Many of you know I played every sport a girl could play in high school, and I loved it. Well, most of it; I could have done away with being “scrimmage bait” for Coach Reid’s Varsity basketball team, and I could have done away with Coach Cravey’s mile relay requirement entirely, but overall, my experience growing up with sports was outstanding, and it had a huge, huge role in developing the girl I am today. You learn a lot about pecking order when your first overnight camp experience is a 5-day basketball camp, and you learn a lot about respecting elders when your coach calls a time out solely to tell you to tuck your shirt in. Today, someone who didn’t know any better would probably start whining that their child had been wrongly singled out and ostracized and embarrassed. Back then, everyone in the gymnasium (including me) knew I simply had not adhered to one of the coach’s rules, and he called me on it. Fair enough.
In hindsight, basketball wasn’t my best sport; softball was. Early, early on, my daddy became obsessed with teaching me to not “throw like a girl,” which may be one of the best skills he ever gave me. (Boys are always so amazed when a girl throws a zinger or can whip a football into a perfect spiral.) I think I actually cried when I aged-out of the local Recreational League, the same league in which my father had played as a little kid. I played intramural softball in college, graduate school and law school. At one point, I somehow found myself on a co-ed intramural team at Georgia, an experience that will toughen you up for sure–you haven’t felt adrenaline until Eric Zeier smacks a line-drive at you when you’re playing second base. Trust me on that one.
It goes without saying that I am loving every minute of my boys playing sports. Baseball with Jack is a pure joy. He’s had unbelievable coaches and has been on teams full of wonderful, fun-loving families–both of which has grown the love of the game in him. Asked a few months ago, we would have said without a doubt that baseball was Jack’s favorite sport.
Then along came basketball season. Move over, Fernando Valenzuela. It’s your off-season, you know.
Jack and Tucker both are playing basketball for the first time this year. Sitting through basketball practices is nothing like sitting through baseball practice where the non-practicing boys are outside and can run and play and enjoy the lovely springtime weather. Basketball practice finds you trying to corral the 2 non-practicers in a drab, smelly, crowded gym while it drizzles rain outside. To say it’s challenging is an understatement.
But the boys love it more than we ever imagined.
the wild and barely controlled dribble of the 5-to-6-year old league…
Tuck takes a shot in his first game…
I’m not sure I’ll ever understand why someone would be against organized team sports or would not let his or her child play. The world today relies on teamwork, regardless of how unique and individualized we think we are. We all need to learn how to play fair. We need to learn how to play with folks we don’t really like. There are rules, and those rules need to be followed. We need to help each other. It’s good to win, and it builds character when you lose. You are not going to win all the time. You’re also not going to lose all the time, either. Exercise is good for you. Learning life long skills is good for you. Discipline is good for you. I rest my case.
#10 on the floor; #1 in your hearts…
In other news, my parental units are pulling in sometime today, and we are ready to get our merry on. We are also poised for a potential joint visit from Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy (after whacking his mouth on his knee (?) last night, Jack has one tooth that’s grossly floppy and dangling).
The pre-Christmas run-around has slowed down, allowing the full-on frenzy to blanket itself over our house. Our upstairs is covered with boy-made blanket forts; our downstairs is covered with half-played Monopoly games and chess matches in progress; our whole house is filled with overwhelming excitement and energy. Here comes Santa Claus, indeed…and he needs to hurry it up.
Two days and counting!!