Have to admit, roller coasters are NOT my most favorite amusement park ride. I WILL go on them, but usually it is the end result of peer pressure and being called a "wimp" by my kids one too many times! Eek Therefore, as much as I do not like roller coasters at amusement parks, I find them even more upsetting in my personal life. Which is what I feel I have been on the past year due to my son's involvement in baseball. In my mind I know that baseball is JUST a game, right? I only have to read the newspaper or turn on the evening news to help put things in perspective on what is important in life. So why is it then that I let how my son is doing in baseball play such a consuming role in my thoughts? I'm venturing that it isn't solely the "baseball participation" that causes the "ups and downs" so much as how those events impact our sons. I am going out on a limb here and guessing I might not be alone in this feeling.

You know, when he does well we are on cloud nine. When he is having troubles on the field it is never very far in our thoughts. The ups and downs are amazing to me. Altho, have to admit I am ready for an "up" because we have been "down" for too long now. In our own case, we severely underestimated the impact of being away from the game for a year, after JOe's surgery and rehab, and what havoc it can create in your level of play. Expected to jump right back in and pick up where he left off. In retrospect, very naive. We are now severely re-assessing our expectations. And I can honestly say, baseball just isn't fun for any of us right now....it is more frustrating than anything else. I know "this too shall pass"....an "up" will come soon and all will be right with the world. That's the nature of the game, and one of the reasons we love it so much. It also seems to be the nature of life. Things can change in the swing of a bat, or the dawn of a new day. And it is also the nature of roller coasters, you never know what is around the corner or the other side of a hill....and you never know what it will do to your heart! The only difference is....I have to be pressured to go on the roller coaster at the amusement park....I seem to have no choice about experiencing the roller coaster of baseball. But, my stomach and my heart are wishing for more of a "ferris wheel ride" than a "super duper looper" in the near future! Anyone else on a roller coaster ride right now, or willing to share a time when they were? Any hints on how to GET OFF????
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Original Post
quote:
So why is it then that I let how my son is doing in baseball play such a consuming role in my thoughts?


*Because you love him*
luvbb,

You can't get off of the ride, because you are along for the ride. It is a helpless feeling and unfortunately there is nothing you can do about it. OldSlugger said it right....because you love him. When he is doing great and "HAPPY", you are happy, when he is down and out, you are down and out. Certainly does not make it easy, I know I have been there (very similar situation), and you have to find ways to keep your mind off of it so it does not consume you. How folks cope with this type of situation varies but if you find your "OWN" way to take your mind off the situation even for a little bit........it WILL help.

Your son, is not where he wants to be now as far as his skill level. He also MUST put things into persepective. When you miss a full year of this sport (as my son did for different reasons), it is ALL uphill. He has to continue to work and work hard and get back to where he was before the injury.....then get beyond that to the point where he is improving his skills.

If he loves this game and I believe he does, then he will be just fine. What he has to accomplish takes TIME. He will get there, and you will be right there with him.

O42
quote:
Have to admit, roller coasters are NOT my most favorite amusement park ride. I WILL go on them, but usually it is the end result of peer pressure and being called a "wimp" by my kids one too many times!


I'll start with the obvious side of this metaphor first and declare, you couldn't have stated my views on riding roller coasters any more clearly. In fact, I rarely succumb to peer pressure any more.

From the baseball perspective, it describes our circumstances well. Things looked so promising last fall. The first day of fall intrasquad practice was pro scout day as it is on many D1 campuses. My son showed up that day and lit it up hitting, running, throwing, and in the field. We were both on cloud nine. All in all, he had what I believe was a productive fall and it ended with an interview with the coach. He was told we have good and bad news for you. The good news is no one beat you out but the bad news is you did not beat anyone else out. I thought that odd and looking back is probably not a good thing for a freshman to hear. It seems to me that freshman need to overwhelm their competition not just play equal to them because they are always going to lose out in the experience department to older kids.

This spring comes and he started out hitting well and then got into a ground ball hitting funk he never quite got himself out of. As many of you know, we thought he had made the team since his number was posted yet in fact he had been redshirted. Having to post that was in fact from the bottom of the hill.

We quickly adjusted to that and out of the blue, a teammate of his decides he wants to redshirt and that opens a spot for my son. We start to climb the hill again. A day or two later which was a couple of weeks ago, he appears in his first game. Wow...talk about progress...now it appears he will likely not see much action this season. Do I believe in emotional roller coasters? You bet. Has my attitude changed on things? You bet.

I have found that the peaks and valleys can be controlled somewhat by how you react to the situation. When he was redshirting, I did not let him feel sorry for himself and challenged him everyday to improve. Now that he is on the team yet sitting on the bench, I have focused on all the virtues of his current development and situation. He is now seeing live college pitching during the week and getting his regular turns in practice and before games - which he was not getting while redshirting. He just needs to climb the next hurdle and get into the games.

I remember clearly the advice that was given here about getting overly excited about fall practice. It was still in my mind that maybe my son would be an exception and given a shot as a freshman. It was not to be however, and the only way to deal with it (the roller coaster) is to focus on those things you can control and not dwell on those things you can't.
luvbb
My roller coaster ride is going on right now too! And I DON'T DO ROLLER COASTERS, of course I have no choice right now either. On top of all this I'm a control freak and Matt's knee injury is completely out of my control and it's in God's. I'm like one of those spoiled children that ask mom or dad to fix something and while their working on it I'll grab it back and try and do it myself.

Matt and I just had a talk this morning about this very topic and "he said he hopes he understands someday why this happen." so trying to offer comfort... I told him he just has to believe that there is a reason and purpose and sometimes we don't like the way things are or understand.

I'm ready to get off the roller coaster and sit on cloud nine for awhile!!! 14
quote:
He will get there, and you will be right there with him.


Well THAT is a given! Smile

Actually, my intent wasn't for my post to be just about OUR situation. Altho, I do thank both of you for your input. My intent was more about HOW people deal with this sort of roller coaster ride. I do know that not everything is perfect all the time for all of us....if that was the case, we would all be batting 1.00! WinkActually, I personally think baseball might be a little MORE of a roller coaster ride than some other sports and endeavors. Yes...I love my son (as Oldslugger so correctly predicted! Smile)....but he has also had difficult periods in OTHER endeavors of his that have not resulted in the same roller coaster ride that we have experienced with baseball. And...we have always found a way to not let those other endeavors take over our lives as baseball seems to. So...what is it about Baseball that makes it more of a roller coaster? Is it the mentality that it is a game of more failures than successes?
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quote:
So...what is it about Baseball that makes it more of a roller coaster? Is it the mentality that it is a game of more failures than successes?


Excellent question. Let me answer it by using another metaphor. Back in my college days, if my grades had slipped, or if I just wanted to get good grades, I could control things by merely outworking my problem - just study so much that I had no choice but to get a good grade.

With baseball, when things are not going well you can sometimes work 10 times harder and subsequently get 1/10th the result. It is the hardest and most humbling sport imho. Thus, the real success may be in how one handles failure. More of a mental challenge than a physical one - especially as you move up to the higher levels of the game.
Last edited by ClevelandDad
I think we all have roller coaster rides in our lives on a daily basis. Some days work is more enjoyable than others, our kids do better on a test in science one week than the next time, etc.

Baseball just pulls on our heartstrings so much because it's our son's passion and ours as well. We all know how much it means to our kids and I think in our minds, fear them not being able to pursue their dream any further. We all know that sooner or later, it will end - and that's not anything that any of us want to think about or deal with. It will be the end of that rollercoaster ride!

So, for the time being, I think most of us will choose to hang on for a bit longer! Antacids can help! LOL
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quote:
the only way to deal with it (the roller coaster) is to focus on those things you can control and not dwell on those things you can't.


Now THAT is easier said than done, isn't it??? Smile Especially if your share that "TypeA" personality that 03parent and myself seem to possess! Wink Does this all boil down to personality type? I don't think so because my normally laid back "whatever happens, happens" huband is on the roller coaster ride WITH me this time! Big Grin
quote:
Thus, the real success may be in how one handles failure. More of a mental challenge than a physical one - especially as you move up to the higher levels of the game.


CD...now THAT is a great way to look at it. And I can honestly say....I'm NOT a success right now! Big Grin I also would like to add...my son is MUCH better at dealing with the baseball ups and downs than his MOM is! Wink
luvbb,

Sorry, I got caught up in one of my moments. Now to answer your question...How do you deal with it?

Folks that are in these situations and for those of you who do not know me, I have been through this with mine and then some.

You MUST find a way at least in your mind to feel like you are controlling the situation, when in fact you are not. It will ease the pain and help you to cope. The mind is a funny thing and it is a powerful thing. It can make us believe we are sick when we are not; it can make us feel better when we are not. I know it is easier said than done, but folks in general in these situations will WORRY themselves SICK. To the point where the game is just not fun anymore.

Find ways that help you cope; I do not know what they are; for myself, I made up my mind when the wheels came off the cart that I would step back and let someone else put them on. It worked for me and it did help ease the anxiety that I was experiencing.

Hope this was a little better.

O42
quote:
You MUST find a way at least in your mind to feel like you are controlling the situation, when in fact you are not. It will ease the pain and help you to cope. The mind is a funny thing and it is a powerful thing. It can make us believe we are sick when we are not; it can make us feel better when we are not.


orioles42 - that was a classic post!!! In my two previous long-winded posts, that is the philosophy I was trying to convey agree
So I have to let them, put the wheels back on this cart.....ok
A friend told me "let go and let God"

I think I needed all this..... thanks guys Smile
Last edited by 03parent
quote:
but folks in general in these situations will WORRY themselves SICK. To the point where the game is just not fun anymore.


Very good point Orioles! I might add that it is a tremendous "weight loss" plan too! Wink

Did not mean to make you feel your prior post was "not important" in anyway! Wink Actually, I know of a "few" people who are going thru difficult times "baseball-wise" right now...there is some comfort in knowing you aren't alone in dealing with frustration. That bad things DO happen to good people unfortunately. Sometimes, we only feel comfortable posting when GOOD things are happening for our sons....it is much more difficult to acknowledge publicly the "not so good" times. I have come to the same conclusion pretty much that you espoused....stepping back and realizing you have no control and letting someone (or something) else lead the way. I have found over the past year that a certain mantra keeps popping up in my brain "What is meant to happen, will happen." It doesn't necessarily make it any "easier" to deal with the difficult times.....but it does help in the "letting go" that grips many of us parents. BUT....I am STILL known to change my seat, leg position, take off sunglasses, put on sunglasses, etc. to ensure a timely hit when things are slumping! Wink I can't relinquish control COMPLETELY! Big Grin

What also helps????? Perhaps a couple servings of that Green Wine that Pamom is brewing tonight???? Big Grin
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So CD....after today's game....let me venture a guess that you are enjoying the roller coaster ride today???? Wink Congrats!
luv---

First of all, and this is weird---I just looked down on the keyboard to start typing this post and, lo and behold, what is crawling on it but a ladybug. I think we should take this as a sign (I'm trying really hard not to squish our "sign"---she's VERY mobile!)!

Am I the only roller coaster fanatic in the crowd? I'll go on ANY one at ANY time (I'm the one who shames you into wimpdom)---as long as it runs on tracks and isn't related to baseball and my son. Didn't enjoy THAT one at all, as you well know.

Green wine helps at times, but there is a fine line between just enough to ease the pain, and a bit too much that tends to magnify it. I like your "step back" theory better. Get off the coaster, take a breather, and let it whoosh around without you for awhile. The time will come again soon when you're ready (or when you get pushed back into the car by the forces that be) to deal with another ride...and this time, you'll be fully aware of the ups and downs along the way.

And of COURSE there is a reason. But we might not know what it is until the park closes. One thing I DO know, however, is that you will survive!
quote:
Originally posted by ClevelandDad:
Now that he is on the team yet sitting on the bench, I have focused on all the virtues of his current development and situation. He is now seeing live college pitching during the week and getting his regular turns in practice and before games - which he was not getting while redshirting. He just needs to climb the next hurdle and get into the games.


For what it's worth.....I know a certain 13 yr old who would worship the ground TB walks on if he ever had the chance to meet him. It doesn't get TB any more game time, but maybe it'll make the bench feel a tad more comfy.

His time will come. Just like many have to wait for their shot in HS, college is SOOOO much tougher and just the fact that he's getting chances here and there as a freshman, it's very promising.
luvbb,
sorry I took me so long . . . but, you could'a could be my wife posting . . .
I was just going to say that Orioles pretty much has a grasp on things,
BUT . . . also - "STEP BACK" .. just allow yourself to see the "bigger picture" . . .
like . . . your SON becoming a MAN

when you're too close things are magnified - -
(ie: the Grand Canyon is AWSOME standing on the ledge - - but, "just pretty cool" on the fly over)

saw the box today, so nevermind
14 14 14

just feed him & YOU drink some green wine -
(but - not Boone's Farm/Apple) Eek (save that for Columbus) dirol
Last edited by Bee>
Luv,

From my vantage point - I can say that participation in any serious level of any sport is a roller coaster ride.

Exhilerating at times - YES
Frustrating at times - YES

What I learned more than anything a long time ago- in a big picture sort of way - from my dad - and uncles - and my own experiences - and both my sons - is that the ups and downs are actually the heart of the whole experience.

It is what makes any sport - and any success - so valuable.

At some point it ends - but until that happens - I will keep paying my ticket price for the Loop the Loop. IMO.

Wink
Last edited by itsinthegame
its - I love your perspective as well Smile If we simply embrace the roller coaster, it is another way of "mentally" dealing with the ups and downs.

As I have noted before, you have the best avatar of anyone on the hsbbweb. How is Darrin's (sp) health doing these days. He obviously was tearing it up before the injury Smile
Cleveland,

Thanks for asking about D.

He is doing well - Missed 6 games with the ankle injury. Came back this week and has hit well - but isnt 100% running or moving laterally defensively yet. (Called tonight - and mentioned that today he faced one of the best change-up pitchers he ever played against - got skunked twice - then came back a rapped a double)

My guess is that in another week or two - he will be back to 100% - god willing.

More importantly - His team has lost the last 4 games in a row - each one in the 9th inning - so he isnt in a good mood. LOL

Is your son enjoying CC? (I love that program)


Regards - Its
Last edited by itsinthegame
"It's" -
happy to hear he's mending ....
I have the Screaming E's in my follow list
greenjump

wishes for a great season 08
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Its - It (no pun intended) was his weekend this weekend. It has been a struggle but worth it. He has grown as a player. Please see the thread just below this one in the Ohio forum on CC. It started out innocently enough yesterday, and then transformed into the highest of highs without any inkling it would.

Bee> has been very kind in the whole process.
Cleveland,

That is awesome! What a way to start!!!

I bet that shaving cream tasted pretty good - LOL

I usually follow all of the Big South games - but have started a new job - so have been a bit off the regular routine the last few weeks.

Congrats to Tyler - and please tell him for me - when they play Winthrop - beat the h*** out of them.

clap clap clap
Thanks Its - will do Smile

I am afraid it is a down year for Coastal this year and an up year for Winthrop. They have beaten some heavy hitters this year already and Coastal is really struggling with their pitching. I am praying for a turn around but also hopeful for the future.
Last edited by ClevelandDad
quote:
when you're too close things are magnified - -
(ie: the Grand Canyon is AWSOME standing on the ledge - - but, "just pretty cool" on the fly over)


Bee....IMO that is a great analogy.

Orioles....got back from the weekend series vs. Furman tonight and you would be VERY proud of me! I've decided to take your advice and step back and relinquish control of the situation. Yes...there were some things that happened that I had to repeat that mantra mentally for quite awhile Wink, but I think I am off to a good start. Not sure how many people tell you this...so I would like to reiterate it....YOU WERE RIGHT! Big Grin Of course, hitting the micro-brewery around the corner from the hotel helped me relinquish control too! Wink
Last edited by luvbb
Wow...I feel I have been gone a month between my work schedule and traveling to Cincy and Tampa

TYhis is a great topic for me at this moment...I HATE ROLLER COASTERS!!...lol

When we got to Cincy we were excited, they were ranked #24 and had a great trip coming up. What WE saw was a team that has talent that seemed to forget they had to use it every play. We saw 11 games and saw 4 lost from errors, 1 by a hit batter with bases loaded, saw them nno hit and absoulutely destroyed by Tampa...men amoung boys! Tampa threw the #1 pitching prospect in DII,(with 25 scouts in the stands) we threw number 7. With the trip ending with 4 conference games, they didn't use 1-4 until the weekend.
My roller coaster didn't really start until the conference games. The left fielder and short stop are All-Conference players and ahead of Brian...and deserve the opportunity, the Third baseman is a senior and captain, ahead of Brian and deserves the opportunity, the second baseman is a returning starter who is ahead of Brian and derves the opportunity....they all cost us games along the trip with defensive miscues...and multiple ones. NIt didn't seem to matter until the last day when the short stops dad says...they should pull my son out and put Brian in because he WILL make the plays. I figured it was just a dad being hard on his son and told him he seemed to be lacking confidence but he would get it back. Then while sitting in the stands by my wife I over hear the pitchers doing the logging (3 are starters) say, we ought to pull these guys and put Brian in, he is the best we have and we could have won 4 games more"...At first I thought...nope, he can't play all positions. BUT THEN... DAD starts analyzing...hmmm. With 24 errors between the Left Fielder (3), Thrid baseman (5), Short stop (13) and Second Baseman (3) maybe he should be getting more opportunities. He has been perfect in 16 opprtunities and had some very hot shots that he made look pretty easy. I mentioned to him what the pitchers said and he says " I am ready when they call me number, it isn't my decision" I have always told him that "in this game you can't get too excited when it is going good and not too low when it is going bad"...he does this soooo much better than me.
When I start to feel I am on the "roller coaster"...I know step back or get off...think about what I have read in the book "The Mental Game of Baseball". Basically it says "Worry about what you can control and don't waste energy and thought on what you can't control"...I don't play but if I transfer MY ROLLER COASTER to my son by asking him "WHY AREN"T YOU..."...HOW COME YOU.." then I can make him think about things outside of his control, which he doesn't need to do. Now I ask.."How did the games go"..."How did so and so do..? Did you get in?...if a NO, then I say stay ready you never know when"...if it is a YES, I say "how was your defense?..."how'd you see the ball"..."Keep working, as you see more you'll do batter...believe in your abilities, I do as do a lot of other people"...and then..."have a great night, do well tomorrow and most of all...have fun andremember I love ya"...

BY then I am so off the roller coaster until they have another game and I can read about it or ask him my 5 or 6 questions....lol...

Did I say..I HATE ROLLER COASTERS!!!"

Than good ness he still has to more years after this one...god willing
quote:
"Worry about what you can control and don't waste energy and thought on what you can't control"...


Mde5 - This is the only philosophy that I can imagine works to any great degree in controlling emotions. Nice post.
M - Yes, good advice. My son is struggling with some issues right now and I'm going to try and put that advice to practice. Smile
You folks are correct in trying to understand what is in your (and/or your son's) control. Many coaches try to get players to understand the same thing. Another thing coaches try to convey to players is to avoid getting too high or too low......good advice for parents, too.

We have to remember that as important as baseball is to our boys, ultimately there will be many more things in life that are more important, that will break their hearts much more and create major distractions in their lives as well as allow them to experience the great joys that life has to offer.

The guidance of us parents and the example we set for them, the strength that we exhibit, the love that we provide for them and the support that we can offer to them as individuals as well as members of a team.....those are the things you have all been doing for the first 18+ years of their lives......there is no reason to change that, even though things aren't always going as smoothly as they usually do.

For most (if not all) of the parents on this site, your children have been raised with a fabulous value system......now they are becoming independent and can put that value system to work.

People can control their emotions by controlling their thoughts, since our thoughts (which we choose) influence our emotions. This is important for players and parents. We choose our thoughts, and because of that we create our emotions.....whether they are positive or negative.

No matter the path, it is only a roller coaster if we make it one.......I know that in my own personal life (yeah, the one outside of baseball) I have also had to learn that I cannot control what any other person says or does, but I can control my thoughts and thus my emotional responses.....same way in baseball.
Last edited by grateful
Did anyone see Gray's Anatomy last night? The Serenity Prayer works for baseball, too. Such a simple philosophy of life in essence. But admittedly so difficult to follow when things go awry. Here's the reminder---which should be branded on my soul by now:

Lord, grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, the COURAGE to change the things I can, and the WISDOM to know the difference.

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