Sometimes it's just about fun

Posted: Saturday, August 22, 2009 by Travis Cody in
16

I know that professional sports are about money and winning. I know that and I don't think it's wrong. I don't blame players for taking as much money out of the game as they can get. And I do think that the majority of players play their games hard and because they love the games. And I think that they play with sportsmanship, tempered by their great desire to win and make more money.

But I do love to see kids play hard and with sportsmanship that has nothing to do with money and winning.

Of course the kids want to win. They'll throw their gloves in the air when they win, and make the victory pile, and do a victory lap. And they'll shed tears when it doesn't happen.

But they'll also walk the sportsmanship line after a game and slap hands with the other team. And at Williampsport, during the Little League World Series, they'll share dorms and common game rooms and meals with kids from all over the world. They'll make new friends over this game of baseball.

And when a pitcher accidentally hits a batter, he'll walk over to the batter and shake his hand. And the batter will accept that gesture, because he knows the other kid didn't want to hit him.

The kids compete. They play hard. They want to win. And they do that because it's fun.

Fun.

There's plenty of time to think about sports as career. Most of these kids will never think of sports that way. They might continue to play, and some may use their talent to get to college. But pro sports isn't in the future for the majority of these kids.

Right now, for these 11-13 year olds, it's just baseball.

Fun.

16 comments:

  1. Good thoughts. I love baseball. I live and die by baseball. Nothing upsets me more than when there is a fight. It makes me crazy. I know some people will argue that it shows the players' passions, but when we stop and think about kids and how they maintain passion without lapsing into barbarism, it should give us some sort of standard to uphold.

  1. Yep,great thought.

  1. Jeni says:

    Very good post, Trav. Now, if only some of the parents who are big troublemaker types with respect to their kids and these sports would just get the message and get on board with the sportmanship theory, would it be terrific for all concerned!.

  1. jennifer says:

    Great post. Watching kids play baseball is SO much fun. Fall ball starts here soon and I can't wait!

  1. barb says:

    It should be about fun and learning some good life lessons along the way. Learning to lose gracefully is as important as winning gracefully. It isn't always your turn to win and they need to know how to do that, too.

    Sometimes, the parents ruin it for the kids. My Ex use to coach Little League and was on the board. It was worse than politics.

    My Dad must be seriously bummed about the Red Sox. Poor guy.

  1. Travis, great comment on the "health care as a right" post. I appreciate what you have to say always! Thanks very much! :)

    Sports for kids should only be fun...

  1. Travis says:

    Stewart: Well said. Passion needn't be defined only by aggression.

    Mike: It's fun to watch kids sometimes.

    Jeni: I haven't been close to these organized leagues in a long time. I hope that the majority of parents do understand. I'm not naive and I realize that ESPN shows us the best of the best behavior. But it's still nice to see it.

    Jennifer: Good luck to your boy!

    Barb: I know that a lot of parents get involved for the short time their kid is playing, and it becomes all about their kid. But then there are others who stick around after their kid moves on. I think they do it because they do recognize the life lessons and want to be a part of paying that forward.

    Mary: I keep saying that shouting your thoughts without stopping to listen doesn't qualify as debate. It's only petty and short-sighted.

  1. Well said, Travis. I think sometimes that adult "athletes" could take some lessons from kids when it comes to sportsmanship.

  1. Yes I love to see the young ones play. I miss watching my son in little league, and I love the sportsmanship. I get very irritated at times with the lack of it in major league sports. Although many athletes do indeed still show it.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Sometimes people forget that it's supposed to be fun. Thanks for the reminder Trav. :)

  1. Kanani says:

    One of my favorite things to do is go to a Cal State Fullerton Titan's baseball game. It's SO much fun. I never go to Angel's games anymore. These are just pure enjoyment for everyone --the players and the crowd.

  1. Anytime a kid can learn what it means to reach a personal best, while keeping what the team needs in mind - I think that's the best part of sports like baseball. It's the same thing a kid learns when they're in a play, in a band, singing in a choir... A sense of community, and a sense of pushing their comfort zone with their individual performance.

    The stress levels of winning or of ensuring big box office can come later. Much later.

  1. That's EXACTLY why I prefer little league to pro ball of any kind. ;)

  1. Great post Travis- it is all about the fun! Why do we forget that?

  1. kids can learn quite a few life lessons from playing sports. How to win...how to lose....team work...accountability..I could go on for an hour.

    they have heart
    miles and miles of heart...

  1. Dana says:

    Trav: Great thought!