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Building Momentum or Snowballing?

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Our youngest child is an athlete. I suppose I need to come to terms with that. Whatever sport he gets a hint of, he wants to try. Although, if you ask him, he’s a baseball player and football player. More specifically, he’s a pitcher and an outfielder, a tight-end and a defensive end or tackle. He knows his place and position in those sports.

Toward the end of football season, he got the inkling that he’d like to try wrestling. Wrestling went well. He won six out of 10 matches. He enjoyed the hard workouts, the running and the exercises and managing his diet. When the wrestling season ended, he had a more serious attitude toward workouts in the off-season. So there was a positive outcome.

Now, just before baseball season begins, the middle school seventh grade basketball season is beginning. Our son has never been interested in basketball, but since he has a number of friends wanting to play, he wants to give it a try also. At this point he doesn’t know a guard from a center, a key from a pick, or a jump shot from a weave. So, it could be an education. In his favor, he’s taller than most kids his age. Wrestling was a good experience, so maybe basketball will be good as well.

The expense of new baseball gear and a new pair of court shoes for basketball, is a bit of a stretch for us now, but then comes the time element of getting our son from one practice to another, on the same day. Also, there’s question of priority, siince we, as adults, know that “we can’t have it all,” and its corollary, “you can’t do it all.” Over the past several years our son has developed a positive reputation among coaches and fellow teammates on the baseball teams. Would that reputation be put at stake with double-sporting? Does he owe full stamina to these coaches who have worked with him for the past years? Or, since he’s just a kid, let him play, try it out, and see what happens?

Actually, as a family, we have set priorities. Our son is in agreement that baseball supersedes basketball. But maintaining that accountability and reflecting on it with coaches – teachers who are still assigning school work! – will be the learning curve.
Truly, we are pleased that our son is a natural athlete. Over the past few weeks while watching the Winter Olympics, he is now inspired to pursue various snowboarding events and bobsledding. Fortunately, we’re only about five hours from Park City’s bobsledding track. Maybe next year, that’s what we’ll do between football and baseball season!