Dads, Take Time to Teach About a Sport. Trust me, it’ll Make it all the More Fun to Watch in the Future…

Let the games begin…

Playoffs are upon us and just about every dad would love to have his kids as excited about enjoying the game as he is.  There is a way to make that happen.  Be patient and take a little time to teach the “newbies”.
Whether it’s football, soccer or baseball, the same rules apply.  I learned this lesson the hard way…with adult “newbies”.

Time is precious, trust the Count on this one.

Some years ago, I took a few folks I knew from across the pond (AKA “newbies”) and, although they weren’t kids, the same concept applied and I think you’ll understand what I’m gettin’ at here.
We ventured to Yankee Stadium to watch the Bombers play the Twins in an afternoon of classic American baseball.  I presumed that my guest knew something of the game because of Great Britain’s legitimately lethargic Cricket culture. I was wrong.

Maybe it was the cheap seats or the bright sun, but somewhere around the third inning, Nigel asked when practice for the Yankees would end and the other team take the field


No kidding.

The uniforms looked so similar and the play so dull, he had no idea there were two teams in the midst of battle.  Think about it, one little grey-suited fellow swinging a bat at nine others in pinstripes.  It not only appeared like a one-sided contest, but where were the clearly defining colors or cheerleaders– or mascots, for that matter?

Baseball was gonna take some work.

Finally, the Yanks got a man on first and he took a big lead and the pitcher was throwing to the first baseman about every ten seconds in an effort to keep Speedy Gonzales from stealing second.  Now I swear to you, this bit of common American sport took two beers and an entire ‘nother inning to explain.  And balls vs. strikes, are you kidding me?

Eventually, there was a run-down at second, a disputed play at the plate and a pitcher or two replaced in the middle of the inning.  All of these classic baseball moments were not only mysterious and confusing, but without the benefit of DVR or a Jumbotron– gone– and left unexplained before the next pitch and the next confusing play.

I didn’t really enjoy that afternoon like I had hoped.

So Dads, be patient and take a little time to teach.  Hopefully, your sons and daughters will actually look forward to watching the World Series seated right next to you on the couch– or better yet, in the stands!.  To your kids, that play you see as average  and everyday may just spark a question you can relish with an answer that gives you pleasure knowing your educating yet another generation of sports fans.

And never forget that you can always change the subject with snacks and soda, postponing the teaching effort ‘til next season...

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