How much a difference practice makes

Year-over-year progression in sports is amazing. I first noticed this when my son went from Tee-Ball, where everyone got to bat, and the fielders were only there for decoration, to his first year of “Coach Pitch,” where for all intents and purposes the kids were playing real baseball. Over the course of an entire season in Tee-Ball I saw maybe three recorded outs, by either team. My expectations were exceedingly low. I doubted the boys would be able to get baserunners out. I had nothing to fear. Not only were the other teams as prepared as my son’s, but my son and his team had also progressed a staggering amount in one off-season. Sure, they weren’t ready to try out for the Reds, but they were competitive in their league, and isn’t that what youth sports is about?

More recently my son has joined a lacrosse team. He played a season of indoor, which featured no practices. When we went out to “toss lacrosse” it was either he or I fetching the ball every other throw. He couldn’t throw straight. He couldn’t catch. I wasn’t much better.

Yet, after half a season of outdoor, now when we go outside, I’m the one lagging behind. He can whip that ball across the yard and hit me on the side of the body he chooses. He can catch the ball whether I throw it high, low, good side, or across his body.

My boys helped clean out my wife’s car. They found a woodburning kit in the trunk. Doubtless, my wife was saving it for a present for someone and forgot to take it back. They immediately opened it, and wanted to test it out. My eldest, the one who the sport stories were about, was dejected when he couldn’t produce the work he had in his head.

If past circumstances are anything to go on, I only have to give him a few more tries, and he’ll have a fairly good grasp on it.

Leave a Reply