Saturday, 16 March 2013

Spring training

There is about a month and a half until opening day for my fastball league.  But from the looks of things, opening day may be postponed a bit.

Nevertheless, we take ourselves indoors to get some of the dust off the gloves and bats, and the cobwebs out of those creaky shoulders and knees.  On my team, I've somehow become the person who finds the gym and organizes these practices.  While I am more than happy to find the gym, I'm less enthusiastic about telling adults what to do.  And often, as our team gets older and more busy caring for others, we have a small turnout.

In past years, I would be discouraged by the number of girls who would come out.  I would wonder what I could do differently in organizing the practices to encourage more participation.  I would take it personally when our numbers dwindled.  I would beg for suggestions of fresh drills and activities, and often hear silence.

This year, something clicked for me and I feel I've been able to let go of that burdensome feeling.  During a fleeting and rare tranquil moment, it is the same people who opt out of spring training.  Those who want to be there and see value in preparing for the season to come will be there.  Those who don't see the value, and don't step up to create something that will add value to them won't show up, no matter what I do.  So, instead of trying to create a practice for those who likely won't show anyway, I created a practice for me.  Drills that will get my feet moving, get my coordination back, and help me be a better player.  Drills that will make me faster, and increase my endurance so that I can still feel pretty good in the 7th inning in the final game of a tournament. 

As a result, we touched on more areas more efficiently today that we have over the past few seasons of spring trainings combined!  Added to the standard requiem of batting, fielding, and throwing were core and lower body work, agility and speed training.  In the past, I would have feared the response from the team if I suggested we run lines or do lunges.  Today, I felt satisfied with what we worked through.  Because, really, there will be a team of players on the field in the 7th inning of a final game, not just me.  What benefits me will benefit all.

And how does this tie to homeschooling?  It's a reminder that what I value and find important may not carry the same weight with my children.  I can try to enter into discussions with them, influence them, and set an example for them.  At the end of the day though, they have their own minds and they are developing their own beliefs.  They are working through which values resonate most strongly  and which ones can be dropped when need be.  I need to respect their decisions, and always offer them an risk-free "lifeline" if it's wanted.  And, I need to remember that the only person I can control is me, and that taking steps to live the authentic life that I want and need can feel awesomely liberating.

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