Guest post by Ken Krause, Life in the Fastpitch Lane blog
Last week I was out watching a high school game. During the game I wound up chatting with the father of a girl I used to coach.
She was actually a year younger than most of the girls on the team, but a couple of times when those girls aged up I brought that one with us. She finally went to another team when we aged up to 18U and her parents wanted her to stay in 16U ball so she could be more at the top of the skill level instead of always being behind.
During the course of the conversation, the dad looked at me and said out of the blue, “We really had some good teams.”
I thought it was an interesting statement to make. I think it was one of those things you only realize in hindsight, after playing on another team or two and getting a chance to sample how things are done elsewhere.
We’ve all had that experience at some time. Maybe it was in school, or at a job. Maybe it was in a different activity or sport. Wherever it was, the experience was essentially we didn’t appreciate what we had, or how good we had it, until it was gone.
The softball season can be long – especially these days when it seems like it’s a 365 day season. It’s mostly made up of getting ready for a game or tournament, traveling to a game, tournament or practice, or being at a game, tournament or practice.
If you have more than one child and the others are in other activities it gets even crazier. I remember days when one of my sons was in the back seat of the car, changing out of his baseball uniform and into his soccer uniform. I remember running from place to place trying to make sure everyone was where he/she was supposed to be. The games, and the seasons, seemed like never-ending
And when they look like blurs, you rarely take that little bit of extra time to appreciate it when you have that special group of kids who unite for a common goal and give everything they have to achieve it.
Then there’s what I’d call the “status quo” syndrome. After you’ve been with a team for a while, you come to expect what you have. You may not recognize that it’s better than you might find elsewhere because it’s just the way it’s always done. Sure, you can see what other teams do or how they act toward one another. But when you’re caught up in your own thing it’s hard to see the others for what they really are.
With high school softball starting up in many areas, and the summer season not too far behind, it’s time to take a step back and try to appreciate what you have. Take that 20-20 hindsight and apply it to your current situation.
If you are a parent coaching a daughter (or a son for that matter), think about how lucky you are to be sharing that experience. Look beyond all the little petty stuff and recognize what a great thing you have. Because someday you’ll be looking back on it for real, and then it will be too late to get the full benefit.
As they say in The Music Man, if you spend all your time worrying about tomorrow, all you’ll wind up with is a lot of empty yesterdays. Appreciate what you have, and you’ll never regret it.