together we make a list of pro's and cons in con's out way then I feel obligated to let them leave because it wasn't something that they expressed interest in. I am going to stop talking now cause I didn't mean to write this much. Good Luck to you.
S.S. answers from Savannah on March 25, 2009
See if there is Upward Sports in your area. They stress teamwork, cooperation, and having fun, rather than winning or losing. Every child gets equal play time, and every child gets to play in every game. And after the game, every child gets an award for some special trait he showed during that game. It's a great program! Let me know if you'd like more info.
K.G. answers from Macon on March 26, 2009
We have always stressed personal best with out boys. In whatever they do, if they do their best then "win or lose" they can hold their head up high and be proud of trying.
Too many parents push the "win or you are nothing" and there are lots of coaches that do this too!
I would check with the coach to be sure he is allowing each boy 1 chance through the season to win a game ball. No duplicates until all have had it at least once. That way its more fair. The coach should be able to state why this boy is getting it for the game...ie., he made a good catch, swung really well (whether he hit the ball or not) ran his fastest, showed the most team spirit, etc. Just handing the ball to a random kid doesn't make it 'special'.
My youngest played Tball and they didn't award the game ball. He loved the fact that he improved a little every game and always did his best. He encouraged his team mates at every game and practice.
Both boys do Scouts. They have had the tears of a loss and that is part of life. They know someone has to come in first and someone in last. We have always let the boys handle it -tho we are there for the inevitable tears the first couple of losses. How the parent handles it means more to the kids.
If he is still dissappointed and you know he did his best, go out for an ice cream after to celebrate. Family first!!
L. answers from Atlanta on March 25, 2009
My son too played baseball at that age and they gave out game balls. However, his coach did not ask who wanted it, but rather gave it to a player who did something that stood out during the game. Ex. Good attitude, made a great hit, made a good stop, etc. By the end of the season each player had received a game ball so noone was left out. I would discuss with your son that everyone has a turn and that he will have his turn and definitely let him know he did nothing wrong. If you feel like it is neccessary you could even talk to the coach and ask him if he could explain why he chooses a certain player to receive the ball. I hope all this helps and good luck!
K.B. answers from Atlanta on March 26, 2009
My husband has coached tball for about 7 seasons and he also does the game ball after each game. The purpose is to recongnize each child for something that they did during the game. We have had many kids who have completely excelled but who don't get a game ball until well into the season. Sometimes the child receiving the game ball did something that everybody saw as outstanding and sometimes it is the child that isn't a very experienced player that did something that may never happen again! It is definately not to pick the "best" player each game but to try to build confidence in each child no matter their skill level. There is TONS of improvement from the first practice to the last game. Trust me- these little guys learn so much! and hopefully have fun doing it. I don't know if you are at parks and rec or a church league. Our church league is competetive, yet most of the coaches rotate players and batting order...I have heard at the county league, this happens less because they are more interested in winning and therefore play the same players in field, etc. I hope your child has a great time this season and if not, maybe try someplace else next time. Also, it seems that fall ball is a lot more relaxed so he might do better with that. Also, it would help if you guys worked with him and made it fun outside of practice. There are usually 13 kids on our team and an hour of practice each week- not much individual time and the most improvement is seen from the kids whose parents work with them outside of practice. As your child gets better, his confidence level will increase and this might help since he is on a team of boys that are older than him. Hope you have a great season!