Tuesday, September 2, 2014

TWOTS (The World of Travel Sports)

The World of Travel Sports is not what I expected.

Of course, I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting.

Entering into this world brings on an assortment of insecurities that you may not even realize you had. How did I not know before today that my son runs weird? And do I look funny if I am not wearing the team tee shirt to the games?

I suppose one enters The World of TS for one of two reasons: a) because the child playing the sport is so in love with said sport that they simply cannot get enough of it during the regular season, or b) because the parents of the child playing said sport know that in order to even be considered for team sports at the middle school and high school level, you need to play travel. Liking the sport is helpful.
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I have learned of the latter of these two reasons only because I know parents who have older children who have tried to play sports for their schools, and these parents have found out that playing travel is not only advantageous due to extra playing time, it is essential to making a team, and they have passed this knowledge down to me. I guess what I choose to do with it is up to me.

I feel like I may have just sold my soul to TS. (Travel Sports.)

And given them a small portion of our life savings.

And we haven't even had to do an overnight travel. Yet.

My son is not aggressively competitive, unless he is being directly challenged to a game of rummy by his sister (or a game of imaginary baseball by his mother, which I will never, ever, ever win. Ever. If there was an imaginary travel baseball team, I would  not be welcome.), but he does like to win and wants to do his best. So he stands in the 90 degree heat with no shade and no breeze and plays second base even though it's not his favorite, and he does this for three games in a row even though he's tired because he's been convinced, just like we have, that TWOTS (The World of Travel Sports) holds the key to his success in high school baseball. At nine years old, he is juggling more cones in the air than a circus clown.

Only because he's also playing rec soccer, which is wreaking havoc on our baseball practice schedule.

Those TWOTS people. Who put them in charge, anyway?

Wait a second...did we? The people who put their faith in TWOTS, hoping that one day, their son or daughter will be good enough to make the all-star team, the middle school team, the high school team, and then get a scholarship to a college and play for them, too, so they can graduate from college with a degree in marketing and get a job and play baseball on the weekends. The occasional weekend. And in the mean time, we eye the coaches who are eyeing our kids, hoping that with enough private lessons and practice and experience, ours will be the chosen ones who get to play.

I'm not trying to be all down on TS; actually, I don't mind TWOTS, at least not where I am right now. The team isn't aggressive, they learn from losing (which they do on a frequent basis), the coaches are patient and agreeable, and it's a good fit for my son, who does actually love baseball enough to want to play year-round. But I don't know if what it takes to get to the next level, the politics and the rear-kissing involved--I don't know if I have it in me.

The main thing I want to do is support my son, hence my foray into TWOTS in the first place. I won't say I've never considered his future baseball career, have never hoped for him that he could play for his school, or have never once considered pushing him harder for the payoff later. I am his parent, after all, and want the absolute best for him. But I am trying to remind myself that at nine, he should be having fun and learning the game, not planning his entire high school career right now.

Hello, Travel Sports. It looks like we're gonna be partners for awhile.

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