Every year, the snow seems to take longer and longer to melt. As the flowers finally begin to poke up, you realize it has been months since you signed your son or daughter up for baseball or softball. You have not given other sports a thought because your child is enjoying gymnastics so much! I think to myself as the spring is finally showing itself to the world – Can my son do BOTH?? Can he still enjoy gymnastics AND baseball?
I can tell you up to opening day, I wasn’t sure it was going to happen. Baseball practice is now consuming Tuesday and Thursday nights, and Thursday night is my sons’ gymnastic class. I began to rack my brain. Could I switch him to another class? Could we fit it in on another day during the week? I was pleasantly surprised to find that Twist'N Flip Gymnastics offers a wide array of classes throughout the week, so if I could fit it in on another day, that was a great opportunity to make sure both sports can coexist.
As you can imagine, I spent the next few days trying to rearrange a schedule of two sports-minded children, working, and evening responsibilities. Switching the classes wasn’t going to work out for me. At this point, I decided that maybe I should choose one sport over another. As does every Mom out there, (I HOPE! DON’T WANT TO BE ALONE ON THE CRAZY LIST MAKING TRAIN!) I made a pros and cons list for each of the sports. It was a tough one because I have become so excited to bring him to gymnastics because he consistently enjoys it. I never have to beg him or plead with him to get ready and go. Moms: I may be slanting here towards gymnastics.
Gymnastics Pros and Cons: Everything that begins to develop in a learning environment: listening, waiting for your turn, patience, understanding, and respect for the abilities and shortcomings of your peers. This has happened before my eyes while he has been attending the Colonie Twist'N Flip Gymnastics. Gymnastics is helping my son learn that he can take risks and try new things, allowing himself to let go of an uneven bar to learn how to fall. Even the little things like watching him do warm ups. They say “do 30 jumping jacks” and the boys count while jumping, and my son does the 19th jumping jack 3 times and misses every number between 26 and 29! We are working on the math! He is failure free in gymnastics because he is comfortable with the experience of trying something over and over again until he masters it. Would that transition over into baseball? Will he be as comfortable learning new skills?
Baseball Pros and Cons: It's a team sport. No question in my mind about that. Baseball can be great when players function as a team, as the lesson of learning to play as a team is hugely important in life I think. Will my son listen? Will he advance throughout the season? Will he learn to stay engaged? Will he be engaged at all? (He played t-ball two years ago, nothing last year, during t-ball spent more time looking at flowers than anything - I was told this is normal) Will he understand that he is winning regardless of winning or losing a game?
When I asked my son what he wanted to do his response was both! What could the reasoning be I thought to myself? I was worried he would be over tired. Stressed from the constant shuffling back and forth to and from practices. I know many parents who have more children than I and have more sports than my children play, but it still makes my head spin some days! He explained to me that he loved playing baseball so far. He is a catcher, because he is always learning something new, from a coach or teammate. He does not love baseball when he has to play in the outfield because he is not moving, and thus bored. Plain and simple just bored. He is easily distracted and in the junior pee wee level few balls make it out to him. However he loves being up to bat, getting a hit and running to the base or on a good day the opportunity to cross home plate.
He then began to explain why he is interested in continuing with gymnastics as well. He loves that he can challenge himself. I asked him to explain this a little more to me, he told me that when he has the opportunity to try to climb over obstacles on the rope, or swing from the bars, flip himself over the uneven bars or do flips on the trampoline that is a such a great feeling he “doesn’t know how to describe it.” I asked him to try and the answer I assure you was priceless...“Mom, my body just feels happy! But I sometimes feel a little scared that maybe I can’t do it, flip all the way around or something, then I do it! I am just so happy for myself!” Now moms out there – what would you do if these words were coming out of your child’s mouth? Exactly. Continue with two sports in one night, dinners made at 6am, packaged up and fed during a car ride from one practice to the next. Homework done in parking lots to make sure that they are staying on top of every part of their responsibilities.
My mind was made up – but the question still lingered how to make it possible because the practices overlapped. Twist'N Flip gymnastics has always been helpful and great in making accommodations for my son’s needs. That being said I figured they would be a great place to start. I brought it up to the teacher letting her know that I had a conflict – she suggested that my son still participate with the class of young men, but leave about 15 minutes early to make sure that he arrived to baseball close to the beginning of practice. I was willing to try to make it work!
Well opening day was last weekend and it was a full day of baseball! I left the ball park happy to report that my little guy is happily participating in two wonderful sports that he is growing independently and learning on how to develop in a team setting. He is thrilled to be still attending Twist'N Flip Gymnastics in Colonie and also participating in Little League. My six year old monkey is now (thanks to Twist N Flip Gymnastics) a six year old gymnast baseball player.