Today, both of my oldest mentioned that they might not play baseball next season. Now, understand that they have both played baseball for six years without question. Its been their choice, even though I've coached them since their second season.
I didn't react. Its a long time until next season. But I did muse over the reasons.
They have a new found freedom in our new town. We've pretty much allowed them the free run of the town. They can get on their bikes, skateboards or roller blades and head pretty much anywhere. The advantage of a small town is that everyone knows everyone, and they really can't go anywhere where they won't be known. So, we feel pretty secure allowing them to roam.
I think this might be one of the key reasons. My boys play hardball. The town we are in doesn't have a hardball team. My boys have to play in a neighbouring town, where although they've made friends on the team, they're not the guys they hang out with. In our previous town, they didn't hang out with most of the team either, but neither could they roam freely. So, baseball was one way out of the house a couple of times a week.
One of my boys has also expressed his interest in spending more time perfecting his skateboarding. He feels next summer, he'd like to put more effort into that. Again, where we now live, he can do this. And that's given him the ability to make his own choice.
So here I am with a quandary. I love coaching baseball, but I'm not going to coach if its not my kids. I want to be with my kids. But I can't force them; especially when they are making such mature decisions. We moved here to give them the freedom that they are enjoying. And we've spent their lifetime preparing them to make their own choices.
Sometimes, it appears you can do your job too well.
Oh, I do have another ball player. My youngest plays ball too. But separately, he has said he might prefer to play soccer next year.