What do you do with a child who loves to play baseball? Do you cough up the big bucks for travel baseball, do you limit an 8 year old boy to a one sport commitment? Z Man did one year of pee wee football and said he just wanted to play baseball. Baseball is his sport. The thing is, I think football gave him a better throwing arm, and I know it trained him as a runner more than baseball ever does. He also had some great African American male coaches, that not only gave him football training, but man training. And let's face it, football is just a much funner sport for the parents to watch. Humble Dad was really disappointed that Z Man did not want to play football in the Fall and that he rather play baseball for two seasons- both Fall and Spring.
These past two years we allowed Z Man to do just baseball, because he loves it so much, next year may be a different story. We will take it one year at a time. We will also see if the big bucks of travel baseball is worth it, will he get the training and experience he needs to take his pure talent to the next level of pure skill and perfection.
Lou Holtz an American Football coach said,"Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it." We've seen his ability and his motivation is apparent. However, I am always concerned with Z Man's attitude. Little League baseball can be a very monochrome sport so when a child on his own team tries to hurt Z Man, it makes you concern if it is racially motivated and how his attitude will be impacted by it. In Tennessee, Z Man started to get really down on himself not for being Black, but for being Muslim. No one could pronounce his name properly and the coaches and parents definitely had a problem and we had to talk to the coach a couple of times about it. Regulating the right attitude in this type of environment is complex, you don't want to make them cocky, you don't want them to hate their color or religion, you don't want them to be constantly angry and for them to start to use the bat as a tool to release that anger. We want to develop a humble baseball player who recognizes his talent comes from God and who works hard at his skill, while continually to be motivated by his love of Baseball. This attitude is a work in progress, and may Z Man grow up in this right attitude. Ameen.