Dear Boys, Why I Won’t Tell You I’m Proud of Your Home Run


Photo credit: Justin Anovick

Dear Boys,

I love watching you play baseball. Not because I want to see you hit a home run, not because I want to see you make the play, not because I want to see you win tournaments. But because I get to see your character tested and developed. When you lace up those cleats, remember it’s not just a game, it’s more than a game. You’ve heard us say, “It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about how you play the game.” When we say ‘it’s about how you play the game’, we are talking about the heart you play the game with, the attitude you have. We are not talking about your skills, performance, and results. It’s heart and attitude.

Tournaments and games are tough when you play teams that take little league to a different level. It’s tough to hear opposing coaches screaming and parents on the other side mouthing off comments about missed balls and errors in the field. But don’t let that drag you down. Don’t let that dampen your love for the game. Baseball offers more than just a game. Life lessons are played out on that field, and you have an opportunity to be a champion for Christ. In life you have to learn to tune out the negative and tune in to your purpose.

We live in a see all world. Performance and results seem to be king. We don’t have to post pictures on social media of our tournament trophies to be champions. The sweetest successes are the ones not easily recognized. While the social media likes may not accumulate, your Father in Heaven is cheering you on to the quieter triumphs.  This world will tempt you to gain recognition. Fight the temptation to look to the world to validate you.

Don’t strive for the glory of a trophy. Strive for the glory God receives when you play the game for Him. With attitude and heart. Sometimes a trophy will follow, but when you play for Him, often the joy won’t come from something that sits on a shelf. It will come from something that takes root in your heart.

Hitting a home run is fun, but striking out is golden. If you never strike out, how can you understand the sweetness of hitting that ball to the fence? And how can you offer words of encouragement to your teammate that walks into the dugout after his 3rd strike out of the game? Striking out with grace positions you to appreciate the gift of the home run. And when you experience that, you have something to offer your teammate.

You will rarely hear me tell you I’m proud of the hits you got, the plays you made, or the runs you scored. Here is what makes me proud.

When the kid joins the team that’s new to the game and you pat his back and welcome him. That makes me proud. When you embrace him and cheer him on. When you take the time to notice the catch he made and you high-five him with a genuine sincerity. That makes me proud. Looking to build others up, not only strengthen your own game. That makes me proud.

When your team is losing, and you hear parents hollering from the sides with tones lacking encouragement, and you cheer on your team anyway. When you don’t hang your head in defeat, but raise your head to the challenge and the lessons. When you shout out to your team to remind them that you are all together and you can do this. Encouragement. That makes me proud.

When you lose a game and you come home reflecting, can you look back and see where you can improve and own up to your own mistakes without pointing out the errors all your teammates made? Ownership of our own faults and mistakes. That makes me proud.

When the opposing team makes an amazing catch, can you place yourself in that child’s shoes? Can you feel the disappointment of what that catch meant for your team while at the same time telling him, “Great catch!”? That makes me proud.

When you’ve not been satisfied with your game, and you practice hard. When you realize anything worth achieving takes a lot of hard work. And then you work. That makes me proud. When you hit a home run, when you make the big play, when you score a run because you’ve been working hard. It’s the effort you gave to improving that makes me proud.

As you get older, you will find that our world leans towards a view of a one-man game. Baseball is not a one-man game. Neither is life. As you get older, remember the game of baseball. Remember that life is a team game too. Life takes a pitcher, a catcher, infielders, and outfielders. Life takes the gifts and talents of many. And life takes more encouragement than we have to offer. So offer it as often as you can.

You will hear a lot of talk about stats. You will hear a lot of talk about records. You will hear and see a lot of getting ready for the next level. But I want you to hear this. Baseball and life are more than stats, more than trophies, more than steals and wins. It’s about how you play the game that matters most. Play with integrity. Play with honesty. Play with passion. Play with love. Play with excitement. Play with courage.

You can be a champion without a trophy or medal to prove it. Your main audience is not in the stands by the dugout. He is up in Heaven, gifting you, preparing you, and cheering for you. When you play the game, play with all the heart He created in you. Play as if you are playing for the Lord. When you do that, you will be a champion.

With all my love,


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54 replies
  1. Susan
    Susan says:

    I read this article and cried. My son who is in college now, was not the best player on his high school team. In fact, he struggled, barely played and was not given the best opportunities to show what he could do. But as I read this letter, it was if I had written it myself. He showed so much integrity during those years, never giving up, working harder than anyone to be a better player. He learned so many life lessons. I sent this letter to him because I now know he will recognize what a better person he is because it “did not come easy” and the wasn’t the star player. He now understands that it is not about winning or losing. He is doing very well in college, playing club baseball and playing in the worship band for the campus church. Thank you so much for writing this letter and putting into words what I could not over the years. The only difference is mine started out “Dear Taylor….”

  2. Renee
    Renee says:

    Susan, thank you for your words. I’m so encouraged that this letter put into words what you held in your heart for your son. I know he will treasure hearing what you have to say. Blessings to you!

  3. Brandion Howes
    Brandion Howes says:

    What a fantastic article. I am so blessed to have found it as it certaily should be shared and forwarded throughout the baseball world. As a coach fo a 12U local rec league in rural Eastern Tennessee I am so glad to have found these words and plan on sharing them with all of our parents. Coaching baseball is an opportunity to teach more than the game. I appreciate your words and just wanted to let you know they have touched me in a way that has intensified my belief that I can offer so much more to these kids than the ability to play this great game. I can help teach life lessons that hopefulyl will be remembered forever.

  4. Renee
    Renee says:

    Hi Jeff, thank you for commenting. It’s a great question actually. I am a big fan of keeping score. It’s important. What’s the purpose of playing without a score? Our kids need to learn how to win and to lose. Keeping score is very important so they learn to win with grace and they learn to lose with grace.

  5. Renee
    Renee says:

    Brandon, thank you for commenting and thank you for serving as a coach to our youth. You have a wonderful role in modeling life lessons to the team. Thank you!

  6. Brian
    Brian says:

    I understand the premise behind this post, but there is a flaw in not telling your child that your proud of their accomplishments. You should tell them your proud of them if they hit the game-winning homerun or if the strike out to end the game. By not telling them your proud of hitting the homerun, them they wouldn’t feel the same sense of accomplishment you mentioned for doing both because they don’t feel like it’s an accomplishment.

    Absolutely we should teach our kids to fail with grace and dignity but not at the expense of displaying their accomplishments.

  7. Mark
    Mark says:

    And so the chickification of our young men continues. Hopefully, there is a dad in the picture to help them be men. Character is of utmost importance, but men need victory and conquering to take place in their lives. This mindset is why the church is having such a hard time reaching men today – they are expected to be feminine. Very sad.

  8. Renee
    Renee says:

    Hi Mark, thank you for taking the time to comment. I’m sorry you feel this way. I would say that “chickification” is a very strong judgement you just placed on my children from a 700 word blog post. If you were to read some of my past posts, you may feel differently. I can assure you there is a dad in the picture. We raise our boys to be strong in their faith and to be strong in their boyhood. I wonder if you read the entire post. I believe many men who are reading this are skimming the article or jumping to a conclusion based on the title. Nowhere in this post did I say that victory has no place. I would say a bigger problem with the mindset of the church would not be feminizing boys, but brothers and sisters in Christ judging and attacking rather than rallying together for the common cause of Christ and the gospel. But that is for another post.

  9. Renee
    Renee says:

    Hi Brian, thank you for commenting. I appreciate your viewpoint. Towards the end of the article, I stated this: “When you’ve not been satisfied with your game, and you practice hard. When you realize anything worth achieving takes a lot of hard work. And then you work. That makes me proud. When you hit a home run, when you make the big play, when you score a run because you’ve been working hard. It’s the effort you gave to improving that makes me proud.” In no way do I fail to tell my kids that I’m proud of their achievements and accomplishments. I also don’t believe accomplishments are downplayed when focusing on character qualities. A healthy balance is good. Thanks! Blessings!

  10. Tania Leather
    Tania Leather says:

    Wow! I love it and it is so true! I have been telling my son some of those same things. My son posted this on FB and was I surprised. He is a college coach. So proud of how he expressed “. For the Love Of The Game”!!!!!

  11. Renee
    Renee says:

    Thank you, Tania! I’m so glad your son shared this post. I love how he expressed “For the love of the game!” as well 🙂 Blessings!

  12. Priscilla McConnell
    Priscilla McConnell says:

    This was so touching and true! What a great perspective. To see young boys brought up knowing character is of utmost importance is so encouraging. Our goal as parents should be to raise our little men to care about what God cares about… and God cares about our heart and all the inner workings of it. Beautifully written… made me cry. As far as the chickification comment… I thought the very opposite. Chickification would be to not let them play a sport because they might get hurt or insist everyone gets a trophy for participating, it’s not letting them get dirty and telling them they are a winner no matter what. This sweet article said nothing of the sort. What you are teaching your boys is what manhood is about- Godly manhood. Thanks for posting.

  13. Renee
    Renee says:

    Priscilla, thank you for your encouraging words. I agree with your definition of chickification as well. Godly manhood certainly will look different! Blessings!

  14. Kelly Hunter
    Kelly Hunter says:

    Thank you so very much for writing this article. This puts everything about the game and life into perspective. My son is 10 and is a pitcher. Before he steps on the mound each game he steps off the back of the mound and lowers to one knee, takes off his cap and speaks to the man upstairs. Several of the parents have commented to me how this is so meaningful abd for a 10 year old to think of that first. We are very proud of the young man he is and will be in the future!

  15. Renee
    Renee says:

    Kelly, that is beautiful. I got chills and will never forget that visual. I can’t wait to share that with my boys. Amazing! Thank you for commenting.

  16. Dawn
    Dawn says:

    Love this! Although our son plays football, these same ideals apply. Playing with integrity and giving it your personal best in practice, on the sidelines, and on the field is our mantra.

  17. Linda
    Linda says:

    This is awesome. I have tried to teach my son to be a good sport and it isn’t about winning. OK ow your son will treasure this.

  18. Thomas
    Thomas says:

    This is amazing!!! I spent my whole life playing the game of baseball and then joined the Navy and played when I got the chance between deployments, now I play and coach two coed softball teams. Pur main focus is to go out and have fun, enjoy our time together as friends and family, and to help build up the teams that are new to the game. This is in no way teaching “chickification” to our young men, this actually helps them more then .most anything else. I grew up with a step-father who coached me and he was on that constantly yelled at mistakes. This type of behavior; yelling, being frustrated, demeaning, and so on, does nothing but hurt a young ball player. It drives them away from the love of the game and away from the sport. They way this is put is a very encouraging way to make your son, become a very high regarded young man in the eyes of the community. It teaches them the CORRECT way to be a man and live the right way. And it also teaches them to never stop striving for excellence on or off the field!!! It will make them look to better themselves in every aspect of their life, from the ballfield to the classroom, from relationships to friendships, and most importantly in their Walk with the Heavenly Father.

  19. Sue Ann
    Sue Ann says:

    I’m looking forward to reading more of your articles. The article Dear Boys, Why I Won’t Tell You I’m Proud of Your Home Run really hit home with me. You have a eloquent way with words that touches the essence of ones soul. Thank you!

  20. Fred Hiatt
    Fred Hiatt says:

    I have two boys that play baseball now. On who is 17 and struggles to succed at times but works very hard. My younger one things come a little easier. I will share your post with them tonight by placing on their pillow for when they go to bed. My hope is that our approach , which is similar to your words , along with your post helps it resonate with their role on their teams. Thank you for sharing!! Fred

  21. Banica
    Banica says:

    I love this. My son has played travel baseball for 4 yrs. He has had his ups and downs. We went to Cooperstown in 2013 had a blast. We haven’t won a tournament this fall but he still loves the game. He goes out and play each tournament with heart. I am proud of our boys when we win and lose. Thanks for this. I shared it with our coach.

  22. Mel
    Mel says:

    You are right on…as a former college football quarterback and the Father of 3 boys, there is nothing in your post that diminishes masculine development…quite the opposite. I’ll share a poem I have had my boys memorize. It was the favorite poem of Rick Rescorla (Decorated Vietnam veteran and Hero of 911)
    (‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies)

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

    If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

  23. Kristi
    Kristi says:

    Great poem Mel, it is titled “If” by Rudyard Kipling. I used that last portion for the quote on my son’s senior page in our football program this year. My husband is a high school football coach, has been for 22 years. My older son is our QB, and my younger son is a lineman in his team. While I absolutely and completely get the direction of the article, I can attest and assure you that, as a coaches wife and QB’s mom, that winning is the only thing that matters to the masses. We have moved 17 times in 22 years of marriage, and my husband taught character, mental toughness, emotional passion and growth on and off the field. Unfortunately, he and his teams were judged on success, equated to wins, not to how much heart they played with. So winning always matters, but it’s nice to dream of an athletic venue where people didn’t degrade my husband’s coaching abilities or my son’s ability to complete a pass in an ice storm. But here’s the lesson in the brutal reality of youth sports, you learn that you can indeed perform and win during the coldest of life’s stoms.

  24. Renee
    Renee says:

    You are right. As much as we desire to value character and heart in the game, the masses still want victory. I can’t imagine the pressure of a coach. We were at my middle son’s baseball game last night and heard the masses on the other team very much want to win. And this is only for 9-10 year old baseball. So I get what you are saying because as they get older, it matters more to some. While the masses won’t change, and people will still demand victory, it would be nice as an athlete to value a strong character over a victory. And sometimes, many times, both together. Blessings!

  25. Renee
    Renee says:

    Thank you Mel. I really loved this poem and put it on my Facebook page with your comment. Thanks for sharing!

  26. M
    M says:

    Your comment makes me so angry. One of the most used sayings in our house is “never underestimate how much the other team wants to win.” When you express your opinion that teaching boys to value the other person’s desire to win is “chickification,” then it’s no wonder so many professional sports players have so many emotional problems. Men who “‘need’ victory and conquering” are achieving this goal with the way they treat women and their children. Men who cannot understand that there is more than just the victory and the conquering, and that success can be achieved regardless of the outcome, struggle past their lives of sports. They don’t know what to do with the emotions that come with losses and failure, both are inevitable.

    I struggled for several days whether to respond to this post, but this article hit home to me because my oldest son struggles with getting past the result of his efforts. He cannot get past his own mind and puts too much pressure on himself to succeed. His biggest asset is also his greatest weakness. If all players can play for the love of the game and love of the Lord, they can accept the losses just as well as the wins because both are a part of life.

  27. Renee
    Renee says:

    Well said. Success doesn’t always look like a win. This is hard for kids to understand. Yes winning is great, but there is so much more than a “win”. Teaching kids to see all their successes seperate from the final score is much more important. And seeing who it is they are serving even on the playing field.

  28. Sela
    Sela says:

    My son has been blessed to be coached by incredible men who have played college and professional baseball and hold the truths you’ve written above as the highest aspects of the game. I humbly write that my son is a bit of a phoneme and while he has praise and recognition heaped on him by many, there have also been a few adults who have sought to knock him down. One mom even went so far as to write an email to the entire team attacking him personally–he’s only 9! I must imagine she holds deep wounds in her soul to attack a child.

    We strive to lead our boys by example, cheering on the kid who catches our son’s line drive and encouraging the catchers no matter what team they play for. For some of these boys, maybe even mine, sports will be the vehicle that carries them far, but no matter what, through baseball my son will have learned how to be an friend and a leader. He’ll have learned how to dig deep to rise above what has knocked him down. He’ll learn how to shake off the last play and hold a strong vision for the next. He’ll learn to be forever humble and gracious. He’ll learn to forgive and move on. He’ll learn to be grateful for his blessings and to strive hard for the things that don’t come so easily. And, he’ll always know that his mom and dad, brothers and grandparents, and the incredible coaches who have surrounded him, believe in him, cheer him on, lift him up, bless him with opportunities, honesty and tools, but at the end of the day it’s his responsibility to to take the reigns and make it happen. Maybe one day he’ll be in the MLB, maybe a dad, maybe an awesome Little League coach, but foremost he’ll be a man of integrity. A million blessings to you for writing this.

  29. James Williams
    James Williams says:

    The headline bothered me at first, and the content of the blog post itself somewhat alleviates my concerns, but tr4uth be told, I have no problem cheering on my kid for his accomplishment, as it doesn’t prevent me from cheering him on for the other things you mentioned. I can walk & chew gum at the same time. Just last night, coaching a game, I found myself congratulating kids from the other team as they made great plays, while still cheering for my own son, and my own players, as they did well.

    I am convinced that doing anything with excellence–hitting a home run, scoring 100 on a math test, making your bed neatly, cooking pancake that turn out very tasty–those things teach kids life lessons, as well. they are rewards for the work that went into building the skills that led to those accomplishments. So I will cheer on my kids for on-field accomplishments, as it show he has learned some valuable life lessons there, as well.

  30. Matthew
    Matthew says:

    Dear Renee,

    Thank you for such a wonderfully written article. There is nothing weakening in this approach. I’ve coached in a football program that has turned out hundreds of college athletes and quite a few guys who are now playing pro. I’ve seen and basically lived with some of the best coaches in the business, and I think they would wholeheartedly agree. Ironically, even if you just want to rack up a bunch of wins, this is the better way to do it. I’ve tried it this way and I’ve tried it in ways that would probably be wholeheartedly endorsed by some of your detractors. This way is better.

    “Catch the ball!” I cringe every time I hear a coach poison the well by yelling something like that. If you suspect the kid isn’t trying to catch the ball, perhaps we shouldn’t be sending him out there in the first place.

    Anyway, don’t let the negative posts get you down. I doubt you will, as you seem to have your radio tuned to the right station, but I wanted to say it anyway. Keep up the great work! It matters.

    Your Brother in the Struggle,


  31. Renee
    Renee says:

    Matthew, thank you for your comment and encouragement. I cringe as well when I hear coaches yell, “Catch the ball!” Of course the kid wants to catch the ball. Screaming at them will only increase their anxiety over their abilities. It’s similar to encouraging students with positive comments in their academics. Much healthier approach than focusing so heavily on the shortcomings. Building someone up through positive means will go a much longer way. Blessings!

  32. Renee
    Renee says:

    James, thank you for taking the time to comment. Glad you read the article and didn’t judge based on the title 🙂 I agree with your comments as well. Both can be done. I cheer on my kids accomplishments too, but there has to be a balance so they aren’t so driven towards end results as the end results many times to match the work and effort that went into it. Sometimes the bigger lessons are in the work to the result. Sometimes we get the results we work so hard for, and sometimes we don’t. I want my kids to see the praise more in the effort they give than the result that follows. Sometimes the praise is in both. Blessings!

  33. Kim
    Kim says:


    I loved the article and have reread it at least 10 times. I have 2 boys that play baseball and my daughter plays lacrosse, I’ve shared your article with many of the parents that I know who have children that play with mine. I’ve also shared it with a few coaches hoping that they will be touched by your words. Your words are inspiring!

    Peace –


  34. jacquelyn
    jacquelyn says:

    I am printing this out and posting on my 11 year olds wall. He strives for perfection and gets down on himself awful if something goes wrong. No matter what I say or do. No matter how many times I tell him it doesn’t matter if he wins or loses, I want him to try his best and act his best. He still gets super emotional. Maybe this will help him to understand. Even just a little. Thank you.

  35. Eric
    Eric says:

    I don’t see why you can’t teach all these wonderful lessons to your son while also showing him that you are proud of his accomplishment. They aren’t mutually exclusive. You can welcome the new kid to the team while still being told “nice hit”. I just can’t see how telling your kid that you are proud of their homerun hinders them from learning these lessons and implementing them into their life.

  36. Renee
    Renee says:

    Eric, thank you for your comment. You absolutely can do both. Hopefully, you read the post in its entirety. Towards the end I wrote this: “When you’ve not been satisfied with your game, and you practice hard. When you realize anything worth achieving takes a lot of hard work. And then you work. That makes me proud. When you hit a home run, when you make the big play, when you score a run because you’ve been working hard. It’s the effort you gave to improving that makes me proud.”
    You are correct, they aren’t mutually exclusive. This letter is to make the point to my children that outward accomplishments don’t trump the heart behind the game and the attitude they exhibit. This is especially true for the child that might not have the home runs, the big hits, or the seemingly obvious moments that deserve praise. Blessings!

  37. Jerry M
    Jerry M says:

    Great letter want to give it to my daughter & Grandson who is playing baseball. Problem is need to print it and can not get it to my Email as not link to Yahoo mail. Want a hard copy.

  38. Renee
    Renee says:

    Brian, thank you for your comment. Even in the young years, it’s about performing your best. But sometimes “best” doesn’t end in a home run. Sometimes it does. The attitude and character they develop in the younger years far outweighs the more obvious successes. I always encourage my boys to perform their best. To do everything with all their heart, but it’s the heart that matters in the end.

  39. Jan
    Jan says:

    Your title bothered me at first since my son, a 9 yr old talented little man just his first home run. I was concern that the post will knock down achievements but was pleasantly surprised after reading the whole thing. Sometimes we forget that baseball is a game of failure. The challenge is to teach your kid to learn from missing a play or making an error. Is hard for them sometimes to get passed that missed pop up they didn’t catch with runner on 3rd and two outs. But it’s our job as parents not to kick them while their down but teach them how to bounce back. I record all of my son’s hits (yes, got his first HR on video) and post them in social media. Take hundreds of pictures of him and post those too. Why? Because I am so proud of him, he works so hard to get better at this game he loves that I want to capture every of his accomplishments to show him the results of his effort in practice. Thank you, I’ll have him read your blog so he could understand that he could turn failure into success by learning from it…

  40. Renee
    Renee says:

    Jan, I’m so glad you read past the title 🙂 Many have not! You understood my intent in writing this. I have 3 boys and each of them are athletically talented, but I so badly want them to see beyond the results. I want them to see success may sometimes be a home run, sometimes not. But it is the heart and effort giving that is most important. I want them to see the lessons hidden in the game and in the hard work. Blessings!

  41. Jay
    Jay says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I am not a parent, but I have played baseball. It really brought back perspective to the season in life that I am in right now. I’m in a pretty rough one right now. I really do feel like I have struck out in real life. I quit one job because I got offered another one, but a recent mistake has landed me jobless. And to not have income in a time of the year like this has been rough. But reading this has encouraged me to continue to move forward and know that God is rooting for me and even shaping my character as I go through this.

  42. Tim Fortugno
    Tim Fortugno says:


    I read this post and was quite impressed. I made my major league debut at the ripe old age of 30 and thought your writing about this subject “hits the mark”; no pun intended. It truly takes character, the will to persevere, tenacity and integrity to endure failure.

    I chased my dream for many, many years and after achieving the pinnacle of my business, I learned exactly what you wrote about. Baseball is more than about playing a game. It’s about so much more.

    I read about some of the criticism here and for what it’s worth, you are spot-on. Heart and attitude is what will last. It’s what will help us live life.

    Warmest regards,
    Tim Fortugno

  43. Jennifer Francis
    Jennifer Francis says:

    I was very moved by your post. My husband coaches 4-6 and 7-8 baseball as well as 9U softball. We try to ask the parents not to beg, bribe or pay their children to “hit homers”. Though some can it puts so much pressure on the child that they often can’t hit the ball at all. When you only the home run is good enough what about everything they did to get to that point? Every child doesn’t pick up a bat and hit it over the fence the first time but if they are encouraged, coached and supported then going out, playing the game and giving all they have is enough. My 3 oldest children play and I’m as proud when they stand in the outfield as I am when they make a double play but I’m the proudest at the end when they shake hands with the other team at the end and coming running off of the field with huge smiles for a game played hard.
    Thank you for this post.

  44. Laurie
    Laurie says:

    I agree with you, Brian. If Renee’s response is correct that she praises for both, then the title of the article is misleading.

  45. Renee
    Renee says:

    Thank you for commenting, Laurie. Yes, my response is correct. I praise their hard work, not just the end result. Sometimes our hard work doesn’t give us the result we hope for. I want them to understand that it’s the effort, attitude, and heart behind what we do that we truly applaud. If it’s a home run, great! We applaud it not because of the end result, but because what it took to get there. At the same time, there are times that no matter how hard we work at something, we will not see the same results others will see. But we can’t lose sight of working with all our heart at the task at hand. I encourage you to read the post if you haven’t yet so you can get a complete understanding of the point I’m making with my kids. I disagree that the title is misleading if my response is correct. We aren’t saying “I’m so proud of your home run.” Instead we are saying, “I’m so proud of the attitude you displayed to your team mates. I’m so proud of how hard you practiced and effort you gave this week. And what a great home run! Way to go!” For my boys in particular, they have natural athletic abilities given to them by God. Hitting a home run may come easy at some points. But that isn’t what is praiseworthy. Natural talent is to be admired and appreciated, but not to be valued above a heart that encourages others, gives to the team, and sees the bigger picture beyond their own accomplishments. Blessings!

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