Mothering Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,593 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 5.5-year-old is playing tee-ball this year. It's his first year, and he's on a team with mostly boys who are (a) bigger, stronger, and faster than him, and (b) have played tee-ball for at least a year before this season. We've had three practices and played 4 or 5 games now. Well, my DS is THAT player. The one they just put in when they absolutely have to. It's not that he's BAD at it, but you can tell he's not only very inexperienced but he also really doesn't care about playing hard or well. He spins around and around in the outfield. He jogs/walks to base when he gets a hit. His coach calls his name 10 times to give him direction, and he just stands there, totally oblivious to the fact that someone's trying to get his attention.<br><br>
After he was particulary non-attentive during a game this past Saturday, my DH and I had a casual talk with him, letting him know that we wouldn't be disappointed if he didn't want to play ball anymore. The thing is, he says he wants to play. He even almost CRIED when we mentioned him not playing anymore if he didn't want to. We gently explained to him that he needs to pay more attention and try to help his team out more. Last night we had another game. Same thing -- totally not watching what was going on, not paying attention whatsoever, and he even struck out because he was goofing off while up to bat.<br><br>
He has kind of become the kid that all the parents giggle at because he has developed a reputation for doing his own thing. His coach doesn't act annoyed with him, but I know he has to be. I am. Of course, I try not to show that I'm annoyed, but it's hard when I can see that he is not trying at all. I don't want this to become something he dreads doing, and I actually wish he would just tell me he doesn't want to play anymore. But he says he likes it.<br><br>
What would you do in this situation?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
101 Posts
It doesn't sound like ds is ready for team sports yet. If I were you, I would explain to the coach that you are withdrawing your son (he will understand). Plan fun activities for the next couple of weeks when ds should be playing or at practice, and he will probably forget that he was ever part of the team. In a year or two, ask him if he wants to join another team. It sounds like he was pushed a little bit too early.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,593 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Coming back to add that it wasn't our idea for our DS to play ball. DH and I don't even *like* baseball, or any sport for that matter. DS asked to play because two of his school friends are playing. I was actually hesitant at first, because I don't care for organized sports at this age.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,388 Posts
First of all, Tball is supposed to be about learning the game a little and learning to play on a team. In our league all children are required to play equal amounts of time and no child can sit on the bench more than any other. I'm surprised that yours is different.<br><br>
Since he wants to continue to play, you need to work with him on the skills he needs. Help him practice batting at home. Play catch with him. Play "listen to my directions" games -- especially ones that involve running and doing other physical things. Then ask the coach if you can be more active in working with your child during the game. Some coaches allow this, others won't. Most leagues will allow lots of coaches on the field at this level, so you can be out there as a private coach. Don't coach skills so much as paying attention and following directions.<br><br>
Its a rare child who can be a sports star (or even an average player) without lots of work away from formal practices and games. For the record, I don't like baseball, I'm lousy at this sort of thing, and I find it really tedious. But my DS loves it so I do it with him anyway. Not because I want him to be a star player but because he wants to be a good player.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,438 Posts
My DS was like this when he started track cycling. Even though it's an individual sport, they do it as a team for the beginners and he was not paying attention and being similar to how your son is, yet he really enjoyed it.<br><br>
Since inattention can cause a nasty crash, I spoke to him and then the coach spoke to him as well. It was the patient coach's little bit of extra attention plus encouragement from his teammates that got him on track better. It turns out he needed a bit more explanation about what was going on so he understood it better - he really was not "into it" before that because he did not fully understand everything. Does your son understand all the rules and how the game flows, etc? (sorry so vague but I have not seen a ball game in at least a decade)<br><br>
My son is now 12 and has since really gotten serious about his sport and inattention is not a problem anymore <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
I just had to chuckle when I read your post because your son sounds exactly like me when I played tee-ball at age 6/7. I struck out, they stuck me in outfield where I danced and picked flowers. They rarely let me bat. But I loved it. I won a trophy because all of the boys on the team were good players (there were only us 2 girls and we sucked!). I remember it as being fun. I like the idea of practicing some skills at home. Other than that, I can't imagine that a coach of a 5 year old's tee ball team expects good listening skills...? Is your son having fun out there? In my mind, that's what's important.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,067 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>becoming</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7937454"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Coming back to add that it wasn't our idea for our DS to play ball. DH and I don't even *like* baseball, or any sport for that matter. DS asked to play because two of his school friends are playing. I was actually hesitant at first, because I don't care for organized sports at this age.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I don't think it's *wrong* to make best effort a requirement for participation in a team sport. Even if it was his best effort, I would probably pull him either now or at the end of the session and make him prove himself with Dad on the weekends before he plays on a team again. If you think there's a dietary or health reason why he is not concentrating, work on that too?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
I think maybe you need to find another league. I don't know where you are, but sometimes different cities will have different parks and rec stuff that non-residents can join.<br><br>
When you say "they put him in only when they have to"--I've never heard of anyone not ALWAYS playing in Tball.<br><br>
We have 2 Tball choices in our neighborhood. I haven't looked outside our neighborhood.<br><br>
First is Tball associated with Little League. It starts at age 5. It costs almost $200. Parents must do snack stand duty. It is truly Jr Little League, for kids who want to play Little League and who's parents want them to. I only know 1 person who put her son into Tball in this league, and she regretted it--largely becaue of the cost and the # of emails associated with said snack stand duty! The games are run pretty much the same as option 2, but game times vary every week.<br><br>
Second option is city-run parks and rec Tball. Starts at age 4. Costs $85. This is what we do. All kids bat in every inning. No one ever strikes out. There are outs, if the fielders manage to get a runner out, which does happen, esp toward the end of the season. All players play in the field every inning--even if there are 12 players. Everyone plays, no one keeps score. I think your son needs this sort of league! Even the 5-pitch (coach pitch) run by the city doesn't have strike outs (5 pitches, then off the tee).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
craftymom, that league sounds wonderful!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,593 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
That league does sound wonderful! In our league, the scores are like 20-2 (in our favor) most games. There are some really amazing little ball players, especially on our team. I have said more than once that I think my DS would seem so much more experienced/capable if he had been put on one of the other teams that are not so stellar as ours. If I didn't think there'd be hard feelings if we switched to a different team, I'd do that in a heartbeat. There is one team in particular whose coach seems much less concerned about winning than ours does.<br><br>
Also, when I said they only put him in the game when they have to, I mean that he plays one inning of each game. Most of the other kids get to play two innings, sometimes even three. Which means that my DS gets one time at bat, and some of the boys get three times at bat, in each game. I should mention that three of the boys who get the most gametime are the coach's sons, who are phenomenal as far as 5-year-old athletes go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,560 Posts
I have a 6 year old who loves sports. I spend a lot of time in the hot sun watching soccer games, etc.<br><br>
Honestly, I'd figure it was his team/his coach/not my call. If he's having fun and the umps and the coach are okay with it, I wouldn't give a fig what the other parents thought. And I'd drink my tea and cheer loud and happy in the stands.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,219 Posts
He's 5. My son doesn't play T-ball but he does play soccer. At that age he was exactly like what you're describing, but he loved going so we kept it up. Now at 8 he's right there in the game with everyone else.<br><br>
I'd say if it's not bothering him then let him play. If you can find another team that doesn't sit kids on the bench or keep score for 5 year olds then think about switching him, but it doesn't sound like he's devasted by these things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,679 Posts
You've gotten really good advice here. I'd take your thoughts and then talk to the coach - preferably on the phone, away from the field and when your ds can not hear you. Lay out your concerns and ask for his advice.<br><br>
Some other things to consider. If you move your ds to another team or pull him out altogether, your ds may see this as a punishment or that he is just not good at sports. IMO, I'd rather work with the coach to see if there is something you both can help your ds with to make it workable on all fronts. I especially like the idea of a parent coach on the field. Honestly, my personal feeling is that people who coach children at this age should be open to all sorts of abilities and maturity levels of their players.<br><br>
And hopefully as a source of comfort, I know what it's like to be a parent of "that" child. Please don't let other people make you embarrassed - as hard as that might be. If your ds truly loves ball, try to focus on the fact that he's happy doing something he likes. HTH!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
I was totally that kid for a long time...I spent two softball seasons striking out and making daisy chains. (At ages 7 & 8 too...) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
However, I started soccer when I was 5 or 6, and I loved it. I think the difference is that there's no waiting in soccer. In baseball/softball/tball, there's all that waiting around. Heck, to a 5 year old, the entire inning when your team isn't batting probably feels like waiting around.<br><br>
I'd finish out the season as long as your son seems to be enjoying himself. If he'd like to play sports again next season, investigate leagues that allow equal playing time or consider a different sport that is more consistently interactive. (Soccer, basketball, flag football, hockey, swimming, etc.)<br><br>
When I grew out of my inattentive klutzy duckling stage, I was a 4 year varsity athlete in high school. I say this not because I think athletic prowess is the absolute end goal of 5 year old t-ball, but rather just to point out that kids will mature differently and that the kid who made daisy chains in the outfield may indeed one day pay attention to the game and really enjoy sports for their own sake.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,167 Posts
Yeah, I would check out some different leagues. Some of the YMCA's around here do seasonal sports activities, same with community centers or Park and Rec Dept. No scores are kept at most of the organized sports events for 5 and 6 year olds. I won't put my almost 6yo on a team for the opposite problem that you are having - my son would probably become obsessed with "scoring." But my son does like playing different sports. Right now we do soccer but it's through a private company that basically just teaches soccer skills and they play little games.<br><br>
If he really wants to stay on this one (his friends are on it, etc.) then yes, practicing at home, and talking about the important of paying attention is probably warranted. And he'll probably get it soon enough.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top