This spring I was persuaded to coach not one but two little league teams. In addition to running a business and working for a client, this has obviously taken away practically all of my free time (and destroyed my once decent golf game). But something about coaching these two teams has had the exact opposite effect on me than I thought it would. I envisioned dreading the mornings when we had practices, I envisioned just being totally beat on the weekends, and envisioned not wanting to see a baseball when it wasn’t required by coaching these two teams. Instead this weekend (yes Easter weekend), I spent countless hours either playing baseball with my kids or watching baseball on TV (mostly with them…but yes nobody needs to twist my arm to watch a Yankees game). Once inside the conversation continued to revolve around baseball as my 5 year old asked me if his windup looks good as he goes through the motions in front of the tv, or my 7 year old asking if his grip on his 4 seam fastball is correct (this is not made up..these were real conversations held this weekend)
You see, for those that do not know my boys (ages 5 and 7), they LOVE baseball. It is literally all they want to do right now. On Saturday they asked to go up to the field so I could pitch to them, hit them balls, and so Gavin (7) could work on his pitching. When we got home, I would grab a beer and sit down, only to look out the window to see the boys playing catch with each other out back. This led to me joining them out back and playing some more baseball. Easter Sunday they woke up (before 6am), found their Easter eggs, went to church and had breakfast. When we asked them what they wanted to do the rest of the day, they both immediately said they wanted a repeat of the day before. So off to the field we went (in full baseball uniforms) to play some more baseball. The day ultimately ended once again, in the backyard…with the boys in a catchers mask catching “foul balls” that I would throw in the air that led to them tossing off the mask and making diving catches on our once nicely groomed lawn. Our 2 year old Carson has even gotten into the act asking Dad to pitch to him as well (I’m not sure I can handle 3 teams in a season!). No matter when we stop playing it always ends with the following statement made by the boys “just one more dad”.
The point of all this being that it has been really refreshing for me to see my kids get passionate about something. It’s made me do some searching in my own life to think what is it that I am passionate about? I used to live on a soccer field growing up on the weekends. Soccer was my life. Because of my passion for soccer, I was able to go to college to play soccer. That college gave me a business degree that ultimately helped me start my own business. It also happened to be the college where I met my wife. So you just never know. This season I have really enjoyed going to the field to play ball not just with my sons but also with the kids on our teams. It’s refreshing to see them disappointed when you tell them practice is over because they were having so much fun.
Too often I hear people telling their kids why they cannot do things or why they can’t fulfill their dream. You know what, if my kids think that if they practice now they can one day make the major leagues, who am I to tell them they can’t make it? You never know where that passion will lead them. The same can be said for us grown ups….why go through the motions when you only live once. Find something to get passionate about and get going! I have heard so many people say why they can’t learn a new skill, can’t pick up a new hobby, can’t get involved with a charity. Our lives are all busy and it is easy to find an excuse to not doing something. What’s harder to do is to put aside our excuses and find the time to do something we want to do.