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Friday, March 17, 2006

Nonstarter: I just spent two hours sitting in freezing weather (it's in the low 50s here in LA) on cold steel metal bleachers watching our local high school frosh-soph baseball team triumph over a private school. Why? My son is on the team, of course. I wouldn't have minded if he was a starter, but he didn't get sent in until the 5th inning. There were 10 parents in the stands, all of them had sons who were starters. So I'm the father of a nonstarter. Should I feel humiliated? I can console myself that when he did get in, he made a great play at third, knocking down a line and throwing a kid out at first. It is always important to take the long view on these things. First of all, he is on the team. A lot of kids (6 or 8) tried out and didn't make it. Two other kids got dropped for bad grades (they need to maintain a C average). Second, he did have the focus to come in off the bench and make a good play. I don't expect my son to ever be a great athlete. I do hope he stays on the team. Athletics are very important for boys. As author Michael Gurian (see michaelgurian.com) notes in his wonderful book The Minds of Boys, it is important for boys to experience the sense of belonging to a team. Gurian suggests for teens one social, one athletic and one intellectual activity per day. Participation on a school sports team satisfies two of those three activities.

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