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  • Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
    It's been quite some time since I've posted, but baseball season started this week (practice). Hard to believe that my boy is now a Sophmore - since I began this thread . So much has happened down through the years, but it's been a wonderful journey.

    To be honest this past few months have been very hard. My boy is driving now and I swear when he turned 16 it's like someone else has taken over his body. Oh, he's still a great kid and all that but he's definitely not my little boy anymore.

    Like I said it's been pretty hard. He went weeks even months without speaking to me and God as my witness I have no idea why. You try to talk to him about it and he rolls his eyes in the back of his head. Amazing how he's 16 but I'm an idiot and I JUST DON'T GET IT.

    As far as baseball goes he still loves the game but it doesn't seem the same.....at least so far. Right now he's so bent on driving and girls and stuff that that's pretty much all he can see. Yeah he loves baseball but it seems to be at a different level than in the past. All he wants to do is go to practice....he doesn't seem to have the desire inside himself to be the best (like he's had all his life). I get the feeling that it's just fine with him to be on the team. I can remember a time when he would not accept anything other than being the best player on the field.

    Oh well...it's very very early and practice has just started. He may surprise me...... I sure hope so.

    His coach gunned him and a few of the pitchers the other day...... he got my boy at 83mph which I was a little disappointed in. Last summer he was consistently throwing 81 to 82 so I had hoped he would have gained a little more.....but like I said the season has just started so he may get a little faster before the end of the year.

    Right now he's still listed on the JV team and not the Varsity...... I found out why. His couch punished him because of something that happened and put him back on the JV for the time being. He's been told he's going to have to earn his way back to the Varsity again. I know what happened and I'm on my boys side of it but I still respect the coach so we will gladly live with the coaches decision and who knows... maybe that's just what my boy needs for motivation. The reason he was sent down was not baseball related and it was something that was beyond his control.

    It's been kind of a tough time personally as well. I've given up my writing career and I'm now looking for work. I've not been able to find anything and it's getting frustrating.

    But the season has started now and I'll try to post updates as often as I can as to my boys Sophmore year.

    Sparks
    As a father of 4 boys, two of which are out of the house I see warning bells when I ready your statements above.

    First of all I would never ever allow my sons (or my daughters to date) before they were 18. You are just asking for a grandchild out of wedlock. Dating is a preparation for marriage, to find the right woman. If your son can't marry right now he shouldn't date.

    Second of all if my son didn't give the respect my position as head of household demands he would be walking to school until he learned otherwise.

    Comment


    • Didn't you read the fine print on the back of the driver's license ... Congratulations! You're now sixteen. This license entitles you to be a know it all $%^&*@# until you screw up and need dad to help you out. When I told my son the car belongs to me and he needs permission to use it the problems ended.

      From having been through the journey with two kids and all the players surrounding them, I found the players who stopped working out other than with the team starting falling by the side of the road and never became impact varsity players.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by tradosaurus View Post
        As a father of 4 boys, two of which are out of the house I see warning bells when I ready your statements above.

        First of all I would never ever allow my sons (or my daughters to date) before they were 18. You are just asking for a grandchild out of wedlock. Dating is a preparation for marriage, to find the right woman. If your son can't marry right now he shouldn't date. .
        This is not the norm... I come from a very large family... We all dated at 16 and none of us (approximately 30 of us - Several generations) did not have children out of wedlock. Dating in my opinon is just part of growing up. But.... we should not let this thread get too far off line... Sparks has had a remarkable journey with his boy and I feel his experience in this area trumps many.
        "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
        - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
        Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

        Comment


        • Sparks, it's great to hear from you again. I've thought of your boy several times over the past month or so, wondering how the two of you were doing. I think this comment is telling, "All he wants to do is go to practice....he doesn't seem to have the desire inside himself to be the best (like he's had all his life). I get the feeling that it's just fine with him to be on the team. I can remember a time when he would not accept anything other than being the best player on the field." My opinion: as long as he wants to go to practice, it'll be like the old fire dog and the fire bell: when it goes off, the ingrained desire to best the other players will kick back in, so long as the coach calls him on it if he starts to get cocky and slack off. Hopefully his demotion will help light that fire.

          But, still, he needs to get in work on his own. TG643 speaks a powerful truth when he says, "I found the players who stopped working out other than with the team starting falling by the side of the road and never became impact varsity players." Ursa Minor has grudgingly gone to practices but stopped doing separate workouts in mid-fall when school work started to overwhelm him, and he's stagnated as a pitcher. His tryouts for the varsity (he's a HS senior, so JV is no longer an option) start in three days, and it's clear his competition has been outworking him. He may be in for a disappointing comeuppance.

          I'm sorry you're getting the silent treatment, particularly in view of the heroic effort you had to make to even rescue him from a horrible domestic situation. (Maybe it's a good sign that he seems to have forgotten it.... who knows?) Oh, he'll come back around. I'm reminded of the famous old quote: "When I was 14, I thought my father was the stupidest man on earth. By the time I became 21, I became amazed how much a man could learn in seven years." That doesn't make it any easier to live through the seven years, though.

          And - at the risk of taking the thread too far off line - but dealing with teenagers' fascination with the opposite sex is as important to keeping 'em in the game as teaching them to hit the curve ball, IMHO - I wouldn't go so far as to keep kids from dating until 18. I know many kids who've been banned from dating but somehow end up with an unwanted pregnancy, because the forbidden fruit has appeared that much more delicious and the efforts to secretly obtain prophylactics much more arduous.

          Okay.... back to pure baseball. 82 or 83 MPH is just fine for a sophomore. That's the age where pitchers really need to start to develop an off-speed pitch they can rely on, so maybe it'll force him to ignore the speed gun a bit and work on off-speed, location, and changing speed. The kids throwing 91 MPH but straight as an arrow can cruise through league play with that fastball, and then they hit the playoffs and wonder why they're seeing the numbers on the backs of their outfielders' jerseys so often, if you get my drift.
          sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

          Comment


          • Ursa,

            Great to hear from you.

            Like you, I also hope that when the "bug" of playing and practicing kicks in it will relight the fire inside him.

            We have a new assistant coach this year.....he's a former college coach who is very highly regarded by everyone. How my school got him I don't know but if I had to guess it's because his kid is starting school at our school this year. This coaches college actually closed it's doors last year so this guy was out of a job. He was a head coach at his college but he's a pitching coach by trade and he is putting our pitchers through a college program.

            So far my boy hates him. Not because he's a bad guy but because he's working the crazy out of them. They run 4 miles many days after practice and this guy is tough to boot.

            Personally, I freaking love the guy. I've never spoken to him and never will (I always stay out of the way) but watching him at practice is a joy. Nothing gets by this guy.

            Like I said, the season just started this week so who know's..... maybe little Sparks will get that fire again.

            A few months ago he was on a travel team and we won the state championship. He told me it was about the best time of his life. He loves winning more than anything so if our team can come out of the gates and he can have a little success maybe it will help improve his attitude.


            Ursa, I hope your boy makes the squad... I know you love watching him as much as I love watching mine. The very best to you my friend.

            Sparks

            Comment


            • Very enjoyable read. I've been building servers all night long and it was great to read through this over the past 12 hours while I awaited scripts to run. If nothing else, the bond you two have built will last a lifetime and it won't ever be forgotten. At least his fascination with girls held off till he was 16. My golfing career was ruined by girls around 13yo. LOL Keep on posting over the next few years, it's been wonderful reading this.

              Comment


              • Sparks and Ursa,

                My son was pretty much just the opposite of your two boys. He was never interested in doing anymore than he had to, and just let his natural ability get him "whatever".

                Started sometime last year during his JV season, and then this summer, he was hitting with another young man I coach (a senior in HS, who's already signed an excellent D1 scholly and has 4 MLB teams scouting him), when the two started to have these BP hitting round "competitions", and soon the light bulb just came on.

                Several weeks later, my son wanted me to "look at this video".......



                ....and after that he's become a completely different player/athlete.

                Wants to now hit constantly in our cage after his school practice......then, in between homework assignments, he squeezes in at least an hour weight lifting session every evening. This from the kid that up to that time, would hit one bucket of balls, and he was in the house and gone.....and I'm pretty sure that until recently, he thought that a "dumbbell" was just something you were called when you did something stupid, and not something that you actually lifted.

                Fortunately it is paying off. He lead his HS team in hitting this past winter season and made varsity as a junior.....don't know how many innings or ABs he'll get, but he's having fun being there with the seniors who he had played with for years on LL/TB teams.....so just that he's working hard, doing well, and is happy, is really all that I could ask for.


                Hope the video helps, and best of luck,
                mud -


                PS. Here's another video that that other player showed me, that he said motivates him before his games and workouts......



                Yeah, I know it's football, but I still get chills every time I listen to it, remembering when I.......
                In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

                Comment


                • Originally posted by mudvnine View Post
                  Sparks and Ursa,

                  My son was pretty much just the opposite of your two boys. He was never interested in doing anymore than he had to, and just let his natural ability get him "whatever".

                  Started sometime last year during his JV season, and then this summer, he was hitting with another young man I coach (a senior in HS, who's already signed an excellent D1 scholly and has 4 MLB teams scouting him), when the two started to have these BP hitting round "competitions", and soon the light bulb just came on.

                  Several weeks later, my son wanted me to "look at this video".......



                  ....and after that he's become a completely different player/athlete.

                  Wants to now hit constantly in our cage after his school practice......then, in between homework assignments, he squeezes in at least an hour weight lifting session every evening. This from the kid that up to that time, would hit one bucket of balls, and he was in the house and gone.....and I'm pretty sure that until recently, he thought that a "dumbbell" was just something you were called when you did something stupid, and not something that you actually lifted.

                  Fortunately it is paying off. He lead his HS team in hitting this past winter season and made varsity as a junior.....don't know how many innings or ABs he'll get, but he's having fun being there with the seniors who he had played with for years on LL/TB teams.....so just that he's working hard, doing well, and is happy, is really all that I could ask for.


                  Hope the video helps, and best of luck,
                  mud -


                  PS. Here's another video that that other player showed me, that he said motivates him before his games and workouts......



                  Yeah, I know it's football, but I still get chills every time I listen to it, remembering when I.......
                  That is so weird, I found both of these videos about 3-4 months ago and after watching them as well as reading a couple great baseball books, I became a completely different player. I too wanted to be working all day, every day. I had the worst year of my life last season, hitting sub .200 and playing poorly on defense. I feel like I've gotten a second chance, everything has begun to become so easy for me during the winter practices I have been attending (until I tore my hamstring, only 3 more weeks of recovery to go!). The coaches have even told me that I will probably be hitting in the top of the lineup this year, and that just makes me want to work harder!
                  Never let an opportunity to get better pass you by, because others may take it for themselves.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by JCincy View Post
                    Fumes Disease. It has been known to strike many a young man in their prime. It comes in at least two forms: Perfumes and GasFumes. In rare cases the smell of money can actually get a kid working, too.
                    Nice. I'll have to remember this one. I keep telling my grandson, things might change when his hormones start acting up. Right now, he doesn't know what I'm talking about.

                    Comment


                    • the forbidden fruit has appeared that much more delicious

                      Since my kids are/were reasonably responsible at eighteen I let them drink in the house. I disagree with the drinking age being twenty-one. This doesn't mean I believe they should be getting drunk in the house. At Thanksgiving my son was served wine with dinner. It was a reasonably expensive wine. He proceeded to squeeze an orange into it. I reimplemented the drinking ban until he acquires some class and taste.

                      Comment


                      • the forbidden fruit has appeared that much more delicious

                        Since my kids are/were reasonably responsible at eighteen I let them drink in the house. I disagree with the drinking age being twenty-one. This doesn't mean I believe they should be getting drunk in the house. At Thanksgiving my son was served wine with dinner. It was a reasonably expensive wine. He proceeded to squeeze an orange into it. I reimplemented the drinking ban until he acquires some class and taste.

                        Comment


                        • Thoughts:

                          Today I was thinking about all the kids my boy has played with and against down through the years. I remember one boy that was a super stud at 12 but never played after he was 13. I remembered many many kids who for one reason or another no longer play baseball....some not good enough and others just didn't care for it anymore or they chose another sport/activity.

                          Out of the probably hundreds of kids my boy has played with and against I can probably count a couple of dozen (if that many) that are still playing.

                          I guess my point is this..... I'm happy that my boy is still playing the game and I think/hope he still loves the game. But I don't want to burn him out.

                          Anyone who has read this thread down through the years knows that, when it comes to raising little sparks, I've made far more mistakes than good decisions. I mean I make every mistake as a parent and some of them twice.

                          I may be wrong but I feel, at least at this point in time, that I need to back off and let him either love the game or not. Maybe I'm wrong...... who knows but I figure I'll know my answer in a pretty short time after the season is in full swing.

                          If he walks away from the game then I'm probably one of the most blessed grandparents who ever walked the earth. I have some amazing memories. But I don't think it's gone that far just yet....I still see that little glimmer in his eye when I talk about baseball.

                          Sparks
                          Last edited by Sparksdale; 02-04-2012, 03:25 PM.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
                            Today I was thinking about all the kids my boy has played with and against down through the years. I remember one boy that was a super stud at 12 but never played after he was 13. I remembered many many kids who for one reason or another no longer play baseball....some not good enough and others just didn't care for it anymore or they chose another sport/activity.

                            Out of the probably hundreds of kids my boy has played with and against I can probably count a couple of dozen (if that many) that are still playing.

                            I guess my point is this..... I'm happy that my boy is still playing the game and I think/hope he still loves the game. But I don't want to burn him out.

                            Anyone who has read this thread down through the years knows that, when it comes to raising little sparks, I've made far more mistakes than good decisions. I mean I make every mistake as a parent and some of them twice.

                            I may be wrong but I feel, at least at this point in time, that I need to back off and let him either love the game or not. Maybe I'm wrong...... who knows but I figure I'll know my answer in a pretty short time after the season is in full swing.

                            If he walks away from the game then I'm probably one of the most blessed grandparents who ever walked the earth. I have some amazing memories. But I don't think it's gone that far just yet....I still see that little glimmer in his eye when I talk about baseball.

                            Sparks
                            Sparks,

                            You're way too hard on yourself. You've done a great job raising the young man. He's really lucky to have such a caring person in his life, even if perhaps he isn't willing to tell you that yet. Give him time.

                            I agree with your approach that he needs to figure out whether he loves the game or not. At this age, even if you pushed it wouldn't work, my opinion. There is a lot going on at that age, and baseball may or may not be in the cards for him. Only he will know for sure. A parent has to pick the battles they fight. Do you make baseball one of those fights, or do you save the fights for other items that presumably should be more important: working hard at school, being responsible, doing all of his family duties, having a strong moral character to do what is right, etc.? If he is doing everything else right, is baseball really that important? Of course not. But you may be surprised that he will indeed put in the effort because he loves the game. And if he does with his talent he can go a long way. Unfortunately, it really is up to him to figure out. If he doesn't have the inner drive, all the pushing in the world won't help, again my opinion only.

                            Good luck and again don't be too hard on yourself. You should be proud of all you've done. The world would be a lot better if there were more parents like you out there, believe me.

                            -JJA
                            The outcome of our children is infinitely more important than the outcome of any game they will ever play

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
                              I mean I make every mistake as a parent and some of them twice.
                              You're in good company.

                              Originally posted by JJA View Post
                              A parent has to pick the battles they fight.
                              Good advice I remind myself of every day.

                              Originally posted by tradosaurus View Post
                              First of all I would never ever allow my sons (or my daughters to date) before they were 18. You are just asking for a grandchild out of wedlock. Dating is a preparation for marriage, to find the right woman. If your son can't marry right now he shouldn't date.
                              Unbelievable.

                              Comment


                              • Start of season

                                Today my boy will begin his first game in his high school career as a Sophomore.

                                The coach has told him he is going to play on the JV squad but will be called up to pitch on the Varsity. It's my understanding that my boy is going to be the the #3 starting pitcher on the Varsity Squad. Doesn't make sense to me to have your #3 pitcher down on the JV team but it is what it is.

                                We had a fund raiser this past Saturday where all of the players hit ten balls. They measured their longest hit with a range finder and people would donate money for every foot a player hit. My boys longest was 319 feet....not bad for slow pitching but I thought he did well. These new bats are really changing the game.....better for pitchers but worse for hitters. No argument with me on the bat change.....if I had my say I would make the other team use the new bats while my boy pitches but let my boy use the old bats.....lol just kidding of course.

                                I hope today will be fun. I know my boy is pretty disappointed he isn't on the Varsity.....The varsity is playing today and my boy really wanted to travel with them.

                                Sparks

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