Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’ve undoubtedly heard about nine year old Jericho Scott. Jericho loves baseball, and at nine years of age already inflicts terror on his opponents, so much so that teams refuse to play when he takes the mound.
I was struck by the news stories this week and the position of the league, opposing teams and the sort of message this sends to kids. Nothing about the leagues refusal to allow Jericho to pitch, nothing about the coaches who refuse to play, nothing about the parents of those teams who buy into this percussion of a nine year old child can be justified.
The ROOTS principle of Honoring The Game teaches us to honor our opponents, especially those opponents who challenge us to do our best. And even more so for those opponents who cause us to face our fears and rise to the challenge. Nothing in life, no job, no school, no experience will reward you for cowering in the stands, at the plate or in your mind.
It truly saddens me, that these kids aren’t being taught the life lessons that can sustain them throughout their lives. What an unbelievable gift, a wonderful teaching opportunity for the kids, squandered.
My message for these kids. Get out there! You CAN do it! I believe in you! Swing the bat and do the best you can! Give it a try!
For the coaches and parents, have you ever witnessed the magic on a kids face who hits a baseball he never thought he could hit? What power, pride and confidence and it’s contagious –suddenly every kid on the team believes they too can do it. What an opportunity and life lesson –those kids will remember forever!
Jericho –You keep pitching bud! Be proud of your accomplishments and don’t let a bunch of misguided adults sour your love for baseball. You keep working and you’ll be throwing in the ninities in no time!