Do you love setting an alarm clock on weekends? Do you love suspense? Do you love to sweat? If you answered yes to any of these questions, travel ball might just be your thing! I hung up my cleats the summer after 7th grade because I was done with the sweating. I’ve always loved and followed sports, but dancing was my passion. And yes, dancing is a sport…but one where you get to sweat mostly inside! Who knew 30 years later I would be looking forward to sweating it out on the ball field.
The love my son has for the field is the same love I had for the studio. A couple of years ago we had the opportunity to join a brand new travel baseball team. It was the fall, so we were getting ready for recreational baseball and soccer. My rule is two sports, so the then eight-year-old had a decision to make. He chose rec baseball AND travel baseball. Some thought I was crazy for giving travel ball a try. And while I may in fact be a little crazy, travel ball has been one of our greatest adventures! I may not like it all the time, but here are my top 10 reasons I love it ALL THE TIME:
- First and foremost, we commit to this because my kid LOVES it. Period.
- The Car Rides. Our team keeps the tournaments local, so our travel time is generally less than two hours round trip. Do you know how many words can spew out of a young boy’s mouth in 120 minutes…it’s A LOT. But some of my favorite conversations happen on those rides. And most are not about baseball. When we’re not talking, we’re jamming out to some tunes. Getting game face ready or decompressing, music is our bond.
- Sunflower Seeds. I have a not-so-secret love affair with ranch sunflower seeds. It surprises people when I tell them you will only find me with sunflower seeds on a baseball field. And I hate sharing them. But I do it anyway…sometimes!
- You know that person you’re always asking what the score is…well that’s me!!! This role is near and dear to my heart and one I am very passionate about and protective of. In all honesty, I think I love it so much because it’s the one thing I’m in control of. I also get a front-row seat to capture some awesome memories. Whether your child is on a rec ball team or a travel ball team, I strongly encourage you to be involved however you’re comfortable. I started this “job” while my son played rec ball. The season before I was the dug-out mom. I ran a tight ship and it was fun, but whew!!! Have you tried herding cats… The scorekeeper is a much better fit for me.
- Baseball is a mentally engaging sport. Whether you’re a player, a coach, an umpire, or a fan (scorekeepers included) you have to pay attention to the game. You will miss greatness if you’re not engaged. And if you’re not engaged, I hope you know what “heads up” means 😉
- The richness we have experienced is blissfully genuine. Baseball is a fundamentally rooted sport. The comradery is unmatched. Teammates supporting and cheering each other on from the dugouts, the high-fiving between players regardless of who wins the game (or the ring), the encouragement of parents and coaches when an opposing player does something great, the umpires not just officiating but coaching up players. I love to see it, hear it, and feel it y’all! And you will experience this during EVERY GAME.
- I’ll be honest, watching baseball on TV does not bring me the same joy as watching football on TV. But watching baseball live, especially when it’s your kid, that’s a totally different ball game! It doesn’t matter if your team is losing. The energy is unlike any other because with baseball the pendulum just keeps swinging. It ain’t over til it’s over.
- A well-designed uniform is not only a confidence boost. It’s a work of art when you’re looking out on the field. It’s like church clothes in sports. My baseball mama heart just melts when I see how sharp my boy looks. Even when he wakes me up at 7 am on a Saturday morning ready to go, but the alarm isn’t going off for another hour. I’ve always been a sucker for a dude in some baseball pants.
- This one is my favorite. When you’re on a travel ball team, they become your family. We spend close to 20 weeks a year with our people, 4 days a week. We’re not just sweating it out together behind the fence. We share our struggles, our losses, our accomplishments, our joys, our frustrations. We’re celebrating birthday parties, good grades, and promotions, family dinners after we lose the first game in a tournament, backing each other up when life happens…because we all understand and recognize baseball is not the only thing in our lives. But baseball is the one thing that brought us all together, and we respect the hell out of that relationship with our fellow crazies. People will come and go from a team, but the love never leaves.
- This is MY reason. My one selfish reason. When they start busting out the tents for some shade, my Snow White self is basking in the sunlight. GIVE ME ALL THE VITAMIN D. Excuse me…are you saying all I gotta do is pay a gate fee every other weekend to work on my tan months before the beach, and I get to maintain some glow heading into the holidays??? Sign me up every time.
While I was pregnant, I had myself convinced “surely God will bless me with a girl” because God knew I would be a single parent. I may have grown up with three little brothers, but I didn’t know how to raise a boy. But here we are 9.5 years later, and I have myself convinced I was put on this earth to raise my precious boy. I am a boy mom to my core. So while I know I would have loved raising a ballerina, I love raising a baller more.