2018-07-12 / Sports


By Mike Wilson
Sports Reporter

Mike Wilson Mike Wilson This morning as I was driving north on Bad Axe Road toward the newspaper office, I saw something that really made me smile. It was 8:30 in the morning and there were three boys out in their yard playing baseball. There was a pitcher, a catcher, and a batter, and they were hard at play. Those kids could have chosen to sleep in on this summer morning, or watched television, or been playing video games, but they were outside practicing their sport. This is where the love of the game begins, where the drive and passion get fueled, and discovery of gifts and talents get a start. There were no uniforms, no coaches, no umpires, just three kids having fun on a summer morning.

I remember when I was umpiring I showed up and one of the teams didn’t. It saddened me when the team that did show up simply went back to their cars and left. I remember when something like that happened when I was young, my friends and I were ecstatic to have the field to ourselves. We could make up our own rules, play any position we wanted, and any ball hit to right field was an automatic out.

I think what struck me most about seeing those boys out playing at 8:30 in the morning was how rare it has become to see kids outside playing anything. No sandlot baseball, no driveway basketball games of H.O.R.S.E., and I can’t remember the last time I saw a kid climb a tree.

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

I’m guessing that there was probably a mom and/or dad behind those kids that encouraged them not to sleep their life away, to turn off their electronics, and as my mom used to tell me “go outside and get the stink blown off you.”

It is tough being a parent these days and it is much easier to let the kids sleep, let them play video games, and not enforce rules. If you look at the verse above I think you could also say the reverse and find that it is also true… If you bring children up in the way they shouldn’t go, when they are older they will turn to those ways as well.

It is interesting that professional sports push kids to go outside and play 30 minutes a day. I think they realize if kids aren’t outside playing and developing a love for sports then in a few years there will not be enough players to fill their teams. Just something to think about.

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