I know the title of this blog may cause most people to question my motives, but bare with me, I have a good story to share.
My six year old son attended his first baseball camp this past weekend and as I watched him participate, I reflected on some important life lessons for him and for me:
I’m glad he experienced failure: While he is athletic, there were some drills he was not good at, but it was in those difficulties where he learned to be resilient. He had to make a choice in the midst of his failures: whether he was going to deem the task to difficult and quit or was he going to lock in and push through. I admit, as a mother, it was difficult to observe, but I am happy to say that he chose the latter. He made a choice to be better, to overcome, and to be resilient.
I’m glad there was a big gap in talent: The age groups ranged from 6 (which is my sons age) through 13. I’m glad he was one of the youngest ones on the field because he had something to strive for. He was able to recognize where he stood with his own talent and how much progress is needed for his own development.
I’m glad he wasn’t the best on the field: I’m glad he was not the best on the field because it reinforces his need for hard work. The increased talent serves as a reality check for him in regards to his own work ethic. Not only did the camp ignite his passion for baseball, but he has since been anxious to practice his baseball skills everyday after school.
I’m glad he learned to follow: He learned to follow those around him. Although he is a natural born leader; he was in a situation where he had to follow. In order to be a successful leader; one must learn to follow first. This lesson, to me, is one of the most important lessons of all.What’s even more interesting, is that even though his is a natural born leader; he innately took on the role of a follower. He knew he needed to learn. He knew in this particular situation he was not ready to lead. What a valuable lesson! But I’m thankful the older boys showed leadership whether it was directing him which way to rotate or encouraging him through the hard. Because they paid it forward, my son can now do the same.
I’m glad he had fun: I’m glad he was able to experience the balance of hard work and fun. At the end the day, I asked him how he thought the camp went and he said, “mommy, I had fun!” He equated hard work with fun, that’s all I could ever ask for.
For me as a parent, I learned the importance of taking an honest assessment of my child’s strengths and weaknesses. I did not blame the camp, the players, or the coaches for my sons weaknesses. Rather, I am thankful the camp exposed them. Now, I have a direction in how to better prepare and develop my sons skills.
As a coach, I understand the value of having good and supportive parents whether they agree with my decisions or not. I will practice what I preach and do the same as a parent watching my own son. I say all the time, a coaches season is won and lost by the conversations at the dinner table and that could not be more true. The conversations at our dinner table are not to place blame, but to take responsibility for our own growth and development. I talk candidly about lessons learned through difficult circumstances and provide my son with the tools necessary to overcome them. We talk about the importance of team and how everyone has to play their part, and no one person is bigger than the team. I will pay it forward with my son the same way my parents paid it forward with me. At our house-we don’t blame, we take responsibility.
So, at the end of the day, I’m glad my son experienced failure.
REBORN. RENEWED. RECOLORED.