My boy had baseball tryouts this weekend for the 10 and under travel team.
He's clearly not the best kids there, and he's not the worst kid there. If I was being as objective as possibly I'd put him just inside the top 10. Either way it really doesn't matter.
There are 24 kids that will comprise a 12 player A team and a 12 player B team. If the boy makes the A squad he'll be one of the weaker players there, but the increased competition mean's he'll probably improve over the course of the season. If he makes the B squad he'll be one of the better players and more opportunities, which should improve his game.
He's 9 for christsake, either way he'll be just fine.
What made the experience notable for me were some of the fathers.
Now don't get me wrong...I'm an overbearing prick. My boy screws around and doesn't pay attention. When that happens I'm almost immediately on his shit. I'm sure that people think that makes me insane...I respect that. I also have take little issue with how other people raise their kids or manage them, provided that the result of their parenting doesn't directly affect me. Raise your kid how you want.
My problem/shock/surprise wasn't how the fathers were dealing with the kids, its how the parents were dealing with each other. Both Saturday and Sunday were like watching an episode of Survivor. There are fathers saddling up with other fathers, with the evaluators, and with the coaches in an attempt to influence the evaluation and selection process. There was talk about which fathers were sponsoring the league. There was positioning of wives in dinner parties and book clubs.
The whole thing was a couple tiaras shy of a beauty pageant.
And of course the real irony was that the parents doing the most positioning are the ones whose kids would be best served, athletically and behaviorally, by a little quality time with the old man. Then again I suppose that doesn't do much of the ego.