Dealing w/son's disappointment

This weekend was his first "real" suited up intersquad full game with umps and all and he was left feeling disappointed.  I tried to encourage and talk to him about his disappointment and explain that this was not at all like high school.  Each boy/man (he's just 18) there was there for a specific reason because of their skill.  The plays that were made at this level are expected and not shockers.  It's a huge transition for him I would assume coming from the upperclassman that everyone turned to who would make the plays, to being the only freshman on the varsity team proving himself all over again.  The boys have all been pretty good to him....I'm sure there are things he hasn't shared, but we are going with he'd tell me if I needed to know mentality.   He carries the weight of the world on his shoulders and when he doesn't perform to his liking it's hard to watch him navigate those feelings.  He's also been placed in a new position and feels like he's struggling to get it right, even though some things you can't teach he's just going to have to learn to adapt and expand his baseball resume to include left field.  He's always been a 3rd baseman, although has been utilized as a true utility player and has actually played every position on the diamond and succeeded at it because of his pure athletic and baseball brain and ability, however 3rd is where he would call home.  He's willing and wanting to play anywhere coach puts him that allows him playing time.  He is a hard worker and is thankful for even getting this opportunity.   How did you all handle their first year with all the ups and downs?  How did you decipher when as a mom you hug his neck and when you get firm and tell him to quit beating himself up and suck it up?  Perfect example was he was given bunt sign..which he did, however he got underneath it instead on top of it which caused it to pop up and be caught by the catcher.  He's a bunting machine and has probably gotten on as much on hits as bunting. He just kept saying I can't even bunt mom.  My job was to advance the runner and I couldn't even do that. My response was, "You know how to bunt.  You  know what you did wrong.  You know how to fix it. The pitcher knows you personally (5th year sr who was one of the first people to take my son under his wing and help him and what you were going to do and pitched to you accordingly). You made a mistake. SO WHAT"?   Learn from the mistake now when it doesn't matter and move on.  I hate that he's put so much pressure on himself.  I know he's proving himself to not only himself, but his team and coaches.  Please tell me others have experienced this same roller-coaster ride?  He's not guaranteed a playing position on varsity, however he's in the varsity locker room, has a locker, practices with varsity, plays majority of the time during intersquad but does switch out with another upperclassman.  He's taking 16 hours and doing the work study for financial assistance and still maintaining his GPA somewhere in the area of 3.7.  Any encouraging words from those of you who have been there? DH just says "He'll figure it out.  He's a smart kid with a good head on his shoulders."  SIGH wish it were that easy to turn off my worry button. 

Son's#1fan

Original Post

My son is a Freshman also, and it is hard when they struggle.  I think you are doing the right thing supporting him. It will work out.  Popping up one bunt won't be the difference. He knows what to do.  He just needs to relax and do what he's capable of.   Good Luck to him!

You've probably heard more times than you can remember, baseball is a game of failure. I'm going back for a second to when my son was eleven. My son had a bad LL game. He made three errors. His team lost due to the unearned runs. I asked my son if he wanted to get on the field tomorrow and practice. Here's his response ...

 

"I sucked today. But I don't suck. I just have to get out on the field again and be me. Now,  what's for dinner?"

 

My son was one of the top players in the league when he was eleven. He was by far the best when he was twelve. He never lost the perspective what is behind me is history. His high school coach was quoted as saying, "He's not arrogant. But damn, he's confident."

Originally Posted by #1bballmomfan:

DH just says "He'll figure it out.  He's a smart kid with a good head on his shoulders."  SIGH wish it were that easy to turn off my worry button. 

Natural for mom's to worry but your husband is right.   This is the process of becoming a man. 

The transition from stud to mud is traumatic for all involved. Most go through it. My S had over a 14.3 era over 27 innings pitched with 39 walks while leading the team in wild pitches as a freshman. The next two years were little better.

 

He had been drafted out of HS. 

 

It's never fun watching our kid fail; but it's not the failure that is important - it's the reaction. A true sense of character emerges best when a person is on their knees and rising from the beat down.

 

Finding an identity apart from baseball is critical - whether it's in the classroom, in a frat, in a club, in a robust social life. It sounds like you've given him a good resilient foundation; now be patient (so very hard to do because we would all bear the pain for our children), and watch the amazing growth which will follow.

 

To be sure it is an unpredictable journey with wild twists and turns. It's a roller coaster ride offering a taste of what the real world will bring.

 

 

 

Originally Posted by Goosegg:

The transition from stud to mud is traumatic for all involved. Most go through it. My S had over a 14.3 era over 27 innings pitched with 39 walks while leading the team in wild pitches as a freshman. The next two years were little better.

 

He had been drafted out of HS. 

 

It's never fun watching our kid fail; but it's not the failure that is important - it's the reaction. A true sense of character emerges best when a person is on their knees and rising from the beat down.

 

Finding an identity apart from baseball is critical - whether it's in the classroom, in a frat, in a club, in a robust social life. It sounds like you've given him a good resilient foundation; now be patient (so very hard to do because we would all bear the pain for our children), and watch the amazing growth which will follow.

 

To be sure it is an unpredictable journey with wild twists and turns. It's a roller coaster ride offering a taste of what the real world will bring.

 

 

 

Excellent advice. I like that expression, stud to mud, very true!

 

Here is a story. Mine had a great freshman fall, early spring a disaster. But instead of coming to us, he went to his coach.  That's why they have coaches and you have to encourage him to do that.  What you should be worrying about is how he does in school and you guys need to talk about other stuff. I can tell you that you will wate a lot of time worrying about how he is doing on the field. I know I did and he turned out OK.  Let him know you love him for who he is, not because he plays baseball.

 

Disregard the comment about its normal for moms to worry, I know dads that have driven themselves and everyone around them nutey because they worry.

 

Sit back and enjoy the ride, make sure to buckle your seat belt because its often very bumpy.

 

Most importantly he will be fine, listen, don't give advice, let him seek out his coach for help.

Dont take this the wrong way, but u seem a bit involved in HIS baseball experiences. Fall is a time to see where you're at and work on things. Hopefully he'll see how to handle things by watching how the upperclassmen do it. They'll be the ones who need to give him advice and help him. As parents we need to be there to show support, but they aren't 12 anymore. 

Sounds like in the past your family dissected his performances and would offer advice on what he was struggling with(Maybe he welcomed the help)

Time to let his teammate/coaches take over that role from here. It's going to be a long season otherwise. As parents it's difficult to watch your kid struggle but they need to learn to work through it in order to mature.

It's a whole new world in college. Doesn't matter how well they played in HS, or at what position. It's competitive and challenging. Not all make it. If I were coach I would have all my players read a bk about the mental side of baseball. By the nature of the game it's a roller  coaster of a ride, and you must be mentally prepared to succeed. 

Im watching the World Series now and wondering how these professionals do it, esp the P. What goes through their mind when they walk someone, or give up HR.?

Harvey is on a roll!

 #1bballmomfan:
 

 

 . . . a lot of excellent responses above.  I can only add that at this level it's important to many coaches how they see the players handle failures and adversity.  Most players at the collegiate level handle it pretty well while a few just never seem to be able to.  They way I think my son handled it (and still does) is by fully understanding that he will make mistakes and that every player does, so he just keeps working on the fundamentals, As a Dad, I like to solve problems but found the best thing I could do when son was at college and not performing to his own expectations was to simply empathetically listen to him express disappointments and offer encouragement.   The social media we have today seems to make it harder for parents to disengage from their children; as lease for me it seemed that way. 

 

DH is right when he says "He'll figure it out".  That's what maturing into good young Man is about. huh?  

 

 

Originally Posted by playball2011:

What a game.

to my point wonder how Harvey is handling the disappointment. 

Interesting last yr Royals lost at W Series, this yr they take it all. Emotional roller coaster for sure. 

This is a great example of how difficult this game is. You can be at your best, but the other team just did it better.

Its all about pitching but then your team has to hit too.

Biggest mistakes of that game was not taking Cespides out asap with bases loaded and no outs.  That was the turning point.  And Familia should have been able to come in with a clean field.

Anyway, IMO it was a really great postseason for all fans of baseball.

Originally Posted by TPM:
Originally Posted by playball2011:

What a game.

to my point wonder how Harvey is handling the disappointment. 

Interesting last yr Royals lost at W Series, this yr they take it all. Emotional roller coaster for sure. 

This is a great example of how difficult this game is. You can be at your best, but the other team just did it better.

Its all about pitching but then your team has to hit too.

Biggest mistakes of that game was not taking Cespides out asap with bases loaded and no outs.  That was the turning point.  And Familia should have been able to come in with a clean field.

Anyway, IMO it was a really great postseason for all fans of baseball.

And Murphy was the "mayor of NY" after his series vs Dodgers and Cubs. It can turn in a hurry....

Dad of a freshman in college here, i think i've been pretty calm and remote for what it's worth. My wife and i have always been big fans of sink or swim, and my son swims....and then sinks....and then swims. Man, i miss the days when he would ask me all kinds of questions and seek advice...now he finds his way and although i'm proud of him, i miss those times when he'd asked the old man. I know he'll call when he wants to talk and i will be there, just let your son grow and swim....understanding he may dip under a few times along the way. Boys are tough and you'd be surprised how much it will help him become a young man.

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