Essay about Masculinities: Baseball Camp

Submitted By tmjs55151123
Words: 1175
Pages: 5

Masculinities For my service learning project I choose to help out at the campus baseball clinic. I choose this for multiple reasons. One, I was easily able to relate and connect with the young aspiring baseball players because I used to be one. Second, I wanted to take the things I have learned over the course of the semester and try and target them among a large group of young boys. I was able to compare and relate many things learned in class to things I saw and experienced at the baseball camp.
It was a wonderful experience to be able to work and shed light on the boys at the baseball camp. I was able to see, first hand, how boys interact with each other and many of the things we have discussed in class were brought to my attention. For example, in class, we have discussed the role and impact a father can have on his son. Along with that, they can also drastically impact how his son perceives masculinities. What kind of man a person is, can almost always be traced back to what kind of man their father was. My job at the camp was to pitch batting practice to the kids and also be the pitcher at the game that was held. As I was doing this, I noticed all the parents at the camp, specifically the dads. In many of their faces you could see the joy of watching their son play baseball and having fun. In others, I noticed that there only role in being there was to critique and diminish their child if they did not perform well enough. It was disheartening to see the hurt in the children because they did not live up to their fathers expectations. Many might say that those particular fathers are trying to “toughen them up,” but at what point does it change from constructive criticism to damaging their child’s emotional stability? Naturally, a boy will want to take after his father, be like him, and make him proud. Because of this, in these scenarios, pressure is placed upon the child from their own father even if that is not his intentions. What should be a support system, is then turned into pressure and can be stressful and damaging to a growing boy. The problem is, people fail to realize this because it is not brought to their attention. There reason for this is because men are not able to talk about their feelings without the fear of being viewed as less of a man. What seems to be a never ending cycle was only brought to my attention because of this class. Even with this negative aspect that can come along with sports, sports can also be very beneficial to a young child and I Throughout history, sports have been a way to shape and mold our youth in different ways. Many life lesson and morals can be taught through sports in an indirect way. I know this from personal experience. I have played sports for my entire life and at different stages of life I was able to look back at my accomplishments and sometimes even failures in sports and reflect on them to help me through things. Characteristics such as respect, honor, character, and unselfishness are taught at a young age if they are involved with sports. This is the ultimate goal of youth sports, to create friends and learn valuable life lesson that will help those young boys later in life. Just as we have talked about in class, in today’s society men are confined by the “man box.” This unfortunate truth causes men to try and conform and change to fit society’s norm. If we take a closer look at the “man box” and the certain characteristics in it that say what makes a man masculine, chances are the characteristics listed above involved with sports would not be high on the list or even on it. Respect, honor, character, and unselfishness is losing its value in today’s society. Society looks at the man who is making the most money, or the man that can pick up the most women at a bar. Sports is one thing that can help keep the balance between societies view of a man and what it truly means to be a man. With a positive almost always there is a…