At a Crossroads: When Sports Starts to Become More Serious

My son, anxiously waiting to pounce on the soccer ball

My son’s first word was ball. The only toy that has ever REALLY satisfied him is a ball. It doesn’t matter what kind of ball it is, it just has to be a ball. He was born with natural talent. (Here’s where I totally brag about how awesome he is, but can’t take any credit for it.)

He is athletic and has an intense drive to master whatever sport he plays. His daddy is athletic, so he can take some of the credit. We are heavily involved in extra-curricular and sporting activities (which I talk about in this post.) My son works hard all day with a ball in hand, whether he’s kicking it around the house or throwing it a hundred times against the wall. He does this with ZERO encouragement from me. If anything, I have to ask him to stop so he can do his other work. He sleeps with a baseball glove and a basketball hoop over his bed. His closet is lined with golf balls and we have a basket just for soccer balls.

I’m new to all this sports stuff. I grew up with 3 sisters surrounding me. My brothers are much older and weren’t heavily involved in sports. It’s safe to say…I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING!

Which has been fine these past few years because it’s been all about the “fun.” I signed him up and got him to his games, cheered him on, he got a treat with his team and we were done. Everyone got medals at the end and the kids got great exercise. I’m comfortable with that. But the next season is when competition teams are formed. His two main sports, soccer and baseball play the same season.

Now we have to start making decisions. I’m not eager to raise a professional athlete. In fact, I’m more against it, than for it. But I’m not eager to let his talents sit by the wayside either. So, this is something I have to dive into. We have to choose which sport to run with. He loves soccer and is really great at it. He loves baseball and is really great at it. I’m for soccer, my husband is for baseball. My son wants both.

The conversations between my husband and I are hilarious. As we watched our son run up and down the soccer field this morning we had our lists of pros and cons going about each sport. Most of them were ridiculous.

My take: Some baseball players have potbellies and can still play baseball (while chewing disgusting tobacco). It’s not an incredibly “athletic” sport. Soccer players…don’t have potbellies and they don’t chew tobacco while running.

His take: Baseball has a better culture. (Whatever that means!)

The bantering went on…

His point wasn’t strong enough for me. So we’re still at the drawing board. Meanwhile, my inbox is filling up with competition tryouts and dates. I’m hoping my son will pipe in sometime soon and make the decision easier for us. But for him, he just wants to play ball. So, I guess in the long run, it’s a win-win. And we can always change later, right? Like I said, I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m doing my very best to pretend like I do!

Have you had to make a decision for you child on which sport or extra-curricular activity they should pursue?


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