Steamboat Springs, Colorado really is a great place for both. Talk about a place to unwind! And you can't beat playing youth baseball against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains.
My wife, Betsy and I are proud of our 13-year-old son, Jay, and his team - the West Des Moines Mariners. Most of these boys have played together since they were seven-years-old and it's been a true joy to watch these boys group up into young men. Speaking of young men, that leads me to share a couple "aha" moments we experienced on this trip.
First, it may be the last time our merry, little band travels to a major, national tournament. As the boys grow into school baseball programs, we may be limited on our scheduling opportunities next year. Second, this tournament highlighted the differences you will see in the growth development of teenage boys.
Even though our scheduling opportunities may be limited next year, it opens a new chapter of baseball for these young men. Several of them will continue to play together on their school teams and some of them will play against one another. It's always great to be a parent watching your children and their friends on new stages!
I was also proud of our boys in Steamboat based on the tremendous sportsmanship they displayed. In tournaments like the Triple Crown World Series, you see teams with players who look more like they are 23 as opposed to 13. It's the nature of the age they are. We certainly had our butts handed to us a few times by some "big sticks", but the Mariners never hung their heads and they played on until they won some games and savored the joy of victory.
In the end, it was for us what the baseball tournament experience was meant to be - FUN. And fun to me is never a bad thing!