Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Boys of Summer

As a child, I watched my Dad play softball with the determination of a guard dog- snarling, aggressive, assertive, confident, and very good at his job.
As an adult, my Dad watched me play t-ball in complete dismay and embarrassment- I struck out more times than I actually hit the ball off of the tee. Yes. Off Of The Tee.
Being a perfectionist Virgo, this did not please me, OR my Dad. He was one of those fathers, yelling things like "GAHDAMMIT, SIS... WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING!?!?!?! GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME! THEY OUGHTTA BENCH YOUR SORRY ASS!", and other loving, encouraging advice like that. It's no wonder I didn't play t-ball for more than one season, and quit soccer after 3 or 4 seasons, even though I was a really good soccer player. I did learn a lot from him though about how to truly be a supportive parent of an athlete.

Many years later, I married a man who is a natural competitor. No matter if you're playing cards, bowling, softball, volleyball- doesn't matter... he'll beat you without putting a lot of effort into it. Bryan is a natural athlete.

I am happy to say that Thomas inherited his father's athletic gene. He still has some "mom" in him though, so he's an excellent fielder and pitcher but can't hit the ball for shit. Last year he hit a grand slam home run his first at-bat of the year... didn't hit the ball again all season long. Not even once.

In order to further perfect his pitching skills and develop hitting skills, I signed him up for private coaching sessions at Champions Baseball. I cannot even begin to tell you what a difference it has made! His pitching coach is Buster Keaton, former Milwaukee pitcher. His hitting coach is Steve Larkin, who played throughout college and is the brother of Cincinnati Reds' player Barry Larkin. They are WONDERFUL with Thomas. Gentle, coaxing, encouraging, and really take the time to make sure his form and style are accurate.

After last night's session, I mentioned to Steve that I can't hit a ball to save my life. The boys knew this already, and overheard the conversation. Steve said that maybe he'd get me up to the plate next week, and give me a "life-saving lesson in hitting a baseball". lolol.

So... we're on our way home, and my conversation with Steve came up.
Thomas said "But Mommy, *I* want to teach you how to hit!"
Kevin replied, a little too enthusiastically... "YEAH!!! Then we can get on 'Funniest Home Video's!' "

I'm not really sure how to take that.....


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