Softball and growth spurt

Have you heard the questions of why gymnasts are so short?  There is a lot of research into the effect of the sport on kids during the growing years.  Do short people go into gymnastics or does the type of training make the gymnast short?  This is similar to “which came first chicken or egg?”

I wonder what the effects of softball is on kids during their growing years?  When we were at the physical therapy office, our PT mentioned that during the kids growth spurts the muscles and tendons always have to play catch up with the bone growth that happens very fast for some kids during the growth spurt.

We found out how important stretches are for growing kids.  Do your players stretch before games?  Specially kids who are growing fast or have extreme growth spurts.

We found out that in addition to little leaguer’s shoulders, my daughter was also very tight on her vertebrae.  She definitely has had some serious growth spurts in the last year.  Her upper back was also little stiff and hindering easy movement.

Vertebrae
Vertebrae

See the model of the vertebrae here. All those little bones must be flexible enough when the kids throw and pitch.  Stretches are a great way to loosen the area of the upper and lower back.  Equally important is strength training the muscles that support the core area.

Our PT said that one of the biggest things that help kids and the most easily missed one is their posture.  How they sit and how the stand, do they hunch or stand up straight.  When we hunch our back and shoulders, some of the muscles in the back actually have to stretch to accommodate the slumpy posture and over the years these muscles get stretched out and loose and we get used to our posture and it becomes an epic battle to correct our posture.  I am sure we are all guilty of this.

So I have started nagging on my kids to not hunch and slouch their backs and shoulders.  I am sure my kids are going to not like me very much but I hope I can correct their posture before it is too late.

I have created a page called “softball workouts” where I have posted some of the exercises our PT has given us to do for both my kids.  I was told these would also help prevent kids from getting injured.  Please check it out and as always, thanks for your time reading and subscribing and supporting this site.

We have a weekend full of softball tournaments for one kid who is not hurt.  I took a day of my 9-5 job today since I have too much stuff going on.  Have a great weekend everyone.

Last game-Team went out swinging!

Hello softball fans.  First of all I want to thank you for the steady stream of subscribers to my blog.  I celebrate every time I get a notification saying that I have added a new user.   Keep them coming.

last game of season
Last game of the season

We had our playoff games for my older daughter’s team.  Going in we knew we were underdogs since we didn’t practice as much as the other team.  We still had injured players (including my daughter) and we had only one strong pitcher.

After the first inning we were 2 to 6 them.  But in the second inning we caught up to them 7-6.  Hey, we had a glimmer of hope, we might be able to beat them.  The day was hot and the girls had been in the field since 5 pm and our game started at 7 pm.  Did you notice how hot is has been last few days?  90’s in the bay area.  We, who live in this area are very spoilt  by the nice temperate weather in the 60’s and 70’s most of the time.  This is hot!

In any case, not making excuses..may be I am, but come the next inning, they other team came back to take their glory.  They were having a great day, every girl in their team was hitting and we were making several small mistakes.  But the small mistakes added up and we were 10-22 them.  Our only pitcher was getting tired.  Poor girl was performing excellent under pressure but still these are 12 -15 year old kids and they got tired. Holy cow! and cow bells!!,  the parents were worried about the season ending on a sour note.  We were worried for the girls.  This is not how we wanted to end the season.

I believe, the coach had a talk with the girls and said “if we can’t win, let’s at least make them scared that they will lose”.  Not sure what happened after that but it was miraculous.  Even the assistant coach had given up at this point but the girls did not give up.

The parents were just going crazy, all the investment in noise makers like cow bells and the kids in the dug out cheering and literally screaming all paid off.  The team roared back to 19-22.

We did not win the playoff game but we certainly did not give up in the last inning and we came back.  Parents lost their voices screaming 😉  We were okay not winning, we had a very respectable loss.  This is what it is all about.  By the time we got done it was 10 pm.  Yes we have night games in our league.  Our last game of the season was a success.

What makes a season great?  Winning game after game?  It doesn’t hurt to win, but the ultimate goal for the coaches in the rec league is to make sure the girls learn and improve and have fun and want to come back next season to play again.  I think we achieved our goal!!

What a FANTASTIC season it has been!  Go Bluejays!!!We are so proud of every one of you.  See you all at the end of season party.

 

Happy Mother’s day-Softball mom’s gifts

Happy Mother’s day dear softball moms!

Are you the kind that is “Uniform finding, sock matching, glove finding, water getting, sunscreen spraying, hair-bow making, crazy driving, loud cheering, photo taking, nerve-racking mom”?   😉

If you are, I hope you are having a great season so far, be it recreation softball season which has almost over or travel ball season which is just getting started.

I kinda feel a little burnt out with the recreation softball season because we have had so many games even during the weekdays.  Since both of my kids played, I signed up to be team mom for both their teams.  This is my first time being team mom and I should have tested it by being team mom for one team, but NO!!! I had to sign up for both my kids team and now I feel burned out and have learnt my lesson.  I have new-found appreciation for all of the team parents.  Thanks to all the volunteer moms and dads out there who actively participate in their kids leagues.  You make a GREAT difference in the lives of these young girls.

So, what are you expectations for Mother’s day? Flowers? Breakfast in bed? Hugs?  You know it is another made up holiday by Hallmark 😉  Every day needs to be Mother’s day and Father’s day, but since it will never be, I will take the one day a year.

You know what I am really hoping for? My kids giving me a good hug and then helping me by putting away their washed clothes 😉  They have learnt to really tune me out lately.  Do you have that problem?Sometimes I give in because they are tired and need some rest time. We had an “A” ball tournament this past weekend in Concord, CA and come Sunday evening I had too much Laundry to do.  I haven’t got caught up yet with my chores.  It is almost the weekend again.

As far as material things, I really need someone to invent a machine that sits next to or connected to the dryer that folds the clothes that come out of the dryer.  I can’t believe no one has invented a machine to do that.  Realistically speaking, I have been needing a good blue tooth hands free car headphone.  I got this Jabra for my husband last year and he really likes it.  I think it is time I get one to avoid a ticket while driving.  Hoping my husband will be reading this blog entry soon 😉 and use his Amazon prime.

I just want a quiet day to sit home and not to do too much! Is that too much to ask? You know it is!  I have a million things that I have to get done and sitting and doing nothing seems like a nice dream for now.

Every now and then I have to remind myself what is really important in life, squeaky clean home and folded clothes or precious time I spend with my family?

Here are some items that have made my life easier.

 iRobot scooba 390 floor scrubbing robot – Really love this gadget, works great on my wood floors.  Got this for Christmas last year.

Quick shade folding chair with sun shade – Use this a lot in the field.

Stadium seat – Have one of these, bought it for my husband for Father’s day.

Quick shade  GO –  Have used this many times last summer.  Light weight and installs easy enough to be handled by just one person.

What are your wishes for Mother’s day?  Do you have a list of gadgets that you use that makes your life easier or better that you can share with other softball moms? If you do, let me know and I will add it to the list.

Do you have special things you do with your family?  What do your little players do for you that make you feel special?  Dads, if you are reading this, what do you do to make mother’s day special? Is there any gadgets or trinkets that actually help make mom’s lives easier? Please share.

Thanks for reading and hope you have a fantastic Mother’s day.

Umpiring softball games-kids making money and learning life lessons

Kids umpiring softball
Kids umpiring softball

The picture of the check here is my daughter’s first pay check after umpiring 5 games.  I had to take a picture and frame it.   I am so proud of her and some of her softball friends.  There were many days where they could have chosen to just go home on a Friday after school and vegetate in front of a computer or television, or on a Saturday where they could have slept in late but instead these kids chose to go work as an umpire.

Kids-First pay check
Kids-First pay check

Who says kids are having a hard time finding part-time work? In California area blessed with plenty of sun shine, if you have played softball or baseball for a few years, are 12 years or older and if you get trained to be an umpire then you are in demand.

Check out your league website and a few of them will be looking for umpires.  I have to say it is not easy to be a kid and umpire games. Part of the reason there is a demand is some of the kids have been scared away by over enthusiastic parents who get caught up in the moment of a heated game and criticize the umpires.  I am sure we all have been there at some point or seen some parents criticize the umpires at some point.

Then, there are kids who put too much pressure on themselves and start freaking out that they won’t do a good job!  I don’t think they need any help from parents to spook them out anymore.

Some kids do not want to deal with it understandably.  But it is also a teachable moment where parents and coaches can teach these pre-teens and teens how to deal with a tough situation and encourage them to do their job.  I feel like a mommy bird encouraging the baby bird to learn to fly.

If you think your kids might be interested in umpiring softball, please check out Umpiring clinics that several leagues in the Bay area conduct in the beginning of the spring season.  They will learn the rules of the game, will get an ASA softball rules book and uniform.

Do you have a young daughter or son who umpire?  How has it gone for them?  Do they like umpiring?  Are they confident enough to umpire a game on their own? What scares them? Please share some of your kids experience both good and bad.

As always thank you for spending your precious time reading my blog.  I appreciate it.