Lessons From Little League

We've spent 6 of the last 10 days involved with Little League playoffs for our All Stars, which Daniel is a part of, and are driving back and forth to Abilene now for the District tournament.

Lots of road time gives you plenty of thinking time too, so I thought I would pen some lessons from little league that we are trying to instill in Daniel through these outings.  It's a family affair as a we all go ( I mean all--even the puppies went last night) and cheer the team on.

1.  Teamwork is essential in life.
One of the best things that comes from playing on a combined team from the league is that kids that compete together regularly have to combine those talents to become a new team.  We constantly tell Daniel that his gifts and talents are to be used for the greater good--not for himself.  I think he learns by playing on these teams that although he may have been a standout on his regular team, he has to learn to contribute in new ways when it's the best of the best.   He's learned that and is pretty adaptable to each situation (baseball, basketball, whatever)

2.  Never give up.
This was never more true than last night when the team got down by 7 in the first inning including 4 walks (with 2 outs and going through 3 pitchers to get that final out).  I surely thought that our boys would let it slip away, but they didn't.  They battled back in the next inning to bring in 5 runs to catch up and from there on they were determined.  I think this was an important lesson for them to not give up until the game was over and even then they held on to win by 1 in the last inning and the last out.  It was a major life lesson.

3.  It just takes one.
Daniel is constantly looking ahead in each tournament but we are reminding him that each game is a new experience and that it just takes one turn, one play, one out to turn a game. We are constantly trying to keep him in the moment and to think about what's happening right now.  That's difficult for a 12 year old to understand but I think that he's getting it.

4.  It's just a game.
Of all of the things that Daniel is learning about life from this game, perhaps this is the most important and the one that I think that he has a good grasp on.  After each game I see different reactions from kids (some have a melt down or get mad if we lose) and Daniel has a good outlook on things.  If the outcome is less than expected he usually is quiet and reflective, but in a few moments after processing things he begins to talk about the future.  Its so easy for kids to make the moment more than it is (I guess some of that is from parents who make it the all in all) but Daniel moves on and I think that's important for kids to understand that what they are doing is just part of life.  I'm glad that he has the skills to process these experiences and take what's best of it and learn.

So, what did you learn from Little League?