Brooks has enjoyed each and every second of each and every baseball practice that he has had so far. In the short few weeks since practice has started, he has learned so much and his skills have drastically improved. The average person might not be able to tell this, but Brent and I can tell a tremendous improvement. Most of the other boys on his team have played before and are really good. I think they have been a good influence on him to want to do better. The results are not what I am concerned about though. Is he learning? Is he being a "team player"? Is he having fun?
The 3 Rivers Cotton Systems Baseball team had a scrimmage with another team this past Saturday morning. Brooks was going to get to try out his new bat, because his other one seemed to be a little much for him to handle.
His first up to bat, he hit the ball! Now he didn't make it to first because he was thrown out, but I didn't care. He hit it! As he went back to the dugout, he yells, "Mommy, I HIT THE BALL!" He was so excited.
His second up to bat he hits it again! This time he hit it harder and it dribbled past the infielders....he rounds first....it is over thrown to the second baseman......he rounds second......it it still being fumbled around.....he rounds third....they overthrow third......and then....he touches home!
I have never been so HAPPY for him. I am not talking about being proud of him, although I was very proud of him. I have had many moments during his life that I have been just as proud of him. This time though, I knew how exciting that moment was for him, and nothing at that moment could have made him happier.
He went on to hit the ball every time he was at bat, which was a huge accomplishment for him. He said later it was his new bat. The funny thing is that the new bat is 1 ounce lighter than the other bat, but it is quite a bit shorter. All he seamed to need was a confidence booster.
After the game, the coach said he was going to start giving out a game ball. He gave it to Brooks! To Brent, Brooks and I, it might as well have been the Silver Slugger award. It meant that much to us. There were many other players on his team that hit better and scored more runs, but none that made that drastic of an improvement.
Just a side note...
We have the best group of coaches too. The two main coaches are very organized and have put the boys through so many drills and exercises to teach them and help them improve. They are the perfect balance of toughness and nurturing these little boys. Brent is what I would call the third coach. He has helped as much as he can, but cannot make every practice due to work. He will coach third base. The fourth and fifth coaches are perfect at what they have been asked to do. One is behind the plate, helping every boy get ready to hit the ball (because you can have a coach do that at this age) and he is the nicest, most patient man. The other gentleman is the dugout coach. I don't envy him having to keep that place in order for nothing. It is constantly, "Where is your glove?," "How did you lose your helmet?," "Don't cry, it will be OK."
(Apparently 5 and 6 year old boys don't know There is no crying in baseball.)