Baseball memories aid future

Noelle Ott - Sports Editor

Noelle Ott – Sports Editor

Noelle Ott

I guess it explains why I am an elementary education major, but I love little kids. And now that baseball season is getting ready to start up, I get to see little children in action.

Anyone who has been able to see young children play Tee ball knows what I mean. Little kids are so free and on the field it is not in the least inhibiting. You can always look out on the dirt field and see at least one child drawing designs in it. Another is twirling around and then there are the two kids clapping their hands with each other in a patty-cake-type game. And I can’t forget the one just staring at his or her feet as the ball rolls right by them.

You see, I was that child. I played ball from the time I was in kindergarten until I was in the third game. After which, I played just for fun. I liked the sport, but when I was a child, it was just too tempting to not look for four-leaf clovers when I should have been watching for the ball to come out my way. Maybe that’s why I was yelled at so much when I was on the field.

Even though I didn’t play well as a child due in part to my lack of an attention span, I learned quite a bit that helped me in ways unseen at the time.

For one thing, I was able to learn social skills some children don’t learn until they are older. When I was around the other children I made some friends, including one girl whom I still know today.

To be on a team, even a team with five and six year olds, communication is crucial. You had to listen to the coach and be prepared to run when they gave the signal. Playing a sport also taught me about teamwork. I know I didn’t really care for the position I played, which was right field, but I knew even then it took all the positions for the team to succeed. Also, now that I have been granted the opportunity to be sports editor, I am able to use what I learned as a child.

Every once in a while I hear arguments, and some might have good points, about how we need to be careful about not injuring a child’s self-esteem, but I can tell you this: when you let your child play sports, sometimes their self-esteem is hurt. However, even when mine was, it still improved my character. I learned more about endurance and perseverance. Also, sometimes kids get hurt out there on the field, but to be honest, kids can get hurt when they play anything.

So, as the baseball season starts up, I would like to take this moment to encourage the parents out there to get their child involved in some extracurricular activity. Not too many, of course, but you can never tell what lesson they might learn from it and how they might use it in the future.