We’ve all seen the Facebook posts and memes about why a parent would spend so much time and money so their kids can play softball. For some of us older folks, who grew up before travel ball and AAU were everyday things, this question seems to be logical. But upon further review, and after reading a few dozen examples of why people do what they do, it seems crazy to think that someone could choose to any other option.
The conclusion that many people have pointed to is that they don’t really play just so their kid can play ball but, rather, that they pay for all the lessons, experiences and memories that come with playing ball.
This list is a powerful one:
- We pay for the moments when our kids are so tired or frustrated that they want to quit, but don’t!
- We pay for the opportunities to make lifelong friends.
- We pay for the opportunity to work with coaches and instructors who instill in our kids that the game is a lot more about life and less about just winning and losing.
- We pay for our kids to learn to value their physical fitness and to take care of their bodies.
- We pay for our kids to learn how to work with others. That the value of teamwork will carry them throughout their lives.
- We pay for our kids to learn how to accept help when they need it and how to give help to others when they can.
- We pay for our kids to learn how to deal with challenges and disappointments.
- We pay to help our kids learn failure is temporary and that by working through a challenge they can overcome.
- We pay to allow our kids to see that accomplishing goals requires hard work. That by setting goals they can accomplish things they may have otherwise thought impossible.
- We pay to be sure that our kids are outside playing a great game rather than sitting in front of a screen in the house.
This list can go on forever. Every family and every player has a list of their own that sums up why they play.
While we know that many people are making great sacrifices of their time and money when you read these lists, you have to come to one very simple conclusion: Paying for my kid to play softball is a bargain!