Everybody Needs a Fan

Mary Beth - DeWitt, Iowa
Entered on September 24, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

Everybody needs a Fan

I remember watching my son play T-ball during summer league. Adam was drawn to T-ball not by the thrill of the game, but by the wonderment of what will they have for treats at the end of the game. Regardless of the effort we put into developing the love and skills of the game, he still was not attracted to the sport. My husband and I were at every game cheering at every time at bat thinking that maybe this would be the time Adam may feel the ball connecting to the bat, and see it sail in the opening between the two outfielders. Alas, like some great stories there was no happy ending.

Or was there?

I think the lesson that we all learned is that everyone needs a fan.

Fans appear when you need them.

At every empty swing and subsequent strike out Adam looked up at us. We smiled and cheered, “Good job! You’ll get it next time!” A smile rose to his lips and he grabbed his glove to go to the outfield. Disappointment was there, but it’s easier to take if you can share the load with your fans.

As the season continued, getting a hit seemed to be a goal that was farther and farther away. It was difficult to think of things to say that we didn’t say on the previous strikeouts, but we both knew Adam was counting on us.

True fans stick with you through thick and thin.

We crossed our fingers, toes, and whispered a prayer, but Adam couldn’t make a connection.

We were behind him and he knew it, which I believe gave him the courage to step out in the batter’s box each game. We didn’t see a hit but we saw a David trying to conquer his Goliath.

Our efforts went to looking at his weaknesses. We looked at DVD’s at how to field, bat, and throw. We practiced in the heat of the day trying to find the magic combination to playing success.

Fans look at your weaknesses as ways to move them to strengths.

Throughout the summer we did see improvement, but it wasn’t until toward the end of the season that we saw our first and only hit of the season. It happened unexpectantly, as great things often do. Adam got up to bat when he swung and connected. The sound seemed hollow as it flew off the bat. Adam looked puzzled like he wasn’t expecting the ball to be any other place other than in the catcher’s glove. He looked up, and over at first base and ran. Reaching first base he looked over at his fans and grinned. He had done it. The smile radiated out to all who happened to be watching the play. It made all the other times at bat, the DVD’s, and the practices worth it.

After the game the treats on the field were particularly sweet. As the cold juice dribbled down his chin, he realized that he’d need to remember this moment to get through the bad days. His fans will remember it and help him through them.

This I believe.