Sunday, April 5, 2009

Next Time Count Off

Spring is here. Sort of. It's snowing outside right now and perhaps all of 33 degrees (that's Fahrenheit for you Aussie readers) and they're calling for 4-7 inches accumulating before all is said and done. Guess I shouldn't have put the boots away just yet. Last year we got slammed with a huge snow storm on Good Friday and I remember building snow bunnies in the front yard for Easter. We're really not safely into Spring weather until late April early May and by the end of May we seem to be full fledged summer. But Spring it is and that!

The Cubs' played an exhibition game against the Yankees in their new stadium and lost huge, but I still like our chances this year. Of course, like any deluded Cub's fan, I like our chances every year. The season opener is tomorrow (not to be confused with their home opener on Tuesday) against the Astros which is the team Ryan got placed on in little league this year.

He's had two practices (one indoors after a rain delay and more non-Spring like weather) and one outside on a balmy 45 degree day. He's grouped with 3rd and 4th graders so he has the advantage of being slightly larger and more experienced than half his team. It's still astonishing to me the size range you see of these kids who are never more than a year apart. The smallest is maybe 50 pounds soaking wet and the largest could probably take out most high school tackles. They stand next to each other and I try not to laugh.

The coaches seem like they'll be great. Not too competitive, but intent on teaching them the basics, not too nurturing, but willing to encourage and guide, and not at all the kind who show up leaving you wondering how on earth they got the job because they obviously know nothing about the game. So I was really pleased watching this practice....right up until the point when they decided to pick teams.

They appointed two captains (ironically the two largest kids) and had them each select a team from the boys they had just met. You know how the dreaded drill goes -the kids shuffle back and forth praying to God they're not the last one picked. And their parents sit in the stands and pray the same thing. Ryan was picked second to last. Would someone please explain to me the upside of this approach?

For those of us who've been subjected to the humiliating experience of being the last one picked (sometimes repeatedly) we can attest to the fact that it doesn't do much to build confidence or camaraderie among teammates. So I'm wondering what goes through a grown man's head when he defaults to this option. Because I'm talking about a practice for kids on the same team, the majority of which haven't hit double digits age wise! Why, oh why, do we line them up and beat them down??

I told Dan when I got home and he was disgusted. Aren't I blessed that he's my husband?

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