A Tribute to Mom

        It has been a while since I have written.  There are many reasons for not doing so.  A busy and adversity-driven baseball season, a long and grinding school year, and taking classes for my degree are among the many.  Now one is done, another is winding down, and a third is also in the home stretch.  With that, I decided today would be the perfect day to make a return to writing, and my mom would make a great topic.

        One of the topics I find myself drawn to in sport psychology is youth sports and the role that adults play in them.  As I worked on a research paper yesterday on the topic, I found myself thinking of my mom and my dad.  Their roles in the development of my love for baseball are something I probably have taken for granted a little bit and have yet to really reflect on completely.

        Adults play arguably the greatest role in what the sporting experience is like for kids.  It makes sense.  Although they have likely played around with older siblings and parents, youth coaches are the first to expose kids to organized sports.  Parents sit on edge as they find out whether their kids "are good" or not in those early years.  The really good ones focus on enjoyment, effort, and skill improvement over winning (despite pressures to win the 2015 Tony Scrubini Super NIT State Qualifier).  I am lucky to be able to look back at my youth and know that I had two great adult supporters in my mom and dad.  For this tribute, I have chosen to write about three of my greater memories of the role my mom played in my early baseball life and the hidden lessons in all three.

        Among what stands out about my early days in baseball were the car rides to practice with mom.  I played in a league that practiced about thirty minutes from where we lived so I was in the car with mom a couple of hours a week to and from practice.  For some reason, I can remember listening to sports talk radio with my mom.  She wasn't really a sports fan at all except for watching me play, but she liked to listen to sports talk radio.  Sometimes we would listen to music, and if I were in need of what was deemed an "attitude adjustment" this may mean classical music.  Maybe she was really just sensing my number getting too high and wanted to help calm me down before baseball.  Regardless, I am very appreciative for having a mom who was willing to spend hours every week shuttling me to and from baseball and my sisters to and from dance classes.  Thanks Mom!

        Another of my memories of mom and her role in my early baseball career is the traditional pregame meal.  I was always big on reading up about both the history of baseball and what modern players were doing.  I can't even imagine if I had internet access then.  My brain probably would have exploded for overload.  Well, somewhere along the way I read about Wade Boggs eating chicken before every game.  Around that time, I had eaten one of my favorites: Mom's grilled burgers.  I had a good game and of course it triggered in my head that the burgers were the reason why.  Before nearly every game I played for a span of at least two years my mom made me those burgers.  What I failed to realize then was the power of performance was not in the burgers.  The power was the comfort created by the routine made possible by a loving mom.  Thanks Mom!

        A third memory I have of my mom was her reaction to a horrible game.  I had a tendency to be JUST A LITTLE emotional about performance as a player, and there was no escaping the ride home after games (for my parents, that is).  When games were particularly bad, my mom would sum things up perfectly with, "Well...it was a game."  While it sometimes would make me even more upset at the time, at least externally, the simplicity of the words really could not have been more true.  "Well...it was a game," and there was not much else to say about it except it was over.  Sometimes we need to simply rid ourselves of a bad performance, not read too much into it, and move on.  Thanks Mom!

        Those are just three of the many memories of my mom's role in my baseball career.  To sum her role up in those three stories is probably an injustice, but I think the three say a lot about who she was and is in my life no matter how old I get.  Mom has been along for the ride to and from practice and to lend advice both welcomed and unwelcome.  She has always been there to support me however needed, and I probably took for granted the guarantee of a home-cooked meal on a nightly basis.  My mom has always been and continues to be a driving force in my life.  She has always balanced well the act of being supportive while being sobering when I need to get my head out of the clouds (or out of my rear end).  With that, I would like to wish her the Happiest of Mother's Days.  I love you and am grateful for all you have done for me.  Thanks Mom!

Ehrlich Family Christmas Est. 1994...Respect the bowl cut

Comments

  1. My son was named after Wade Boggs, and chicken was/is his lucky meal! His name is Wade Walton and he rode with me for hours to GA, Ft Myers, Jupiter, all
    over. Sometimes his friends too! He's lucky to get a scholarship to play college but it took alot of hard work on his part too! His dream to play in the MLB may just happen! Wouldn't miss those car rides for the world! Hopefully, he learned whats important in life!

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  2. Thanks for sharing you and your son's story Kelli. Great baseball name! Wade is lucky to have a mom who relishes that role so much. All the best to him and his continued career, and thank you again for the comment.

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