Simple Things Sunday: T-ball Update

Several Sundays ago I posted a photo of my son playing his first T-ball game for the Simple Things post. I was optimistic that it was going to be a great first season, but to be honest, it’s been a little bit of a struggle. Maybe we’ve just been too eager to get him started in baseball this early; he is only four. He has loved balls since he was a baby (his first word was even “ball”) and since then he’s seemed to have a natural interest in sports. Yet, at this point, T-ball just doesn’t seem to be a good fit for him. He doesn’t understand the game yet (and isn’t all that concerned with learning it), and it’s a lot of standing around for him. He just seems bored and uninterested.

Last weekend the players had individual and team photos taken before the game. D’s grandma and another relative were visiting and came to the game with us. D refused to pose for his photo and wouldn’t get in the group photo. (Fine… it wasn’t that big of a deal.) Then my husband laid out a blanket for us all to sit on and my son wanted to sit with us on the blanket instead of play the game. He clearly wasn’t interested in being there, or playing, so we just went home.

This week’s game was a similar story… participating only part of the time (after much nudging from us and the coach)… walking the bases instead of running (which seemed to be in response to our yells of “run to first! run to first!”), and even walking backward and spinning in circles when going from second to third base. It was frustrating and hilarious at the same time.

His dad and I are a little torn with how to proceed. Quitting doesn’t quite feel like the right thing to do, but making him continue to go when he’s not enjoying it doesn’t feel right either. There are only a few more weeks of practices and games, since the league goes until the end of May. I think we will try to stick it out, but we’ll be taking it a practice/game at a time.

Last week, while the professional photographer took individual and team photos of the other players behind me to the left, I took my ownΒ  “official” first T-ball season photo of Mr. D. I wasn’t sure if I should post it; but it’s a genuine moment from his childhood. Let me assure you that, despite how unhappy he looks in this photo, he does have some fun at the games and practices. This is mostly his “I don’t want to get my picture taken” pout.Β  At this point, however, he’s clearly not loving baseball.

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29 responses to “Simple Things Sunday: T-ball Update

  1. Aww, love that image – capturing a moment, that’s stunning πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Cypermamma! (You know, you’ve posted on a few of my STS posts, and all along I thought you were cyBermamma! D’oh! That’s funny.) I do like the way the photo came out, because it really shows how he was feeling.

  2. Oh Jess, it’s just growing pains. He’ll never remember it on his wedding day, lol. I think sticking it out, but not having such high expectations is a good way to handle it. Don’t push it on him, or down his throat, it will only make him more disinterested. Just keep asking him, next year and the next. He will let you know what he wants to do. Hang in there, just a preview of things to come. πŸ™‚

  3. Well, first let me say that your photo is just precious…don’t get too discouraged with him not wanting to play t-ball at this young age, I am sure he would rather be picking dandelions in the field that focusing on playing ball. Pretty young to be concentrating on playing ball. Maybe next year.

    • Thanks, Deanna. Yeah, apparently the day of the photos, when we left before the game started, there were two other kids (and their families) who ended up leaving too. So he wasn’t the only one not interested in playing that day. I was definitely a daydreamer when I started softball at age five, and remember some long boring games. It can’t be any better at four. πŸ™‚

  4. Dear Jess, I never like to tell people what to do with their children but I do have a idea. Maybe if you just take him to the games to watch what the other kids do he might and I say might want to play.Andrea

    • Thanks, Andrea. I appreciate the feedback. Your suggestion is similar to something my mom recommended the other day, and I think it’s a good idea. We may take him to a UVA baseball game, or maybe I’ll just find out when some of the older kids play and take him to one of their games.

  5. My mom has so many photos of me in softball playing in the grass. THe next season she put me in soccer – I paid more attention. I think the pace of the game was better for a little person.

    • Hi Nessa! I was similar to you when I was little and playing softball–a total daydreamer! I do think something like soccer might work better for him at this age. When the fall rolls around we’ll ask him if he wants to play.

  6. Tycipal pic for a child of his age in sports.Like what you did with the deph of field. Let me know if you bought that book I told you about.

    • Thanks, Uncle Joe! I took this using my 85mm/f1.8 lens. I had the f-stop set to 2.0 and I squatted down, so everything at the back is at a decent distance and nicely blurred out, which is what I was going for. πŸ™‚ Definitely going to look for that book you recommended. Thanks for reminding me!

  7. Just wonderful capture. Love his posture, the action of his hands and the activity in the background… tells the story perfectly.

  8. so cute! love it when you can capture these moments and it makes you wonder what’s going through their mind at the time.

  9. Jess, Don’t get all nuts about D not being into T ball. Adam wasn’t into T ball either and now at 10 he is the best player on the team, the coaches words not mine. And to top it off he doesn’t really like baseball, he prefers basketball and will never be tall enough to play past high school.
    At 4 his actions are not that uncommon. There is no harm in sticking it out. It will be good for him, his changing interests will be an adventure. LoL, AT

    • Thanks. A.T. I know you are right. We only have a few more weeks, so we’ll see how they go. We did a swim class recently too and though he wasn’t all that thrilled about going, he seemed to have fun once he was there. We’ll find something that excites him sooner or later.

  10. during my daughter’s first soccer season, i think she did more grass picking than soccer related activity. cute cute photo!

    • Thanks, Kara! I was thinking that soccer might be a better fit for him, but sounds like I could maybe expect him to be bored there too, huh? πŸ™‚ The more I think about all of this, the more I think unstructured activities might be the best for him now. (Man, parenting can be tough!)

  11. I know with all this stress…this question is probably not appropriate…..BUT….Shane didn’t happen to video the walking backward and spinning did he? I really hate that I am missing these classic moments! 😦 …Love you all very much and it will all come out in the wash!…..Nana

    • LOL! Thanks for the chuckle, Nana. No, we didn’t get it on video. Actually, at that point, Shane had taken D’s little sister to the playground and left me alone to handle the T-ball game follies. I felt bad because I could tell the coach that was at third (who is really just another one of the parents) didn’t even know what to do with D, as he was watching him spin towards third.

  12. Sweet photo. He’s probably gonna be a great player some day and you will look back at this and have a good laugh.

  13. KIds can be funny, you’d think they’d love something and they’re just not into it (yet), you think they’re too small for something and it turns out to be a piece of cake.You just never know I guess. I like that you captured that moment anyway, and perfectly so. Someday he’s going to laugh at this I’m sure!

    • Thanks, hennymats! I know–that’s the challenge… trying to get them to try new things, but not always knowing what it is that they’re going to be able to do or what they will enjoy. I think for now we’ll just back off of the structured activities. He does so much better with free play and self-directed activities that for now we should probably just continue to encourage that. Lesson learned on my part. πŸ™‚

  14. awe…wishing you luck with t-ball! this photo is WAY too cute though! love it! πŸ™‚

  15. This is just so cute. A photo like this is probably an accurate depiction of many Tball participants! Best of luck!

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