It's that time of year. My world champion Chicago Cubs are starting strong. Boys and girls are getting spring fever.
So this is an excellent time to remind moms and dads of one of the most important things they will ever do for an eight or nine year old: oil their mitt.
Let me explain.
I love coaching young – but not too young – baseball and softball players. I coached teams for Alec, Randy, Max, Isaac, and Rae Anne. All of whom went on to play high school ball. Two even played in college.
You see, ballplayers in third and fourth grade are just starting to get some skills, but they still fully realize they have much to learn. In a few years, those same youngsters think they know more than you.
After coaching more than two hundred boys and girls over more than a dozen years, I have come to one significant conclusion. It’s almost impossible to catch a ball with a new baseball glove.
At the beginning of each season, one or two players would show up with a glove purchased that very day. It might be a legit, high-end model. But the leather is stiff as a board, not broken in, and has no snap.
The best thing a mom or dad can do – days before that first practice – is grab a bottle of leather oil and follow the instructions.
Oh yeah, it wouldn’t hurt if you got them out in the side yard or street and played a few games of “catch” as well.
Finally, not sure if this verse really applies to baseball, but I'll toss it out there anyway: “Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them.” (Ezekiel 38:7)
Have a great season. Let me know how it goes. And, oh yeah, let the coaches coach.
This post is excerpted in part from my new book, QUICK TIPS FOR BUSY FAMILIES, Bethany House, 2017. Chapter 60. Click back to my BOOKS link and you'll find it right there.