Monday, February 02, 2009

between lessons and cruelty

for those of you who don't know.... blake plays on a travel baseball team. it's an invite only team. only certain kids make it, etc and so on and yeah they all rock, woohoo, go team.

anyway.

at some point during the season last year, blake lost his mojo. mentally, he was a wreck. his confidence was gone. nothing we could say or do helped. he looked completely uncomfortable in the one place he had always felt the most comfortable- the ballfield. he said on more than one occassion that he wasn't a good player anymore. he didn't feel like his coaches believed in him, and in turn, he stopped believing in himself.

boyfriend and i struggled. and i mean, we really battled. do we keep him on the team? do we teach him that sometimes things are rough and don't go the way you want them to, but this is a lesson you have to learn? that sometimes if you want something, you have to work really hard for it, and that things are not always going to be fair? and if we do, at what cost? because trying to teach him this "lesson" was going to cost my son his confidence. he was going to start hating and not wanting to play the one thing he loves. when is the cost too great?

we decided that blake needed a break. no baseball at all for a couple of months (at least). no practice or anything. it had just gotten to be too much. too overwhelming. to mind wrecking. during this time, a very good and wonderful major league baseball player gave blake a phone call. he left him a message and talked to him about playing hard, and working hard on the field. he reminded blake that the position he's playing right now doesn't define him as a player. he told him that his future was wide open and he could be whatever he wanted to be when it came to baseball. he told him lots of encouraging and thoughtful things.

and it was THAT message... that freaking message from mister mlb, that made all the difference. we had a tournament this past weekend. blake was unbelievable. not just because he hit a home run, 2 triples, a double and 2 singles. not because when he played catcher, he saved 4 runs from scoring. not because he made incredible, diving catches in center. but because his attitude was completely different. he was comfortable on the field again. he looked happy again. and when the other team was hitting the shit out of him when he was pitching, he wasn't rattled. he didn't get upset. he stayed focused and kept throwing hard. everything about him this weekend was amazing. his attitude the most though. his happiness. it was all back.

i'm just so proud of him.

thank you mlb superstar for your message to blake. it made all the difference in the world. i wish i had that power. i guess sometimes things just have to come from others for your kids to listen. i'm lucky to have such amazing friends.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is such a great story Jenn. I'm glad that something worked for Blake. Best of luck to him.

Joe said...

Great story. Hopefully he'll hold that with him for the rest of his life no matter what he winds up doing.

Alison said...

I could really use a phone call from Derek Jeter. Mmmm.