It’s time for my weekly sports anxiety report! Let me don my rumpled plaid sports coat and take a little nip from my flask.
Yesterday, Luca had another baseball practice. And is appears his severe anxiety is over. Diana reported that Luca needed no hand holding in the field and actually nabbed a few balls.
When I asked him about it last night he said, “I’m pretty much the best baseball player ever.” This kind of bums me out because I was really looking forward to hanging with him in left field again. I had my chewing tobacco picked out and everything.
At Elijah’s first baseball game, one of his coaches gleefully called him “Slugger.” “Hey Slugger! Here comes Slugger! Look out, it’s Slugger!”
It was only after watching Eli at the plate that I realized his coach was using the name ironically.
Eli is more of a contact hitter. There’s not a lot of upper body strength, so he just kind of positions the bat in a way that, when it connects with the ball, it dribbles out a few feet. But you know what? It guarantees he gets to first base because what 8 year old catcher knows what to do in a bunt situation?
But I decided it was time to do a little training with Slugger. After a little research, I purchased a Skillz Batting Trainer. Adding a “Z” to your product instead of an “S” almost disqualified it, but the thing was pretty highly rated on Amazon.com.
The Skillz thing is basically a long stick with a bright green ball at the end. The Dad (me) holds the thing out in front of the batter (Eli) and they whack at it. We gave it a shot last weekend and we had a blast.
Eli loved it because when you hit the green ball at the end it makes this wonderful “Ping” sound off his aluminum bat that makes the dogs in the neighborhood think the apocalypse has arrived.
It also required almost no baseball knowledge. All I had to do was stand there and shout “Home Run!” every time he pinged the ball. And bask in the sound of dogs scratching at their front doors to escape.