My son has started to play his first year of coach-pitch baseball and we’re doing our best to teach him the rules of baseball Eye on the ball. Elbows up. Be ready to run. But we never thought we’d have to teach him to stop being so friendly. Kids nowadays have a different view of what a team is from when I played in Little League. My friends were on my team and if you wore a jersey of a different color, you were the enemy. You didn’t dare talk to them. We harassed them when it was their turn to ba.
Not any more. Now, we find ourselves constantly watching our kids in the field wave to the kids walking up to bat on the opposing team.
When we asked our son, “Why were you waving to that kid? He’s on the other team.” The response we get was “he’s my friend.” Even when the opponent is safe on first, the first baseman and the little guy that just hit the ball exchange a little hug. A bit of reassurance that no matter what color jersey they have on, they are still friends.
How amazing is that? Our seven-year old kids are jersey color-blind but as adults we often silo ourselves into “teams”. Sales vs. marketing. Finance vs administrators. Northeast vs. Southeast. Did we all start out as color-blind seven-year olds in a see of multi-color baseball jerseys? When did it all change and how do we get back to being one team?