Lessons from Little League

Budding Author loves to play baseball. He loves the uniform, the bat bag, dirty baseball caps, new baseball shoes that he can get stomp the dust with, camaraderie with other "boys of summer." My hubby and I prayed diligently that this year he would be on a team that was friendly, fun and not too competitive. (hard to find here in Texas) We prayed that the team would also be homeschool-friendly.

God answered our prayers, but not in the exact manner we anticipated. He ended up on a team where he knew only one person (someone he played soccer with at 4 years old). The team was full of superstar baseball players. He was the only homeschooler.

One day after practice, he told me that all of the boys were asking him why he was homeschooled and if he liked it, etc. He described it to the boys this way ... "Public school is like having cake... homeschooling is like having the cake and the icing!" From then on and for the rest of the season, the other boys kept asking to be homeschooled, too.

Our son was not one of the best players. In fact, he was very challenged at this level of play. And yet, he sat in that dugout and cheered game-in and game-out. We were so happy to see that 'encourager' come out in him.

OK... on to the real life lesson. His team finished the season with only 2 losses heading into the tournament. They were poised to win it all and move on to the District tournament and the coach was excited. After 3 tournament wins, one family had to leave to go to a wedding. This family had triplets and so 3 very important players exited for the last 2 games of the tournament. Not only was our team playing only 8 players to the other team's 12 players, our team was missing 3 superstars.

The first game with only 8 players, our team lost, but only by a few runs. Some parents were hanging their heads. Some players on our team were discouraged. We had one more opportunity to play for the championship. The boys were so tired and it was blazing hot and we were still down 4 players.

All of the sudden, a transformation took place. Our coach decided to use this opportunity to teach the boys something very valuable... how to finish with heart and finish strong. It was really incredible how the parents began cheering for the boys to play their very best until the end... to give it everything.

The boys played from their heart and they finished like champions; but they lost, huge... the other team scored at least 18 runs. At yet, there were no hanging shoulders or pouting faces... and suddenly, I was encouraged about the future of our country. These boys are our future leaders. And this coach had just given them a priceless example of handling difficult situations. As parents, we can only stand aside and be humbly grateful to a coach with great character and to a God who listens to prayers, even ones about little league.


Christy said…
Thanks for sharing this story, Laura. All too often we hear stories with an opposite ending...parents becoming obsessed with their child winning, other children ridiculing or belittling a child of lesser skill...it's wonderful to read a story of a team really functioning as that--unified and encouraging one another. Awesome!

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