Supporting Your Little Girl’s Dream

Our older daughter was always my fishing buddy, my hunting buddy, and our family spent countless hours camping as well. One day she discovered softball. The trips to the softball field grew more frequent and the trips to the lake subsided. The bass boat began to deteriorate from lack of use, so we sold it. It was okay, because we wanted to help her pursue her dreams.
A few years later our younger daughter announced that she was leaving softball to pursue other interests. I quickly bought another fishing boat and we began spending much more time on the lake and in the woods. Just 18 months later she decided she wanted to pitch again with goals of taking it to the D1 college level. Another boat was quickly sold because it was time to support her dreams. She will finish her college career in a few years, and then, maybe, I can look at boats again.
These things came to mind recently when a man emailed me about a lesson with his daughter. I told him how much I admired the way they work together. He said, “We are just two parents trying our best to help our little girl’s dreams come true.” That says it all.
We see all types in our business. Sometimes it bothers me when I see parents trying to push their daughters too hard, trying to jump from team to team to find a place where she can be the star, or running from instructor to instructor trying to find that magic pill that will launch a career that I am not sure she ever truly wanted for herself.
But, then I see the other side…people like Joe or Glenn or Dan or Lynn or Phillip or Chris. These folks are not trying to make their kids stars. If the kid did not play softball they would be happy to be involved in whatever excited her. It is no coincidence that these kids do well in the game, because they already have their parents’ unconditional approval, they feel valued, and it’s okay to give their best effort, make mistakes, and grow from them. It is fun because they get to set their own goals, and to enjoy the feeling of satisfaction that comes from reaching new milestones. When they come to lessons, the kids set the agenda and ask most of the questions. The parents help them keep perspective, spend plenty of time on the bucket, transport her to the games, work overtime to pay the expenses of chasing a travel team to all of the tournaments, and enjoy all of that time they are forced to be in the car together, thankful for the opportunity to be welcomed into a part of her life and dreams.
These parents know that, way too soon, all of this will be over and there will be plenty of time to get another fishing boat or catch up with old friends once again. They only get one chance to help their little girls’ dreams come true, to help her learn to reach for the stars, and to help her develop values that will carry her through life. While doing these things, they are developing memories that will last a lifetime, but only if they are building up the kid and letting her have fun with it. It they are doing it right, they are developing relationships that will remain intact forever. They are raising kids who will become well-adjusted adults, who respect themselves for who they are, instead of the quantity of things they own or the number of trophies in the case. As an Instructor, it is wonderful to see kids and parents like that come into the facility. Everything about our job gets easier and the odds of successful outcomes increase dramatically.
***Note: If you are a former college pitcher who would like to impact the lives of kids, contact us about our Certified Instructor program. Let us connect you with other people like you and see why they chose to join our exclusive group.

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