Kaitlyn had her first T-ball practice yesterday. We were not sure what to expect at all, but having her friend Lindsay on the team was reassuring to us.
Amber had Kaitlyn all dressed and ready to go when I got home from work (although I did have to “train” Amber on how to put on Kaitlyn’s baseball pants. Hint: just like regular pants!). She was in her new pants and cleats, and had her glove on, not wanting to wait any longer than she already had.
We made it to the practice field in plenty of time, and waited on her friend Lindsay to arrive. Once she was there, we all walked toward the field like conquering warriors and introduced ourselves to the coach. He told us that they would work on fundamentals, which was a good thing because Kaitlyn has had trouble in the past with catching the ball, and sometimes with throwing. Other than that, she was good.
As the team lined up to get loose and play
chase catch, Kaitlyn and Lindsay paired up with each other. It was fun watching them throw to each other, and they seemed to be enjoying herself. Kaitlyn has already mastered the art of getting in front of the ball, and happily hit the dirt to stop the ball; of course, once Kaitlyn was on the ground, Lindsay had to come over and help her up and help her brush herself off. That’s what friends are for, right?
After throwing for a while, the team moved into infield drills. Kaitlyn was put at shortstop (or thereabouts). She did good fielding and throwing the ball to first, and actually cut-off a ball destined for another kid’s glove at one point. She was good at getting into a good fielding position, too. When it came to throwing, I could see where she was painstakingly making the effort to do exactly what the coaches had taught her earlier; it was not fluid, but we will get there.
When it was her turn to hit, Kaitlyn made sure to pay close attention to what the coach was telling her. I really have to find out the secret approach that her teacher, and now her coach, takes to getting her to listen because she generally tunes out whatever I try to say a majority of the time. She made solid contact on all three of her swings, and got to run the bases after her last hit. Hopefully they don’t enforce the whole “the runner has to actually touch the base” rule too strictly, because she did not seem all that interested in stepping on the bases at all. After a team trip around the bases, practice was finally over. As Kaitlyn was walking over toward the fence, I squatted down and asked her if she had fun, and she told me that she did. She told me that she was nervous that the other kids would make fun of her because she had never played before, so I told her not to worry about that at all. As I was giving her a hug, she told me that she tried hard and did her very best, and I told her how proud I was of her. We will work on some skills in the backyard this weekend, and there is one more practice before the games start. I don’t know if she will want to play after this season, and I really do not care; I just want her to enjoy herself and have fun. She is off to a wonderful start on that.