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My Son Wanted to Play Two Sports in the Same Season, and I Let Him

Volume 3 | Issue 11 | December 2015 | Archive
My Son Wanted to Play Two Sports in the Same Season, and I Let Him
Most parents know how hectic it can be getting children to practices and games. So, you can imagine my concern when my son came to me one day holding a baseball bat and a soccer ball, asking if he could play both sports in the spring. My mind raced at the thought of two coinciding sports, scurrying around getting him to practices that would probably be scheduled around the same time. I pictured grabbing him from the soccer field once the coach’s whistle blew, racing him to the backseat of the car, telling him to quickly swap his soccer cleats for his baseball cleats. On game days, in the confusion, I imagined him wearing his goalie gloves at the plate, his soccer socks over his catcher’s leg gear, and his baseball pants all bunched up because he forgot to take off his soccer shorts. On top of all of that, I worried he (and, a tad selfishly, his father and me) would be spread too thin, and exhausted.

But, that face on my 8-year-old – that innocent, cute, smiling, hopeful face – standing in front of me, wanting to play both sports with different sets of kids told me we were going to give it a try despite having two other active children, just not in athletics. My husband was leery. So was I. But, we signed him up for both sports. It was the best extracurricular activities decision we’ve made.

Was it a lot of running around? Sure. Were there times I second guessed myself? You bet. Did I get his soccer clothes out of the dryer when it was time for Little League® practice? Check. Did I forget to eat a meal? Uh-huh. Were we a little late to a couple practices and games? Well, yes, but we never missed a full one, and I was upfront with both coaches about our situation. Would I do it all again? No doubt.

There were rules we made that we stuck to, which helped my family stay committed to the decision. Our son would get plenty of rest. His academics and homework would come first. He would eat right, which meant not every dinner was going to be at the concession stand. He would get a lot of family time. He would get plenty of social time outside of sports with his friends. He would have fun. Thankfully he had coaches on both ends who were willing to work with our schedule.

I have read all about the importance of having kids play multiple sports, and for a while I wasn’t sure about that. I thought why not just concentrate on the sport he or she really loves. Well, it turns out my son loves two sports. I would have preferred soccer and baseball to be in different seasons, but that was obviously out of my control. What I found really amazing was that my son’s baseball play improved because of soccer. He had more endurance, more athleticism, and more confidence. Maybe even more important, he met new friends, and my husband and I met new families.

With registration around the corner, I sat down with my son over Thanksgiving, and asked if he wanted to play both sports again this spring. Without any hesitation, he said he did, but he wanted one thing to change... he didn’t want to be goalie this year. At least I know, there’s no risk of him wearing goalie gloves during his at-bats.
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The Parent Connection - December 2015 - Archive