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  • Knew it would happen at some point, still wasn't ready

    Our 13 yo just informed me that he didn't want to play baseball any longer. I'll admit to mixed emotions:
    • Bummed because I enjoyed watching him play and working with him. He's the natural athlete among our three sons and just picks stuff up quickly. Baseball's been our "thing" and it's been, for lack of a better word, neat.
    • Proud of him for letting me know. He was tearing up, mainly afraid he'd disappointed me in some way. I told him I was glad he came to the decision, that he decided to tell me, and that it must have been a very hard thing to do. I also let him know that I support him in anything he wanted, or didn't want, to do.


    He'll be fine and so will I. It's just that when something's been such a constant and steady presence you're just not sure what to do next. They'll be other activities, achievements, and things going on I know (including a possible return to baseball at some point - who knows?). Just feeling a bit at a loss right now and wanted to share with folks who have been there or will be there at some point.

    The line from Moneyball kept going through my head lately, maybe as prep for this - "We're all told at some point we can no longer play the kid's game. Some are told at 18, some at 40, but we're all told." No matter what happens I'll have brilliant, vivid, memories of him on the ball field and the times we've spent together. That's more than enough and a great comfort as we both go looking for that next "thing."

  • #2
    Originally posted by Rufus67 View Post
    Our 13 yo just informed me that he didn't want to play baseball any longer. I'll admit to mixed emotions:
    • Bummed because I enjoyed watching him play and working with him. He's the natural athlete among our three sons and just picks stuff up quickly. Baseball's been our "thing" and it's been, for lack of a better word, neat.
    • Proud of him for letting me know. He was tearing up, mainly afraid he'd disappointed me in some way. I told him I was glad he came to the decision, that he decided to tell me, and that it must have been a very hard thing to do. I also let him know that I support him in anything he wanted, or didn't want, to do.


    He'll be fine and so will I. It's just that when something's been such a constant and steady presence you're just not sure what to do next. They'll be other activities, achievements, and things going on I know (including a possible return to baseball at some point - who knows?). Just feeling a bit at a loss right now and wanted to share with folks who have been there or will be there at some point.

    The line from Moneyball kept going through my head lately, maybe as prep for this - "We're all told at some point we can no longer play the kid's game. Some are told at 18, some at 40, but we're all told." No matter what happens I'll have brilliant, vivid, memories of him on the ball field and the times we've spent together. That's more than enough and a great comfort as we both go looking for that next "thing."
    Mine played until he was well into his 20's and it was still difficult then.
    "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.

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    • #3
      Just make sure that you can be involved in the other things that interest him. And I'm sure you will. I think we've all experienced that kid who never developed much because mom or dad just didn't share his interest in baseball. There was no playing catch, no watching games on the tube, etc. Hopefully, I don't become that parent when my kids' interests switch to skateboarding, carpentry or cooking.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Rufus67 View Post
        He'll be fine and so will I. It's just that when something's been such a constant and steady presence you're just not sure what to do next. They'll be other activities, achievements, and things going on I know (including a possible return to baseball at some point - who knows?). Just feeling a bit at a loss right now and wanted to share with folks who have been there or will be there at some point.
        Sometimes I look back at all the things that I did with my parents during my mid through late teen years when baseball was truly "seasonal", that we didn't do together as a family with my sons (and wife).....because of what seemed to be the constant demands of baseball, and wish we had not let baseball get in the way so much, and done those other things.

        You might be surprised, this may just be a blessing in disguise.


        Best wishes to you and your son(s) as you discover your new (outside of baseball) adventures together,
        mud -
        In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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        • #5
          Rufus,
          Most of us here will go through something similar, so keep us posted on how things are going. I wish the best for you and your son. Just curious to know if your son mentioned what his next interest might be.

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          • #6
            Rufus, all I can hope for you is that he finds something else that the two of you can enjoy together. And, frankly, what's often important is not the time that you spend on the field together but the time you spend in the car driving to various events - if it's a regional ballet competition, that can be almost as good as baseball. But, ultimately, what is more important is that he find something that he does well and in which you can enjoy his accomplishments.

            My son has no musical talent, but, by coincidence, many of his old middle school friends are accomplished jazz musicians, an unusual thing in HS, to be sure. One of those buddies is our old 11u centerfielder, who had perhaps the best athletic potential of any outfielder I ever coached, but he gave up the game the following year for the mundane reason that his mother couldn't get him to practices. Now? He turned into one of the best HS vibraphonists in the country and is headed off to UCLA this week to exploit that talent. Sitting in clubs listening to him - and watching his wonderful family listen to him with great pride - over the past few years has been a special treat for me. Quitting baseball was a great decision for him.

            Understand that the fathers of boys who made this decision and went off to some other endeavor are probably not represented much in this forum. Those fathers may be posting in music forums or archery forums or theater forums ... or forums reflecting wherever they went. So, we who are proud of our kids for their ongoing baseball accomplishments are a skewed and unrepresentative sampling of the wonderful things that teenage boys can achieve.
            sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
              Mine played until he was well into his 20's and it was still difficult then.
              Jake, mine just headed off to a super-academic college with a D1 baseball program with maybe two walk-on spots to be filled from its 6,400 undergraduates. Tryouts are in two weeks, at which time he's about 95% certain to be told that his future lies in club ball. Still, since he's a late bloomer and always been a middle-of-the-pack player, every season since he was 12 threatened to be his last season, so I'm well-practiced in preparing for this day. But, as he describes it, he doesn't want to have any regrets and has decided that he'll keep trying until someone tells him he's hit his ceiling. (One of his favorite quotes is the last line from Jim Bouton's Ball Four: "You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.") It's going to be a tough day, but he's prepared for his next adventure.
              sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mudvnine View Post
                Sometimes I look back at all the things that I did with my parents during my mid through late teen years when baseball was truly "seasonal", that we didn't do together as a family with my sons (and wife).....because of what seemed to be the constant demands of baseball, and wish we had not let baseball get in the way so much, and done those other things.

                You might be surprised, this may just be a blessing in disguise.
                Mud, you make a good point. As valuable as all those baseball trips have been, I realize that they've also kept us from doing things with the rest of the family. I have a niece who's a year younger than my son and who's always been a promising ballerina. Every June there's a local dance extravaganza that we've invariably missed because of baseball tournaments. By chance, this year, the schedule permitted us to attend and she was featured in about half-a-dozen dances.... and my son and I were blown away at the beauty of her artistry, which defines who she is much more than baseball speaks about my son. I realized how much we'd missed in getting to know her by skipping those performances every year.
                sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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                • #9
                  I appreciate your disappointment.

                  But what about just a casual game of catch now and then? I'm guessing your son just isn't interested in making the time commitment to be on a team, practices, travel to games, etc.

                  Maybe he just needs a total break now, but perhaps at some point in the future he'll enjoy just throwing the ball around with you, or shagging fly balls, or spending an afternoon at the ballpark with Dad taking in a game. Who knows, you may have some really nice times around baseball down the road, it just won't be in a competitive environment for him.

                  Looking further ahead, there'll be grandkids perhaps and you'll probably be involved in the next generation of ballplayers.

                  Not trying to minimize your disappointment, just suggesting that your relationship with your son around baseball may just be moving to a new, more laid back stage.

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                  • #10
                    Did he tell you why?
                    There are two kinds of losers.....Those that don't do what they are told, and those that do only what they are told.

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                    • #11
                      Mine turned 13 this year. He told us the same thing.
                      Hope it's just for fall ball and he goes back in spring.
                      But if not it was a fun journey. At least he still likes to go shooting with me
                      Originally posted by bhss89
                      Any problems connected with youth baseball are rarely caused by youth baseball players . . .

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by shake-n-bake View Post
                        Did he tell you why?
                        The answer to that would be interesting. Was the child burned out?

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                        • #13
                          SNB - nothing specific, though I asked. It's basically like a video game you really want, get it, and play it to death for a couple of weeks/months, then stop playing it and moving on to another game (that's the analogy I suggested to him, anyway, and he agreed with it). He just didn't want to do it any longer. It's strange, in a way, but not terribly so when you consider he's barely a teenager and getting into the whole puberty thing where other interests crop up (or the ones he was interested in before no longer satisfy or are interesting enough to justify putting the effort in).

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                          • #14
                            I have a friend at work whose son stopped playing at 16, really hurt the dad but, like you, he was supportive. They played catch and just had fun. At 18 he decided he wanted to play again, he had sat out his soph and jr years. He was drafted by the red sox as a pitcher, 2 years ago I think out of holland hall. Just sayin......

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Santoball View Post
                              I have a friend at work whose son stopped playing at 16, really hurt the dad but, like you, he was supportive. They played catch and just had fun. At 18 he decided he wanted to play again, he had sat out his soph and jr years. He was drafted by the red sox as a pitcher, 2 years ago I think out of holland hall. Just sayin......
                              That is awesome.....love to hear stories like that!!
                              In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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