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  • Originally posted by mudvnine View Post
    Ursa, I think you pretty much said it all when you reposted this...

    We all have our stories of disappointment for our children, when others don't view them through the same glasses that we do, but that is life in general, and not just baseball.

    * * * * * * * * *
    Sparks, if I could offer you a little story of disappointment and realization that I went through with my oldest son, it may put some of what you're experiencing into perspective.....
    ......
    ......I told him that everything would be OK and to let his play on the JV team show the coach that he had made the wrong decision. It was his next words that brought tears to my eyes, and a lump in my throat. He said, "Dad, I'm sorry for letting you down by not making the team" as he began to cry like I'd never seen him before. I hugged him, and through my own blubbering tears, I told him I loved him, and that I was proud of him, no matter what team he ever played on.

    It was at that moment, that I realized my own desire to see my son succeed in the game of baseball had sent all of the wrong messages to him, and that I had inadvertently put way too much pressure on him, and placed the importance of things in all the wrong places. .....
    Mud, that was very beautifully and powerfully written. Thanks for sharing and making a point more effectively than I or most of the rest of us could have done.
    sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Standballdad View Post
      Not trying to be mean spirited and definitely not shallow. My oldest son went thru the same thing in soccer. Only giving my honest opinion, we are adults no need to sugar coat things, it does not help the situation to do so. Imho
      I am not disputing that Sparks' attitude as expressed in the post is (to the extent it seeps into the advice he gives his grandson) not a positive in helping to deal with the situation. Rather, I was critical of those who blithely suggest that Sparks' attitude is fueled by a desire to live vicariously through the youngster. While that may be a fair charge in a great many similar cases, Sparks' situation presents complexities that defy easy platitudes. Sure, you and Trade are entitled to your opinions; it's just that they bear more weight if you've read every post by Sparks over the past six years and PM'd with him privately to understand the back story.

      I know you're not trying to be mean-spirited, but you should understand that when you say something like, "This is all about you and not your grandson" (and I'm quoting you) you are necessarily saying that, intentionally or not, Sparks does not genuinely have his grandson's interests at heart. If you step back and think about it, it's a pretty thoughtless thing to say. At the very least, the person you're addressing is likely to shut you out after you make such an attack. If, by contrast, you want to say that Sparks is misguided in the manner that MudV has done, you're more likely to persuade him and others who have similar stories.
      sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Ursa Major View Post
        I am not disputing that Sparks' attitude as expressed in the post is (to the extent it seeps into the advice he gives his grandson) not a positive in helping to deal with the situation. Rather, I was critical of those who blithely suggest that Sparks' attitude is fueled by a desire to live vicariously through the youngster. While that may be a fair charge in a great many similar cases, Sparks' situation presents complexities that defy easy platitudes. Sure, you and Trade are entitled to your opinions; it's just that they bear more weight if you've read every post by Sparks over the past six years and PM'd with him privately to understand the back story.

        I know you're not trying to be mean-spirited, but you should understand that when you say something like, "This is all about you and not your grandson" (and I'm quoting you) you are necessarily saying that, intentionally or not, Sparks does not genuinely have his grandson's interests at heart. If you step back and think about it, it's a pretty thoughtless thing to say. At the very least, the person you're addressing is likely to shut you out after you make such an attack. If, by contrast, you want to say that Sparks is misguided in the manner that MudV has done, you're more likely to persuade him and others who have similar stories.
        Ursa, Sparks has come on to a public board to share his experiences with his grandson and seek advice during this journey. I have no problems with what Mud wrote he was offering advice as I am. I am just being more blunt about it. I am not attacking him. I can only comment on what I have read in this PUBLIC forum. Call it tough love or whatever else you think it is, but it is advice none the less. As you said he can choose to ignore what I wrote or he can respond. Even his very last comment "I'm scared.... I tell you I'm very scared. I'm scared he will lose his love of the game." says a lot. What is so scary to Sparks senior about his grandson not loving the game anymore? Ursa, you need to read between the lines. My son is also crazy about the game and I love to watch him play more than anything, but if he lost his love for the game and was not enjoying himself than so be it, yes I would be a little bummed out, but I would support him no matter what. If little Sparks lost his love for the game and was not having fun then he should not be playing and Sparks Senior should help him move on. Baseball as great a game as it is, is still just a game. Every parent or grandparents goal should be to make sure their kids are happy with or without baseball. Now after saying all that, I hope little Sparks continues to Love the game, but if the only way to keep him loving the game is playing Varsity baseball he will have a tough road.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Standballdad View Post
          Ursa, Sparks has come on to a public board to share his experiences with his grandson and seek advice during this journey. I have no problems with what Mud wrote he was offering advice as I am. I am just being more blunt about it. I am not attacking him. I can only comment on what I have read in this PUBLIC forum. Call it tough love or whatever else you think it is, but it is advice none the less. As you said he can choose to ignore what I wrote or he can respond. Even his very last comment "I'm scared.... I tell you I'm very scared. I'm scared he will lose his love of the game." says a lot. What is so scary to Sparks senior about his grandson not loving the game anymore? Ursa, you need to read between the lines. My son is also crazy about the game and I love to watch him play more than anything, but if he lost his love for the game and was not enjoying himself than so be it, yes I would be a little bummed out, but I would support him no matter what. If little Sparks lost his love for the game and was not having fun then he should not be playing and Sparks Senior should help him move on. Baseball as great a game as it is, is still just a game. Every parent or grandparents goal should be to make sure their kids are happy with or without baseball. Now after saying all that, I hope little Sparks continues to Love the game, but if the only way to keep him loving the game is playing Varsity baseball he will have a tough road.
          There's no reason the young man or his grandpa should be down about being a sophomore and not playing varsity. It is ridiculous. The world has greater tragedies. Very shallow emotions here. That would concern me. "I'm not getting what I want, so I'm going to __________________" Who hasn't seen that end badly for teenage kids?

          If the kid's getting screwed, then it should be motivation to give more - not quit. I've looked back through this thread and the only adversity Sparks describes were legit reasons the kid finished a close second, but he really "should have" finished first. I think Sparks is confusing loving one's self and their accomplishments with loving the game. Big difference.
          There are two kinds of losers.....Those that don't do what they are told, and those that do only what they are told.

          Comment


          • I thought I would get a lot of flack for my post about my boy not playing Varsity. I think everyone is right and every situation is different.

            I think we will just have to agree to disagree at this point.


            Sparks

            Comment


            • Sparks, this is a valuable topic, as you've probably expressed what many fathers feel in their hearts but realize is impolitic to state out loud. And I think that - because this thread is a really more of a journal than it is a narrow "request for advice" thread that we should not be so ready to call you to task for your attitudes. To me, I think you crossed the line, though, in stating that you were looking forward to the boy's sophomore year and feel let down that he didn't spend it on the varsity. The problem is that assigning roster spots is a zero sum game; if one kid (like yours) gets on the roster, then someone else who may have had equally strong dreams is denied that thrill, and it may well be a kid who's a senior who doesn't have two more years to achieve that goal, as your boy does. That's the sort of comment that - while genuine - is going to rub folks the wrong way, me included.

              We've gone on this rollercoaster ride with you before, and you insist that you don't voice these disappointments to the youngster and try to in fact get him to take the longer view. But when you repeat the same mantra, it's hard for us to believe that a smart kid like him doesn't detect your real disappointments, particularly when you apparently are pushing back against the advice given and simply say that "we will just have to agree to disagree." First, as Shake points out, there may be a number of "valid" reasons why your boy is in JV and he will have to live with it and make lemonade out of the situation. On our team, the second best catcher in the whole school (and the best hitter on last year's JV team) is a junior and relegated to a second season of JV ball because (a) the coach's son (a sophomore) is also a catcher and was leapfrogged over him, and (b) the JV team doesn't have any other decent catchers and they need him to lead the squad and the pitching staff. Is this "fair"? No. Is it in the best interests of the team? Probably not, but it's a closer call. Probably 95% of the high schools in America have similar if not more compelling stories. Most of us have similar stories; my son had an outing in January like the one your boy had a week ago, and he hasn't seen the mound since... and this is his last year of high school; yours had to wait only a few days for redemption. Life is full of short-term decisions and actions that may lead to unjust results - a different wrinkle on the 18th green at Augusta National and Louis Ousterheizen would be wearing a green jacket today. But he didn't rail against the greenskeepers, but commended Watson and went out determined to win the next major.

              Second, regardless of the of the perceived fairness of the decision, even your private emotions should be devoted 95% to making your boy figure out how to make the best of the situation and only 5% toward bitching about the coach. All of us experienced hands here can't really help you deal with the emotional fallout you're feeling, but we can help guide you to make it work the better for your grandson.

              I hope this makes it clear to those who've been critical of your post that my disagreement with them is not with respect to your perceived attitude, but with (a) their assumption that you feared that the boy would actually quit the game, which you never said (and we wouldn't have believed it if you had), and (b) their conclusion that you were thinking more about yourself than him, an opinion that may be valid but which is so potentially insulting that's it's irresponsible to throw it around lightly. But, I do share what I sense is their frustration with your failure to truly accept our advice that his career will - like everyone else's -- suffer from speed bumps that have to be worked around with your help.
              sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Ursa Major View Post
                To me, I think you crossed the line, though, in stating that you were looking forward to the boy's sophomore year and feel let down that he didn't spend it on the varsity.
                Sparks is not alone in this. All of us do the same thing. If anyone reading this hasn't felt like this, you're either a liar or a saint.

                But when you repeat the same mantra, it's hard for us to believe that a smart kid like him doesn't detect your real disappointments, particularly when you apparently are pushing back against the advice given and simply say that "we will just have to agree to disagree."
                I have to agree with you here. Everyone thinks their kid, or their situation, is different. It's easy to be very obsessive during this time. Sometimes, it's good to relax, and do more listening. (I'm trying to take my own advice here, since my own kid is only a year ahead of Sparks' )
                Last edited by songtitle; 04-10-2012, 07:13 AM.
                efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

                Comment


                • Had another game last night..... my boy caught.
                  Threw out two runners trying to steal.
                  Went 2 for three batting with a long double to the fence and a solid single.
                  The out he made was a deep fly ball to center..... he hit the ball over the fielders head and he jumped up and tipped the ball with his glove and it bounced up and the boy caught it with his non glove hand. Great catch by the kid.

                  Only two games left in the season.

                  The varsity catcher broke his arm last night. The Varsity has four games left......it will be interesting to see if they pull my boy up to catch the final four games.... I doubt it.

                  Sparks

                  Comment


                  • Played the last two games of the JV season yesterday.

                    My boy had one of his better days...

                    Pitched the first game but coach took him out after 3 innings because it was a blowout. Before he took him out pitching he had given up one hit.

                    First game my boy's first at bat was a standing triple. Second bat was a solid single. Third at bat was a standing double. He wanted so bad to hit for the cycle. Fourth at bat was a deep fly ball to center about 20 feet from the fence (got under it a little). 5th at bat he hit the crazy out of the ball.....the center fielder is running to deep left center and I swear he is literally touching the fence when he catches the ball. My boy missed hitting for the cycle by a couple of feet.

                    Second game he caught. Threw out every base runner trying to steal. His first at bat he hit another standing triple and his next two at bats were doubles.

                    Even though he didn't hit a homerun it might have been his best day ever hitting. He was just in the zone and hitting the ball square and hard.

                    The JV season is over. Our JV team ended with a record of 24 and 12. They were the only baseball team in our school to have a winning record. The Varsity, the freshmen and the young 7th and 8th grade teams all had losing records.

                    I don't know what my boys final numbers were because the coaches refused to let the boys see their numbers this year. They did hand out a sheet a few days ago that gave the kids their numbers up until 7 games left in the season. On that sheet my boy was hitting .425 and his pitching was out of this world with an ERA of .95. Because he was out a month he missed a several games, plus, when the season started the Varsity coach sent word that my boy was not to pitch for the JV because he was going to be called on to pitch for the Varsity. Crazy because it never happened. As a result, as of the time they got their numbers my boy had pitched 14.75 innings and had 26 strikeouts. No loses and an ERA of .95.

                    Since they've handed out those numbers we've played 7 more games so I don't know what my boys final numbers will be. I do know the first day he came back from his broken ankle he gave up 4 runs in one inning and was pulled from the game so that single game will probably ruin his ERA. Other than that game he didn't give up any runs though.

                    The Varsity has 4 games left and they haven't asked my boy to play....it is what it is.

                    He had a great JV season numbers wise although he missed a month due to injury. Still he came back from the injury just fine and that was great.

                    Sparks

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
                      Had another game last night..... my boy caught.
                      Threw out two runners trying to steal.
                      Went 2 for three batting with a long double to the fence and a solid single.
                      The out he made was a deep fly ball to center..... he hit the ball over the fielders head and he jumped up and tipped the ball with his glove and it bounced up and the boy caught it with his non glove hand. Great catch by the kid.

                      Only two games left in the season.

                      The varsity catcher broke his arm last night. The Varsity has four games left......it will be interesting to see if they pull my boy up to catch the final four games.... I doubt it.

                      Sparks
                      As each backup moves up a notch it creates the need for a bullpen catcher. Just being around the varsity game would be an experience.

                      Comment


                      • Got word today that our JV team broke the school record for most wins and least losses in a season.

                        Don't know the final numbers yet but I'm pretty sure my boy will have broken the hitting record as well as ERA title for the schools JV history. He was hitting .400 with 7 games left and the past 7 games he's hit the crazy out of the ball so I figure his final batting average will be around .500.

                        The Varsity had two games tonight and they finish their season tomorrow. Just about every JV player that is a Sophomore was called up to the Varsity for the last 4 games. Every player but my boy that is.....he wasn't invited.

                        I don't know what a kid has to do..... I've always had this rule of never interfering with the coach.....it's a personal rule of mine that I've had since I coached 9 and 10 year olds. Looking back I made a huge mistake this year. I should have talked to his coach early in the season and ask him what his problem was with my boy.

                        Season is over for us....... till next time.

                        Sparks

                        Comment


                        • Maybe your boy is trying to sleep with coaches daughter??

                          Point being, something is missing from this story!

                          Comment


                          • sparks,

                            Could be a lot of stuff, from a bad attitude at practice, maybe something he said to a coach or another player, maybe he told the staff he didn't want to play varsity this year, etc. It couldn't be too serious as they played him in almost all the JV games. My strong suggestion is for you not to intervene, let your soon to be junior son to ask the coaching staff what he needs to do to play at the varsity level.

                            Lastly, I know you're disappointed he didn't play varsity this year, but there an awful lot of kids at our school who never get to play a single JV game and are then cut the next year trying out for varsity. At least he played in every game he was healthy enough to play in. A lot of kids would die to play as much JV ball as he did, so count your blessings. IMHO, of course.

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

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by real green View Post
                              Maybe your boy is trying to sleep with coaches daughter??

                              Point being, something is missing from this story!
                              real green,

                              That is the same thing my wife and I have asked all year. It just doesn't add up.... I have no idea why the coach has done what he's done. I mean if something bad happened that I don't know about then why even let him play on the JV? I mean if my boy did something (that I don't know about) then wouldn't you just kick him off the team?

                              I should have talked to the coach, but my wife told me to stay out of it and so did my boys dad. I should have stuck to my guns and had a talk with the coach just to see what the problem was.

                              Sparks

                              Comment


                              • Something does not sound right? Very odd, or is it?

                                Comment

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