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Last updated: July 10. 2014 8:52PM - 355 Views
By - sstinson@civitasmedia.com - 910-997-3111



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The batter hits a soft grounder to the second baseman and it appears to be a routine play to end the inning.


Instead of cleanly fielding the ball, the second baseman fumbles and juggles it. When he finally recovers and attempts to throw the batter out at first, the ball sails over the first baseman’s head.


The second baseman’s miscues allowed the opposition to score a run and they would add another run later in the frame on another error.


There are no words of encouragement as the only sounds that are audible from his side of the field are the groans from the bleachers that are loud enough to be heard by everyone in attendance.


In the grand scheme of things, the errors mean very little because the second baseman’s team goes on to win the game. But for that moment, it appears that he becomes a 12-year-old version of Bill Buckner.


Mistakes happen everyday in all walks of life. Some cause damage that can never be undone, others are so small that no one other than the person who committed it would know it happened.


And the errors and miscues in the world of sports fall somewhere in the middle.


Yes it is painful to watch your team lose to its arch-rival when the shortstop is unable to make a throw to first. Or have your quarterback appear to throw the ball directly to opposing cornerback for a pick-6.


So if those things happen to the Derek Jeters and Peyton Mannings of the world, why should your 12-year-old son or daughter be any different?


After all, everyone makes mistakes.


Plus not all the players in a youth baseball game will stick with athletics. Some will continue to play a sport in middle school and high school. The rest will find other interests and never pick up a glove, basketball or football again.


Winning is the name of the game in sports, but at the same time no one should be ashamed of giving their full effort even if that means coming up short on the scoreboard.


So why should some parents, treat their child like a professional athlete? At this young age, baseball, basketball, football, soccer or whatever sport a child is playing should be fun and not a business. Once something becomes a chore to a child, they will move on to the next thing.


The most prudent thing to do while watching youth sports is cheer both teams for their accomplishments and even their setbacks. Because win or lose, the sun will still come up tomorrow.


Reach sports editor Shawn Stinson at 910-817-2671 or on Twitter @scgolfer.


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