Pussycat, pussycat where have you been?…
I’ve been to London to visit the Queen…
Somehow those lines keep repeating in my head as I begin this post. Hello blogworld! It has been three and a half months… Where have I been??
In case I never mentioned it, I co-manage a youth baseball team that plays internationally. This was our second year to join the Asia Pacific Regional Championships and I spent the past three months organizing the trip. When I say organize, I meant — coordinating with the local tournament organizer (where the games will be held), finalizing trip details, fixing requirements, etc etc. To top it all off, there were a lot of weekend pick-up games for our team several months before we left. Suffice it to say that I was so BUSY.
Last week was the culmination of all these hard work. I was in China the whole week with my team.
After the weeklong regionals — and the seven months of preparation — I am now back home. Back to my old routine… back to the old schedules before all the baseball preparation.
Funny, I feel lost somehow. It feels different not having to send text messages to parents about afternoon practices. It feels strange not having to follow up on stuff that I ordered for the team. I miss harassing the uniform supplier… I miss my early morning and late night online transactions (which consisted of purchasing shoes… and helmets… and belts… etc.)
I woke up this morning feeling like there’s a big void… and the first question that popped in my head was, “What now?”
I am having separation anxiety or withdrawal symptoms– or however you would want to call it — in a major way. MAJOR way.
We almost didn’t go through with this whole thing this year.
There’s more to managing a team, particularly a youth team, than just having practices or dealing with the players. It’s not always just about the boys’ skills or competence. Somehow, you have to manage expectations, too. You have to manage the parents, as well.. and that’s the difficult part. If you have twelve players, then that means you also have twelve sets of parents to deal with. Good if the parents don’t meddle with the coaches’ decisions… because ideally, they really shouldn’t. But sometimes they do. That’s the sticky part.
What I have learned from both last year’s and this year’s experience is that you truly CANNOT please everybody. Hard as you try, there will be someone whose expectations you cannot meet. Maybe because they simply wanted more and your best is just not good enough.
But why do we still do this? I mean, knowing that there may be boys with difficult parents, why do we still form a team and spend our waking hours working hard just to get this team going?
For the love of the sport? Maybe. Basically I think it’s for the love of the boys or the players that you have chosen. I mean, we saw the potential, we saw what they can do… we know that they can improve on some things and that with proper training and enough support, they will imbibe that winning spirit. They would want to be better sports people… they would want to be the best that they can be.
Seeing how these players have transformed from little boys to warriors on the baseball field makes it all worth it. Watching them play with such intensity and heart gives you the assurance that you did well as a manager or as a coach.
Winning is not always based on what the scoreboard says.
I guess that’s basically the reason why I help set up a team, do their paperwork, run errands, etc etc. It’s because of the smiles that I get from the boys when we hang out after a game. It’s because I get to see them learn, fight hard and grow while doing the sport that they love.
There may be hindrances and obstacles… but it’s all worth the journey.
Another chapter ends. I am no longer a team manager… I am just another regular baseball mom. My experiences taught me enough to restrain myself everytime I feel like lashing out on a coach or the umps for a bad call. I know better.
For now I can put back on my writing cap, call on my muse once again to inspire me to write, to create… to share.
It’s good to be home.
photo via weheartit.com