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May 21, 2010 / Maleesha Kovnesky

Tee Ball

My son is playing tee ball.

Watching a gaggle of five year olds learn the basics is very entertaining. The glint in their eye when they notice that they can get around the bases faster by going from first to third is priceless. The determined concentration of youth, as they focus on the ball resting atop the tee…breathe deeply…and swing the bat…right into the head of the five year old standing too close behind him.

I watched the (very patient) coach make the children run the bases and do batting practice. Run the bases. Batting. Bases. Batting. Finally it came time to put the lessons together.

The coach called the team into a huddle. “It’s very important to remember,” he boomed, “that when you hit the ball off the tee, I want you to run as hard as you can to first base.”

“But….why?” said one little boy.

No one could really give him an answer that made any sense to a young kid. You know how kids love “BECAUSE.”

Then I realized sports are really bizarre, when you think about it. Most likely invented by cavemen with nothing to do. Sure, they are ingrained in us all as national pasttimes, but I hadn’t stopped to ponder the why are we watching a sport where people run in circles in a long, long time. 

Tee ball helped me remember to question the basics.

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4 Comments

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  1. Scott / May 31 2010 4:01 am

    That’s a delightful post!

    Yeah, my favorite question has always been “Why?”

    I’ve also wondered how sports came about. I suspect that they emerged as a war-substitute–or training practices for war. After all, they stress teamwork, competitiveness, and strategy–the things most essential in war (and hunting, for that matter).

    But yes, it is amusing (and sometimes disturbing) how seriously people take sports. There’s an essay by E.B. White called, “The Decline of Sport”. And it has a very amusing take on the subject–basically projecting what the future would be like, if everything were devoted to sports.

    • maleesha / Jun 2 2010 7:25 am

      I love EB White…I will have to check out that essay.

  2. Taoist Biker / May 24 2010 6:47 am

    Yep, that’s the best. Or when all the kids run to the batted ball – including the base runner, who gets there first and hands the ball to the nearest defender.

    At least he didn’t try to throw the batter out at first!

  3. morethananelectrician / May 22 2010 3:06 pm

    T-ball is cool…I love when they run to third instead of first.

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