Some great posts. Roller coasters, controlling emotions, ups and downs, lots of psychology here, but what do you want as an alternative?

Imagine you are at your boys game. You watch it, start getting wrapped up in it, pretty much business as usual, until..............

you tremble a little more, you get animated, your heart beats a little faster, you get those "hot shots" of acid, adrenalin in your stomach...........YOUR BOY JUST ENTERED THE BATTERS BOX

I purchase on average 4 tickets per game to ride that ride, and wouldn't change a thing.

itsinthegame said this.................

"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."
Last edited by OLDSLUGGER8
Golden Threads nomination for this one. Not one of us escapes the roller coaster ride of baseball.

Sorry folks...I am technology challenged at times....

Thanks for al the hello's

Lots of good advice and comments...
I don't like roller coasters...did I say that already?...but...I'd rather ride this roller coaster called baseball...than not have the opportunity to experiance it!! We are all in a learning preocess, the same as our kids, and we will ALL become better people for it!!
I have posted the following song somewhere before, but it is appropriate for this thread. Many have said the roller coaster is worth it, and the following thoughts sum those sentiments up well:

The Dance
Written by: Tony Arata and performed by Garth Brooks

Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared 'neath the stars alone
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known that you'd ever say goodbye

And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance

Holding you I held everything
For a moment wasn't I a king
But if I'd only known how the king would fall
Hey who's to say you know I might have chanced it all

And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance

Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain but I'd of had to miss the dance
Dan, I always liked this song to begin with. Then Michael's senior year, the dad that did a video each of the last two years, put this song at the end of the video while we showing our boys and coaches in the OF after their final loss of the season (in the regional tournament).

ALWAYS brings a tear to my eye. Thanks for sharing!
I ahbe to say, it is 21/2 weeks since I was in Tampa watching NKU play...and I don't know if it because I have worked an 'ungodly' amount of hours since I have been back home or I know that Brian is at peace, happy, excited and having fun. I understand the situation so much better...but I feel as though I am off the roller coaster and now I am just watching him enjoy the ride. For the first time in many years..I feel 'at peace'

But still leary of an unknown curve in the dark or a sudden is Michael doing? How are YOU doing? Sure would be nice if there was a way to track the games for the JUCO's, DII & DIII. I have to sometimes wait 2 days to find out what happened...
Mike, Michael is doing ok. I'm in Illinois right now - came up yesterday morning. So far, all I've done is cook alot! Big Grin Their games were rescheduled yesterday for today, so I'm going to get some baseball in. He won't know if he's traveling for tomorrow's away games until later today - if he does, I'm going to Rend Lake CC tomorrow!

If it wasn't for Michael actually calling me, I'd never know how LT does. The site is not updated and I checked the NJCAA and it had only the first eight games on it along with fewer sats than we kept in HS. Eek So, I certainly feel your pain!!!!!
lafmom....I imagine that the boys are enjoying the home cooking ALMOST as much as you are enjoying doing it. chef

Isn't it misery when they don't update the websites?. It is almost like ..why have them? All it does is tease us parents who don't get to attend the games.

Nku seems to have improved the speed of updating as the year has gone on. Hope the games went well today and I do hope you get to enjoy Rend Lake CC
I use to search the local papers of the towns the jucos were in and sometimes I could get some results from that.

Also Rend Lake is just 1hr 15 mins from my house.... wish I had the day off I'd drive up. Rend Lake has a couple guys Matt played travel ball with.... Chris Clark and Brandon Braboy. He played 5 yrs with these two.

I hope ya get to travel and see Michael pitch. If ya want give me a call and let me know how its going. Love to hear bout some locals.

Good Luck and Rend Lake was our rival when Matt was at SIC so......GO LT!!!!!

Originally posted by ClevelandDad:
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. about 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.

HSBBWeb Old Timer

Posted March 17, 2006 04:19 PM Hide Post
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*

I will stick with my Pops!!
There is an enormous comfort in knowing that other people/fathers/mothers keep wondering (naively)whether the worry is finally over or not.
You want roller caoster try watching live stats when you kid is on the mound. My heart can't take it. Dosen't matter what year they are in.
LS was designed to give heart attacks. Cuts out and reappears minutes later if you are lucky.
WOW...since I'm the original contributor to this "golden oldie" thread, and I have been absent from this board for quite awhile...thought I would add an upbeat sequel to the "roller coaster ride" that was the impetus for me initially posting gosh....FIVE YEARS AGO!

I am happy to report that yes Virginia, there IS life after baseball! And yes, it was quite a roller coaster ride all throughout. Claiming a starting spot as a college freshman, ensuing Tommy John surgery, rehab, red-shirt, losing focus, losing coach's confidence, losing confidence in him self, putting it all back together, named captain by the same coach who benched him the season before, named team MVP two years in a row, at the top of Big10 standings in many different areas, NOT being drafted after being led to believe he would be, having all his plans thrown for a loop once again, playing independent ball, being signed by the Phillies after two weeks, playing two seasons of minor league ball, hanging up the cleats, going to law school....WHEW!!!!!

Now THAT is a roller coaster ride, and I"m sure one that is not all that unfamiliar to alot of you! One of the greatest gifts of time, is that it gives you perspective and clarity. The sequel to the story is that my son is now in his second year of law school at Penn State. The university was so kind as to hold his slot so that he could give baseball a shot. When he decided to hang up the cleats I can honestly say he did not have ONE REGRET and he is so totally at ease and happy with where his life is. Actually, he says he is enjoying law school so much BECAUSE it is the FIRST time in his life where he has been able to concentrate ONLY on school without the commitment to baseball. He says that altho it isn't "easy" is MUCH "easier" because of his experience of having to combine baseball with academics all these years.

The only ball he plays now is softball for his law school team. And THAT is quite frustrating to him as the level of "seriousness" by his team mates is severely his perspective! haha. As a matter of fact, the FIRST game he played, he was playing third base, fielded a grounder, threw to first and broke the pitchers nose because he did not think to get out of the way of the throw and it hit him squarely on the nose! My son said he saw that poor guy laying on the mound, blood gushing from his nose and realized he had to seriously change his intensity level when playing the game...and THAT has been the hardest part for him after all the years of playing and his competitive nature Smile I"m sure once more time has passed, he will turn to coaching and being more involved in the game..but for right now not enough time has passed for him to WANT to do that.

My son has turned out to be a young man that I would admire even if he WASN'T my son. And I have, in a large part, that roller coaster ride of baseball to thank for that! All the trials, tribulations, frustrations and joys have certainly done nothing but make him a stronger and more confident individual.

Anyway, sorry for the long-winded "ness"....but when I saw this thread still here, I thought it was about time to write the happy ending to the baseball roller coaster story. Hope everyone is well, and good luck to all your boys Smile
Last edited by luvbb
Wow ! That is a good story, and lots of helpful advice in between. Like others have said, it all ends somewhere and along the way we all learn so much. In fact, I think I have learned more in the past few years with my kids than I did as a younger myself!
Thank you for the recap and sharing the time-lapse movie of your son's experience. It is informative and inspiring.

I am going to share it with my son to show that the "getting back up" part is far more important than the "getting knocked down" part.
Glad to see that your son has taken all the adversity that he dealt with in baseball and put it to great use in his new profession. Regarding the whole softball thing I know playing on the Law firms softball team has value for networking and contacts which is important. I tried softball once and could never bring myself to play the game for exactly the same reasons your son has had trouble adjusting to it. If he stays in the State College area tell him to look into the Center Sluggers league once he reaches the minimum age. You can search the web for Center County Sluggers and find their facebook page or website. I played in that league for 5 or 6 years and loved it till I just got to darn old to play any longer.
I have just come out with a book about this exact issue. It is called "Going with the Pitch: Adjusting to Baseball, School, and Life as a Division I College Athlete". I played for Binghamton University from 2005-2009, and though it was the experience of a lifetime, it was also a full roller coaster ride for not only me, but also for my entire family.

As the book discusses, the coach who recruited me left the program before I ever took a step onto campus. It made someone like myself, who really needed the belief and support of a coaching staff to help grow me and help me succeed, experience continuous ups and downs. I would have days where I went 3-4 and got an A on my exam, and other days when I sat shivering on the bench, only left to think about the homework assignment I had to do that night.

So the question you originally posed, how did I, and my family, deal with it?

It took up until my senior year but as I continued to struggle and grow, my maturity set in and I was finally able to take whatever came my way, make the best of it and move on. Once it hit me that baseball was about to end, everything became OK. Of course it was rough when at times I felt like I was getting shortchanged ( or in a slump and unable to figure it out), but I think if you are OK with your preparation and have confidence in yourself then whatever results happen are OK.

To not associate how you or your kid plays on field with who he/she is ( r you) off the field is important. It may seem a bit dumb, but when I played I always felt my self-worth was to some extent connected to how I played on the field. When you associate yourself as a baseball player only (or parent of one only) it doesn't allow you to separate yourself from your daily life. When this happens it becomes much more difficult to deal with the ups and downs as the stakes become artificially higher. Granted it took me 3 long years, but the day I told myself I was only a baseball player when I was playing baseball, was the day I was able to accept the ride I was on, and begin to enjoy it. ( In the book I discuss the exact day, which was a game at the University of Vermont.)

It is never easy when things are going wrong and the roller coaster ride is heading towards a cataclysmic crash, but it is important to find an outlet that works for you. For me it was writing my emotions down on paper.

In fact, it was these 4 years worth of writings while being on the roller coaster ride that provided me the information I needed to write my book on adjusting to college life.

More information on the book can be found at

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