Last night my son’s Little league team played their final game of the Spring season. After going 11-4 in the regular season and finishing a strong second (out of six) they lost 2 of 3 playoff games. Don’t ask me how they score the playoff tournament, I’m not really clear on that yet.
Some kids play to win and some play to have fun. It seems to me that the kids who play to win only have fun if they win while the other kids have fun all the time. I’ve seen them go through the whole range of emotions this year from elation after beating an undefeated team to dejection after being badly beaten by that same team. Our team had a tendency to give up if things got bad early, only to realize at the last minute that they were still in it…too little too late usually.
Every team has its stars and it’s easy outs, but neither of those things are set in stone. We had ‘easy outs’ hit triples and star players strike out swinging at balls over their head. Last night the bottom of the order had several hits in a row and loaded the bases for the big hitters only to get stranded.
On the whole the parents and coaches were very supportive. There to ease the pain of a bad swing or a botched play and there to cheer and congratulate the first big hit or first run scored by a rookie player on a seasoned team.
This was a learning season for my son and I think he has a better grasp on the fundamentals that he may have missed while he was playing in the dirt and chasing bugs last year. He did well under pressure and took his lumps with everyone else. He learned that his RBI from a walk counted just as much as the home run out of the park. He learned that you win some and you lose some, but to be happy with your performance no matter what.
Last night he received his second Game Ball for the biggest hit of the night. A scorching line drive over the first baseman’s head. He slept with the ball telling Mom, ‘I just can’t let go of it.’ I think he learned his lessons well.