I took my 9-year-old and his baseball friend to the batting cages. This was our first time and we walked around like lost tourists for a while. Eventually we found helmets and an extra bat. We cruised the cages to figure out how it worked and which one to enter. Major league, minor league, slow pitch softball, fast pitch softball… Then far at the end was rookie baseball. The boys heartily protested for fast pitch but I told them they had to take turns on rookie.
Helmets on and ready to swing, the boys took turns hitting. They each struck out most of the time except for a couple of fly balls. I attempted to give them tips on their stance and swing, but they were determined to swing their own way. I walked away and just watched the spectacle. The boys complained about the machine messing up, the balls being too fast, and the bats being too light. Either way, the misses were not their fault.
Before we left I asked the boys to kick all the balls down to the machine. They looked at each other and laughed. The thought of me asking them to “kick balls” made them forget their crappy swings and their missed hits and run off to have fun “kicking balls”. I found myself being thankful for 9-year-old humor.
We then compromised on going to a park to play baseball together – which we probably should have done in the first place – but the batting cages gave us some good lessons…
You don’t always know what’s coming. You might not be as good in real life as you think you are. And you make the best of what you’ve got. If all else fails, humor usually does the trick. So this weekend, go out an kick balls.