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Tom

8 Year Old Not Having Fun

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After his game last night, my 8 year old told my wife that no part of baseball was fun and that he wants to quit, but knew I would not let him. It hurt to hear this and I really don't know what to do.

He has played 2 years of tball and is in his second year of machine pitch. He is on a very good team that is far better than the other teams in his league and they perform average while travelling to tournaments. The coaches told us at the beginning of the season that they would like to play around 30 games this season and we have played about 15 so far. We practiced for about 3 weeks before the season 2-3 times a week. My son got tired of practicing and asked a few times not to go, but I did always make him go. I think all the kids were burned out of practicing, but after we have started the season we have only had 1 or 2 practices.

I know this is a lot of baseball for an eight year old, but I don't feel this is where is dislike is coming from. Of the 11 kids on the team, he is probably the eighth in skills and performance. If he were on another team , I feel he would be one of the better kids on the team and would probably play infield instead of outfield where he mostly plays now. He loves soccer and basketball. His teams were never the top teams, but he always was one of the top players in practice and games. I think it is good for him to be more a part of a team as he is in baseball.

I knew going into this season that baseball wasn't his favorite sport and asked him a couple of times if he was sure that he wanted to play. He was always enthusiastic about starting. I don't like the idea of him quitting, but I know it is going to be a long season.

Any suggestions or ideas?

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That is tough to deal with. My son is somewhat the opposite. He is one of the best of the team, (not being a proud father), is the first at practice, the last to leave and gives me the dead eye if i don't play with him after work.

But i do see some kids on the team, who's skills are not up to par and see them not showing from practice, lax during the games... they spend alot of time looking up at the sky, staring at the ground, barely swinging the bat when they are up.

the interest is not there. i understand it is difficult if your son is playing right field as opposed to infield. but i think with time, he will show if he wants to be a baseball player or stick with soccer/basketball.

my son has excelled in baseball and basketball to the point that he is playing with kids 2 years older next year on a basketball travel team and he is already been picked for the same with winter ball for baseball.

he also played football for the first time last year, full pads against my better wishes, but his friends were all playing. anyway, he started getting into the "not wanting to go to practice" point...

i let him make the decision and he quit.

now i am not big on quitting, but my point is every kid doesn't play every sport. i grew up playing football from an early age and my father pushed me into basketball as well which i didn't like at all. i stuck with football and quit basketball.

again, not condoning quitting, but the longer he goes, the the more disenchanted he might become. he might come around and want to play again in another year or so.

anything is possible

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Thanks for your response. You're right about this being a tough one.

When he is out in the field his mind does wonder alot. Not to the point of picking flowers as in tball but in a lot of games he can be seen turning his hat backwards, or doing spins before the pitch. He never is replaced in the outfield as are the others. He does back up every hit and throw, and plays his position correctly, even prompting the coach to tell him that he was starting every game and wouldn't be taken out. As far as batting, he hits very consistently and bats 6th. He is small for his age and not as developed as the other players yet. I would hate for him to miss a few years of playing just because he wasn't the best player on his team.

We are going to a tournament this weekend, I think I am going to tell him that he needs to play this weekend and we can talk about what we will do with the rest of the season after that.

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Hi, Just adding my 2 cents..........At 8 yrs old my son was pulled up to play on an older soccer team and chosen for the "select" team. He and the other selects had talent "up the wazoo" so to speak, dominating all the competitions..........He waited until he was 10 to play baseball and he was in the middle of the pack: great hitter but lousy pitcher. Now at age 13, almost all of the "selects" have quit the soccer team (too much running for their lazy adolescent bodies lol) and are playing baseball. Some are good but some need to catch up to the boys who have played since tball. Which is my point, kind of, I guess. Those who stick with it, will have an edge because they are more fam,iliar with the ins and outs of the game and those who come late, may have talent, but don't know the subleties of the game. Also, what I have noticed is that some of the guys who were the minoe league super stars in baseball, have not grown at the same pace as some of the other boys and are still small, good, but small. Some of the "not so quick" boys who were big at the time (minors) are now tall and gangly, all feet and knees, but boy can they hit! Kids, you gotta love "em. The all grow at different speeds, physically and emotionally but they all find thier own niche, hopefully, and turn out OK. That is if WE don't screw them up!

I'm from Boston, ask your son if Trot Nixon thinks right field is a wimp position, or Manny Rameriz if being in left is really "left out"! Good luck, take a breath and have fun watching your son take the first steps in a lifetime of decision making. Help him understand that even if it makes him feel better to quit, it might not make everyone else feel good. There is no " I " in the word team. :)

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Not disagreeing to a point with what you had to say. But i will say there are exceptions. Perhaps Baseball is not the end all be all for this kid.

I am not about supporting a quitter, but as i said, i let my son quit football as he was not happy at all.

We have seen the coaches at other events including Basketball over the winter, and they fawned over my son how they were going to play him more... they didn't understand why he left. anyway, as my son then ripped them for 20 points during basketball, it became clear to me that perhaps at the time i wasn't happy he quit, that perhaps he wanted to focus more on basketball/baseball. at the end of basketball season, he was asked to join a 10 year old travel team. Again, he is 8. THis being his 3rd year of Baseball, he is incredibly committed to it and had his best game to date this past weekend, 2 scoreless innings pitched, a number of great defensive plays in the field and hit for 4 RBI's. We found out he has been selected for the all-star team.

Anyway, they just had sign up for football for next season, and the same coaches saw us this weekend at Baseball and want him on the team. I left it up to my son, and he has decided Baseball/BAsketball is it for him. I know at some point that might change, later in life, but perhaps not. He has found his calling so to speak and has shown he can dedicate himself to a sport or 2 and the desire to stick with it and grow.

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Just remember that if your son is truly not having fun ( and I say this cause all kids get burnout and need a break) Its not good for him or you to keep playing.

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