Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Baseball Camp and a Few Thoughts on Awards



Recently, Harris completed his one and only week of camp for the summer- a baseball camp.  It was one that he was super excited about from the very beginning and it did not disappoint!  On the very first day, after Harris hopped in the car, we had a conversation that went something like this:

Harris:  I was the best pitcher there today (on his team)
Mom:  Oh, is that right?  Well.... (at this point I was moments away from launching into a lecture on humility and egotism)
Harris:  Wait, I can prove it!  I got a pin for "best pitcher of the day!"  And guess what?  They don't give them to everyone!  

On the last day of camp, they have a small awards ceremony where they handed out three awards per division and Harris won the Cy Young Award for pitching!  He was on cloud nine and we were super proud of our boy.

                  (you can't tell but that's Harris running through the line after his named was called)

I find it really interesting that Harris noticed that not everyone got to take an award/pin home (though I'm sure throughout the week lots of pins were indeed handed out) and that it made the acknowledgment more meaningful to him.  I often wonder if we are doing our children a great disservice for so often giving trophies for participation instead of an actual accomplishment?  I'm thinking we don't give our children enough credit because as we walked away after the awards ceremony I didn't see one single child distraught or angry that they didn't receive an award.  In fact, several children came up and congratulated Harris with an awesome pat on the back or a "you deserved it" holler.  I'm curious, what do you think about this?

This past spring Harris tried out for a travel baseball team and didn't make it.  Before tryouts, I voiced my concern that Harris might not make the team.  Bryce was adamant that that was no reason to discourage him from trying as he believes that ultimately failure makes you stronger and helps to develop character, work ethic and humility.  I'm glad that he's wise about that sort of thing because as hard as it is to see your child not succeed in something they desperately want to succeed in, it makes the small victories, such as winning a pitching award at camp, that much sweeter.

2 comments:

  1. You are so right. It is so hard to bite your tongue and let them go out there and do their thing knowing that they probably won't succeed. Bryce is right too, having some failure is good for their character. Yes it was hard not to make that travel team and his self esteem probably took a hit, but when Harris does make it on that travel team think what THAT will do for his self esteem!

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  2. I completely agree! I feel sometimes we are setting kids up for disappointment in the real world. You don't get a promotion for just being at work, you have to work hard and be the best to earn things. I get trying to keep kids excited and that reward and encouragement is a big part of that. However that brings up another topic about letting kids be kids when they are little andnot pushing them into activities when they are 4-6 years old. I have read so many articles about this trend, how we are burning our kids out at such young ages. I feel like it is all a bit related. When they are older they do their activities because they enjoy them, because they want to succeed and if they are rewarded it is for hard work and they can understand the difference. If you start a child out getting rewards for every single thing, what are we teaching them. Congrats to Harris! What a great accomplishment. he should be proud!

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