Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sunday Scribbings: Sports

Sunday Scribblings asks us to consider sports.

Ugh, sports! My connection with sports has always been as a spectator: enjoying a sunny day at the ball field. Candlestick Park, to be precise. Go Giants! With maybe a few trips across the bay - it was warmer there.

Now I have children. And I don't want them to grow up to be incapable of participating in any sports, as I am. I would like them to be able to engage in "picnic" sports, at least - volleyball, softball, shooting hoops. Swimming? That too. I don't think of swimming as a sport, more of a necessity - something they must learn and be at least competent at. Unlike their mother.

But, other than a few preschool classes and summer sports daycamps, we didn't really do too much with sports. In his 2nd grade (I think) year, the boy did Little League and didn't like it too much. I didn't like the schedule, or, um, the coach.

We took a break and last year he asked to do it again. Most of the guys in his Cub Scout troop were in, so he was a little more interested. Never a very coordinated kid, he... stunk. (He would agree with me on that.) He earned the nickname "Statue" because he would not, could not swing the bat. But, he maintained a good attitude and when the season was over surprised me by saying he couldn't wait for next year.

Next year is here. We signed up last week. He's been working on improving his coordination and flexibility since last fall so we're pretty sure he'll be better this year. Well, hopeful, anyway.

Also last year my girl decided to stop thinking about ballet and signed up for soccer. She had maybe kicked a soccer ball around a few times in her life and was, I think, the only first-year girl on the team. But these were nice girls, and they were kind to her and helped her out. When she made her first (maybe only?) goal of the season, she just glowed and floated above the field for the rest of the game. Her teammates were also excited for her. She was, unofficially of course, the most improved player on her team. She can't wait for the fall season to start.

And, inspired by her success, the boy is going to try soccer this year too. I am not sure how I'll like having two kids in sports at once, and the schedule juggling that may entail. (We are a two-parent, but one-car family.) It had been nice having one kid in one sport at a time. And I guess having 2 kids in soccer means I'll have to work two shifts in the snack bar. Hmm... think I should try to talk them out of it?


Afton said...

I grew up in the East Bay and remember 49'er games at Candlestick and A's games at the Coliseum. I am definitely a spectator more than I've ever been a participant in sports.

DADvocate said...

Two kids in sports is demanding. I had three at one point but the oldest could drive, so that helped.

The biggest problem we've had the last couple of years, and will have next year, is that my daughter's middle school basketball season coincides with my son's high school football season with some games on the same day. Football usually wins out for spectating as football has far fewer games.

As far as coordination goes, repetition is the key. The more times you try to hit/kick a ball, shoot basketball, swim the more successful you will be. Some will never be as successful as others. Hitting a baseball requires eyes that focus quickly on a moving object. I never could do it well. But, I could play basketball, with its big slow moving ball, and swim quite well.

Praise their effort if and only if they try hard. Surprise them with a little something special after a good performance. Never promise them a reward if they perform well, however. And emphasize the fun.

Good luck.

Kayluray said...

Isn't it interesting how we desire to give our kids experiences that we didn't have when we were growing up. I am not musically inclined and never learned an instrument and I would love for my children to take some sort of lessons.
So far as sports go, we are spectators as well.

Marbel said...

Afton - I grew up in San Jose!

DADvocate - great advice.

Kayluray - music is another area in which I hope my kids do more than I did. I never learned to play anything; they are both taking piano. And enjoying it!

DADvocate said...

Thanks. I was afraid I wrote too much.

Coordination comes with age too. When I was 12 and younger, I would trip over my own feet simply running down the basketball court. Once I tripped over my feet running to first base in a baseball game. Embarrassing.

I feel like the most important lesson I learned from sports was perseverance which you can learn from many activities. Music teaches this as well. Realizing that working at something over a long period of time will yield positive results is an important lesson. I was a rather hyper-kinetic kid so sports were a natural outlet.

Marbel said...

I was afraid I wrote too much.

Oh, no, not at all.

Part of my hatred of sports participation had to do with my own clumsiness. My boy takes after me. We are hopeful, though. :-)

You are right about perseverance, too.