Reflecting and Reflections
Introduction (For the Grown Ups)
Tonight we have a story about reflecting, writing, and keeping a journal. If this is your first time reading Bedtime Sports, (or you need a refresher) check out our "How To" post.
Questions in italics are designed to spark a conversation. Encourage your audience to participate, but also feel free to answer the questions yourself and incorporate answers into the story.
Words in bold are defined in the vocab section after the story.
The man dancing emoji (🕺) indicates a section where you can add kinetic elements to the story. Mime an action and encourage your audience to join in.
Happy story telling!
(5 minute read)
Before he was drafted by the Mets, before he got the nickname “Polar Bear Pete,” before he set the rookie record for home runs and won back-to-back home run derbies, Pete Alonso was a first baseman at the University of Florida who wanted to get a little better at baseball every day. In order to do that, Pete realized he needed figure out the things that he was doing well, and the things that he needed to improve. He needed to make time to reflect.
What do you think about when you heard the word Reflect? (You might recognize the word “Reflection”)
You can see your reflection in a mirror, or on the surface of still water. A reflection lets you see if you’ve got some food stuck in your teeth, or if your shirt matches your pants. But you don’t always need a mirror to reflect on something.
🕺🕺Close your eyes🕺🕺
What did you have for lunch today? Where were you sitting?
Who else was there? What did you talk about?
Were you able to answer most of those questions? Our memory is kind of like a video camera that records all of the things that we experience every day. Even better than a video camera, memories can capture smells, feelings, and thoughts, not just the things we see and hear. But our memories only have so much storage space. Unless it’s something special, we can quickly start to forget some of the details in our “memory videos.”
Do you remember what you had for lunch yesterday?
What about a week ago?
When we think back on a memory, it’s called reflecting, because it’s like looking at the past in a mirror. Reflecting on our memories, helps to make them stronger, and helps make it less likely we will forget. If we really really want to remember something, we need to “back up” our memories by writing them down, or drawing a picture, creating a physical reflection that we can look at again and again.
After every game, Pete Alonso changes out of his uniform, gets something to eat, chats with his teammates, and then finds a quiet moment to reflect. He grabs a special marble composition notebook out of his locker, and then sit down and asks:
“What have I gotten better at? What do I need to change? What do I want to remember?”
Do you own a marble composition notebook?
What do you do put in it?
Day after day, game after game, Pete adds pages to his notebook. He writes down what type of pitches he saw, or the things he did on defense. He’ll note things that went well, and some things that didn’t. And then he’ll close the book, put it in his locker, and head home.
Before a game, he’ll pull it out again. Maybe there is something he wants to look up. Or maybe there is something he is trying to remember. Sometimes, he just reads to see how he has changed and how he has grown.
If I was reflecting about today - what would you want to know about my day?
When you reflect on this week, what is something you want to remember?
Lots of people keep notebooks just like Pete. Sometimes they are called journals, or diaries, but no matter what you call them, they are a chance for people to reflect on their day, their week, and their life, and make a little note so that they can remember. Sometimes, they share these memories with their family and their friends. Sometimes, they are just for themselves.
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Sources and Videos
Art & Illustrations
Today’s illustrations come courtesy of:
Fred Reyes and his dynamic baseball doodles.
and finally, Joe Petruccio who has been doing game recap cartoons of Mets games for more than a decade. Black and white for a loss, and in color for a win. Here’s hoping for some more color over the next couple of weeks.
A percentile is one way to compare an individual measurement to a group. When you go to the doctor, you will often be given your height, weight, and BMI and your percentile. If your height is in the 30th percentile, it means you are taller than 30 percent of the people your age.
Below is Pete’s Percentile ranking for various statistics from Baseball Savant. What does it mean that his sprint speed is 15th percentile? What about that his HardHit% is in the 75th? You can look up the definition of these measurements in the Glossary at the bottom of the link. Which statistic should Pete focus on trying to improve? What would he write in his notebook to improve that percentile? Would improving that statistic influence other statistics?
Capture can mean to catch, or take into possession, but it can also mean to record something. It’s like you are “catching” a picture, or a memory.
Even better than a video camera, memories can capture smells, feelings, and thoughts, not just the things we see and hear.
Physical means something you can experience through your senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, or taste) as opposed to something that is only experienced in your mind.
And if we really really want to remember something, we should take the time to get the memory out of our mind by writing it down, or drawing a picture, creating a physical reflection that we can look at again and again.
Face-off comes from hockey, when two players face each other and try and get the puck that the referee drops between them. It can mean when you are competing directly against someone else.
Sometimes, when he is facing a pitcher who he has seen before, he will look up what happened the last time they faced-off to try and figure out what he should look for in an his at bat
Get a notebook and decide on a question with your grown up about your day. Both of you can take a minute and write down your reflection. For some example questions check out this post. If you want to share, take a picture and tag us online!
More Story Ideas
You could tell a story about...
Have you ever read someone else’s journal? What did you learn?
Have you ever kept a journal or a record? Consider sharing some entries
What is an important memory that you haven’t recorded but you would like to? Share the memory with your child.