Tag Archive | "big babies"

Adults and Children – Not So Different

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Big Baby


As a child, I perceived adults to be knowledgeable, mature, and responsible.  To me, they usually appeared to be purposeful and in control.  Five decades later, I realize that my childhood perceptions could not have been further from the truth.


As many who are familiar with this website are aware, I officiate several different sports.  At this time of year, I umpire baseball and softball games.  This past Sunday, as is my custom, I officiated two men’s league baseball games.


For the uninitiated, play in men’s league baseball can range from very good to dreadful.   Some of the players in the particular men’s league for which I officiate have played at a reasonably competitive level.  In one instance, I umpired a game featuring a pitcher who had recently been released by the Los Angeles Dodgers from an extended spring training audition.  Many others have played college baseball.  Most, at the very least, played varsity baseball in high school.


Regardless the level at which they may have played at one time, the vast majority of these players are basically weekend warriors.  There is limited time and opportunity for them to practice individually or as a team.  For even the best of these players, the rust is beginning to show, and team play lacks the cohesion that would be exhibited by even a good high school or youth travel team.


It was during the course of working behind the plate in a game between two teams that I would classify as “less competitive” that I began thinking about the behavioral similarities between adults and children.  Most of these men’s league games begin on a cordial note.  Players are respectful and even friendly with their opponents and the officials.  The tone of conversations and demeanor of interactions is generally positive.


That tenor typically lasts about four or five innings of a nine inning game.  By that time, our out-of-shape weekend warriors are beginning to tire.  Play slows down dramatically and physical and mental errors occur with frequency.  Unable to accept individual responsibility, players begin to target the officials and, sometimes, teammates or opponents for their own poor performance.


Like children who have missed their nap time or are exhausted from activity, our weekend warriors become cranky, whining and crying about virtually anything that does not go their way.  And, also like children, once offended, they are inconsolable.


These players, and for that matter, most all adults are really just big children.  Think about that the next time you are tempted to lay blame elsewhere for you own shortcomings.



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