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October 19, 2011

For the Love of Baseball or Soccer

How does a seven-year-old choose?


For most of his seven-year-old life, my son has played and loved soccer and baseball. Up until now, we have moved from field to field without any major scheduling problems. He might be changing uniforms in the car, while stuffing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in his mouth, but it's been doable.

I can feel, however, that our blissful time of playing both sports, is coming close to an end. Older teams have more practices. They practice and play real positions.Being able to show up for a game, right as it's beginning, isn't so easy. Coaches rightfully expect every player at every game. Kids are missed when they're not. 

At the same time, a seven year old has more, real homework. Ten minute requirements become thirty. Rest and sleep are at a premium.

But, how can I help him choose? For a generally easy-going kid, he is passionate and adamant about his love for both sports. 

"Mom, I love the running in soccer! Did you see that pass? I got to play goalie again, and I stopped that kick!" His coach is terrific. His closest friend is on his soccer team.

Meanwhile, "Mom, let's go outside and play catch! Throw me pop-ups and I'll catch every one, I bet! Batting practice rocks. I can't wait until the game tonight." Baseball feeds the strategic part of his brain. He's starting to see where the play will be, not just where the ball might fly.

Truly, as crazy as it sounds, it makes me sad to think about him giving up either one. I know he'll miss the game, his friends, the activity. He's still small, but responsibility to team and schoolwork starts now, or not at all. What guidelines are best? What wise moms out there can empathize, sympathize or help me, help him?


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