zen and the art of short sports

Well it is time to face the facts that norm is not a natural born athlete. It is his fourth week at the Y’s “sports of all sorts” (or, as we have for some unknown reason nicknamed them, “short sports”) and I have to honestly admit that Ive never seen a child fall so many times during basketball. I could understand if they were trying to steal the ball from each other. But this was dribbling. Alone. He actually smacks the ball and then runs after it as it rolls away. And somehow in the course of this he invariably slides and falls. He just gets right back up though and keeps going. He did come over several times and tell me that it was just “too hard” which of course tugs at the mommy gene compelling me to whisk him out of that room and right into an art class where talent is not inversely correlated with bruises. But I know I need to encourage him to practice. So as good parents do, Gill and I explain that he needs to stick it out. Oh readers, do not kid yourself, had the boy shown even an inkling of opposition to this plan, he would have been so out of there. He agreed to practice with his father. I think the most painful part of the day was when he said “but mom, i really like soccer” and Im thinking “but buddy, you are terrified of the idea of taking that ball from other kicking people and you spend even more time on your ass when you play soccer than you do in basketball…”

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7 Responses to zen and the art of short sports

  1. Pippajo says:

    You know, I think we parents just have to accept the fact that we are going to “waste” thousands of dollars on things for our kids to try before they find something that “clicks”.

    My Girl did ballet, gymnastics, sang in a rock band and acted in a musical before we found her niche. Do you have any idea how many hours I’ve spent waiting, watching, writing checks, enduring wretched harpy mothers?

    My Boy has only done Karate and by the time it was over we were forcing him to go because his grandparents had paid for it (because the twerp had begged to go with tears in his eyes). I’m prepared to run the baseball/soccer/football/wrestling circuit before we find something that works for him.

    Incidentally, I asked him the other day which sport he’d like to try and he thought a minute and then said, “Golf.” WHAT? I said, how about lacrosse and he jumped on that so, we’re trying lacrosse in the spring.

    Did I have a point here? Yeah, the point is no matter how “well” or “poorly” he does, it’s still good experience for him. And one day he will appreciate that you gave him the opportunity to do it.

  2. Jesse says:

    Ahh teams sports. I was not so good at them. I will give you a run down because I am trying to kill time for a few minutes.

    1)Age 6. Soccer – Mom was the coach, we lost every game, the only part I liked was the orange slices for a snack, and I spent all my time trying to figure out how I could fall in the mud and make it look like an accident. I never figured out how to pull it off and stayed mud free much to my dismay. I dropped out half way through the season.

    2)Age 7-10ish? t/base ball
    this was the only sport I lasted more than one season. I was a left fielder, my left, so maybe that’s right field… Whatever, nothing ever happened out there anyway. Most memorable moment was during practice when the coach bet me I could not throw the ball straight. He bet a dollar. I threw the ball perfectly. He never paid me. I’d have been awesome in MLB, since my baseball skills are directly related to beting and money. I also got hit with a ball once. The only time I made it to home plate I slipped and slid over it, which was not allowed. They made me go back to third. I never made it home again.

    3)8-11ish. Hockey Lessons!
    I could skate forward OK. I could not go backwards, turn sharply or do the ever present hockey stop. I was the only kid in my class who had to rent a helment and who used generic knee and elbow pads and not full on hockey gear. I felt like a fool. (Later in life I got OK at street hockey and am an adequate skater to this day).

    4)12. Basketball
    I was convinced I was going to be in the NBA. I was going to get a full ride to Duke. I was going to be famous. Until I played a season of Basketball. I was a viciously good blocker. But I never really learned the rules or the playbook. I rarely got put in games. My team lost every game we played except the last one (which oddly was the only one I was in for any amount of time) I dont think I made a single basket. I dont even rememeber if I had the chance. The worst memroy was them being short of shirts and having to go shirtless. I was a bit pudgy as a 12 year old and people let me know this. Basketball has been ruined since.

    I never tried another team sport again.

    Wow. Longest comment ever. Its like I made your blog my blog. Forgive me?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow–this post just uncovered a seriously repressed memory for me, of trying–and failing miserably–to dribble a basketball in an elementary school gym class. Fortunately the memory is still mostly buried. But damn.

    Poor sweet Norm! Physical coordination is totally overrated.

  4. crse says:

    You guys! Thanks for all the open-ness.

    Jesse, forgive you? are you kidding? That was a blogger’s DREAM COMMENT. I think im going to reward this by posting about my time on the mountain today.

    Im just as torn but feel closer to all of you. And find myself wanting to “home skool” to spare my sons the horrible (dont worry, LB i wont for real…you know I flash vicariously when you do right?)

    Pippa- thanks for the wake up call about the price tag attached to all this. The idea of Your Boy doing La Crosse just tickles the crap out of me.

  5. Gill Smoke says:

    Bah, I’m breking his piggy bank to pay for whatever his “mommy” thinks he needs to do. When I was a boy … never mind.

  6. Canada says:

    May I just say that Corwin was the kid who kicked and missed the soccer ball a bazillion times last summer, then scored two own goals (with the keeper yelling “Corwin!! Corwin!! What are you DOING?!?!?!). He also kicked, but missed yet connected and slid along the ball to land on his butt. He still had fun. And wanted to play again this year. Guess what? This year, he rocked! As long as Norm is having fun, it’s all good!

    And Jesse – you never post that much on MY blog. Now I’m all jealous. Hmph! 🙂

  7. Anonymous says:

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