Ryan Thomason

Geek Dad Report: First Taste of Team Sports

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My wife and I have ventured into new territory of raising our kids, Team Sports. Yes, the totally un-nerdy world sports, but it’s kids, so it’s acceptable. I’m not against sports in any way, shape, or form, Pro-Atheletics if you will. Yes, we will be attempting that blend of Nerd (Academics) and Jock (SPPPPPOOOOOORRTS) in the raising of our children.

My kids come from families with big athletics backgrounds. My Wife and I both played sports in High School, as did all of our siblings. To pat myself on the back, I even did College Field and Track (Throwers > Runners) so yes, I was raised more a Jock than a Geek. I grew up in a family where sports was central and as long as we weren’t failing I don’t ever remember my parents questioning my academics work ethics or lack there of. Yes, I was a closet (sort of) geek. To get back on track, Education/Nerding out the kids are a major focus in my household but the allure of team sports has always had a pull, so when T-Ball was available for his age group we quickly signed up.

My son Lincoln was really excited to be starting T-Ball, we took him to a local Triple A Minor League baseball game and my mother in law gave him some basic education in Baseball. Why my mother in law you ask and not dear old Dad? I wasn’t the greatest baseball player. Also, we’ve sectioned off certain sports with certain family members. Yes, we did that. I claimed Football, so, when/if he joins that sport I get sole ownership of all coaching. My wife will do volleyball, brother in law soccer, and Father in law Golf. Basketball is a toss-up apparently. See? Sports is important in our family that we’ve had to claim coaching/teaching dibs years in advance If my family lived in the same state, we could section off other sports with them, but they don’t, so, yeah.

I don’t know why I was slightly nervous when his first practice/game happened this past week. It’s 4 and 5 year olds under the tutelege of a single adult giving them metal bats and hard spheres that you throw at eachother. Oh yeah, it was that. The whole time you’re trying to stay away, but trying to keep your kid focused on what is going on and the coach is trying to tell them to do. So when your kid is standing in line waiting to bat and he keeps goofing around with his best friend (a smart move my wife made) trying to not be that dad to keep your kid in line was hard. When I noticed that practically all the other dads were standing within the same two-three step distance of doing the low whisper of “Hey, pay attention” I relaxed a little. Every parent wants their kid to walk up knock the ball out of the park and do the raised fist as they rounded the bases. Then you remember that these are 4 and 5 year olds who all don’t know jack. It was fun, so very fun participating for the first time as a parent in team sports. Everyone cheered when every kid hit the ball, made it to home base, laughed when someone ran to the wrong base, or skipped bases. You have to remember that it’s just fun and you have to keep that spirit going.

My worry now after watching this first game and watching all the kids learn and develop their skills is the coming years when the concepts of keeping track of score and winning/losing games comes into play. I’m not excited for the parents that are you know, THOSE parents that ruin sporting events for everyone because of their notion that their kid is a superstar or they’re the loud jerks that can ruin a game.

For now though I’ll enjoy that I’m not the only nervous parent just trying to keep their kid from smashing another kid with a metal baseball bat or sitting on the ground pulling out grass when they’re not swinging at the tee. Go Fireball Raptors! (what happens when you let a team of 4 and 5 year old boys name themselves) Other team names in the running: Dinosaurs, DragonMonsterSnakes, Spiderman, Fireballs, Hats.

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