On Mother’s Day I watched Tim Tebow play for the Columbia Fireflies (Mom’s idea), then went home to watch Derek Jeter’s number get retired (also Mom’s idea). Watching both reminded me how hard baseball is. You forget sometimes. You take it for granted. Turn on ESPN and you’ll see clips of game winning hits, no-hitters, championships, etc. Scroll through your twitter feed and you can instantly find video of home runs on loop. What you forget is how hard it really is to succeed in baseball. What you forget is how much pressure the game provides within itself.
As we get wrapped up in the pressure of the summer recruiting circuit, I challenge you, as parents, to step back and appreciate how hard it is. The game itself provides enough pressure. In fact, I guarantee you that 100% of the time the best player on the field is failing significantly more than he’s succeeding. It’s not always fun for your son. Add the fact now he has pressure to be recruited. It’s the perfect potion for stress. Stress for the whole family. As a parent, you can add to it or you can be supportive.
Jeter delivered a very “Jeter” speech. But he did say something that really hit home.
“I want to thank my family for their love, support, honesty and more importantly their presence at everything I did both on and off the field.”
This guy certainly didn’t need any added pressure from mom and dad. He played 20 professional seasons of the toughest sport in the world, in front of the toughest fans in the world, for the toughest boss in the world. Pretty cool he thanked his family for their presence at everything he did both on and off the field. There’s probably something to be said for it, right?
Back to Tebow…we bought tickets in left field to get a good view of him. I can honestly say 99% of the crowd was there for him and it was an away game for Columbia. He jogged out to left field and looked like the overgrown 13-year-old who just made the little league age cutoff. Physically, he’s an NFL star and it shows. I sat there with 6,500 others fixated on the two-time NCAA national champion, two-time NCAA All-American, Heisman trophy winner, first round NFL draft pick, starting NFL quarterback as he lost a fly ball in the sun on the first swing of the game. His hands went out to the sides in the typical “I don’t know where it is” pose, and the ball landed exactly where he was standing. It made me lean back in my chair and appreciate how hard the game is. This is a guy with an athletic resume better than anyone reading this post, I can guarantee that. Also, better than your son’s athletic resume, I can guarantee that too. Take that into consideration next time your son botches a play on defense.
Mom and dad, do you want to add to the pressure, or do you want to be thanked in the speech?
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) May 14, 2017