I had an awesome Mother’s Day weekend! I loved all of the handmade gifts from my kids and the tickets to see Tim McGraw in July. We celebrated the day at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and enjoyed a beautiful Florida Sunday afternoon. But Saturday evening was a night I will never forget. My son hit his first ever home run!
You have to start somewhere
My son has only played baseball for one year. He wasn’t and isn’t the best on his team. He plays right fielder and sometimes third baseman. He’s one of the last boys up to bat and it has been discouraging for him.
My husband and I have consistently reminded him that this is his first year of ever playing baseball and that most of the boys on the team have been playing for many years.
Every night after dinner my husband practices throwing and catching the baseball with him. We’ve spent weekends at the batting cages in hopes of removing his fear of getting hit by the baseball. Have you watched eight-year-olds pitch a ball? It’s very scary at times and unfortunately, he has been hit by the ball.
He’s practiced with his older cousin who’s a pitcher for his university. We’ve done all of this because he wanted to be a better baseball player and hit a home run.
“Don’t let the fear of striking out hold you back.” Babe Ruth
I’ll be the first to admit that every time he was up to bat or a ball was hit in his direction I held my breath. I didn’t want my son to be the one who cost the team a win because he didn’t hit the ball or allowed the other team to score because he was too slow to catch the ball. I know they’re only eight-year-olds, but most of the parents and his teammates don’t realize it.
There were times he was up to bat that he didn’t swing or was way off in his timing. When he asked why he didn’t swing more often, he said he was afraid of missing the ball. After he admitted this we told him about Babe Ruth being one of the greatest baseball players of all time, but that he was also known as the king of strikeouts.
Learning about Babe Ruth’s failures was all he needed to boost his confidence. As this season progressed, he steadily became better and improved with each game. He was catching and throwing the balls faster. He was consistently hitting the ball when he was up to bat. His overall attitude improved when he learned that you don’t start off a superstar and that striking out isn’t the end of the world.
And The Crowd Goes Wild! My Son Hit The Game Winning Home Run!
Saturday was the final game of the season. The superstar boys on the team were having off games. They were striking out when it was their turn to bat and the pitchers were having hard time throwing strikes.
It was the bottom of the last inning with one boy on first base, one out and my son was up to bat. He swung at the first pitch and missed. He stepped to the side and took a few practice swings. The second pitch was thrown and all of the sudden there was a loud crack of the bat. The ball flew over the heads the pitcher and second baseman. The ball was deep in the outfield!
The crowd was cheering for my son. Everyone was on their feet clapping and cheering him and the other boy on! I couldn’t believe what was happening. My son, the boy so many had written off as an okay player, hit a home run and won the game for his team!
It was amazing to hear my son’s name being yelled. I held in the tears in as my son ran into home plate.
I was overwhelmed with joy after fellow team moms told me they almost started crying as my son scored. After the game, all of the boys high five’d my son and the head coach said that the team won the game because of my son.
And the lesson learned by son and his team:
Don’t ever write anybody off as a failure!