Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Open Discussion

Youth sports isn't about knocking it out of the park

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article


My ballerina starts tee-ball this week.

Over the weekend, we went and bought a PINK bat, PINK baseball glove, and PINK helmet.

We also grabbed black baseball pants, and we plan to use her soccer cleats to save some money.

When she takes the field on Wednesday, she may run the wrong direction, add a twirl at the plate, and request that the crowd chant her royal name, "Elsa," but so be it.

I will not encourage her to hide who she is.

I will not force her to fit some substandard, nonsensical mold of girls who play ball.

I will instruct her to listen.

I will guide her as she plays.

I will tell her to work hard.

I will remind her that having fun is all that matters.

I will remember that her having fun is all that matters.

Not that she gets a hit, catches an easy grounder, or remembers to tap home plate.

But that she enjoys the game, has fun with other kids, and picks up some nuggets on how to be a good teamplayer.

Youth sports isn't about looking the part.

Youth sports isn't about knocking it out of the park.

Youth sports is and should remain to be about helping children grow as people, encouraging their confidence and focusing on fun.

Kids are often pushed in a single direction.

Kids are often touted for their talent.

Kids are often forced to be either this or that.

"Do you want to be a ballerina, or do you want to be a softball player?"

Girls, especially, are often encouraged to pick a side, either be a "girly girl" or a "tomboy," and to be wary of riding the line in between.

My little powerhouse, she's going to wear what she wants, and she's going to play what she wants because she's a girl, she can, she always has, and because she's unstoppable.

I'm not sure the farm field or this world is entirely ready for my little firecracker, but I can't wait to see her light it up just like she does a stage and her mama and daddy ever since the day she was born.

Related video:

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.