There is no doubt that American families are over-scheduled.
I am the first one to stand on my soap box and tell the world to slow down. Say no to some things. Let your kid be a kid, climb a tree, be bored.
That being said, my middle kiddo Nate has had 8 baseball games in the last 9 days. We played in tournaments two weekends in a row and had a game mid-week, that's a lot of a baseball.
Add 4 t-balls games into the mix and a couple days at the barn for riding lessons and we were busy. Too busy. But let me tell you what Nate has learned in the past 9 days.
He has learned to be gracious winner, they won a lot of games.
But he has also learned to be just as gracious a loser, because they didn't win them all.
He has learned integrity. You play the game to the best of your ability and you play it fair. There will be some good calls and there will be some bad calls but you don't complain. You play the game, you play it fair.
He has learned perseverance. Whether it is the whole team fighting back from being behind or a single player fighting back when they were in a slump. Don't give up, play your best all the time.
He learned that hard work pays off and sometimes you come out on top. He made the best catch of his "career" last week and drove in the tying run in the same game.
He also learned that sometimes you don't. There are times he still strikes out, he still drops the ball.
He has learned to be patient. Take the walk if they aren't throwing strikes.
But he has also learned to take risk. 'Cause if they are throwing strikes, you better swing. It's better to strike out swinging then standing there watching the ball go by.
He has learned how to be part of a team. He learned to be a leader, getting to pitch for the first time in a tournament. And he learned to be humble, batting at the bottom of the line up.
He learned that you win as a team and you lose as a team and no one player wins or loses all on their own.
He has learned what it feels like to be under pressure, to take a deep breath and throw the last strike.
He learned how to be a teammate and he learned how to be an even better friend.
He learned how to take coaching, to listen to directions and do what the coach says.
He learned to work hard, appreciate down time and that in the end it's only a game.
Will he ever play in the major leagues? Maybe, maybe not. But that's not really what little league is all about. These things my son learned the past 9 days will make him a better man, no matter what he does for a living. That is what it's all about.