Sunday, March 20, 2005

Ball Sports

Oooooh! I forgot to tell you about Colin's first encounter with extracurricular school sports last Saturday.

Aka fascist basketball.

First, a little background. Like most kids, he has 2 biological parents. One, let's call him Charles, has amazing hand-eye coordination. He played tennis, football, rugby, and all sorts of intramural and pick-up ball sports very well. His own father, Bob, played semi-pro hockey many years ago, in Canada, where the hockey players come from. Charles is athletic and coordinated. Charles had no hatred of PE, or as they call it at Colin's school, "phy-ed", as in, "We con't have PE, Mom, it's phy-ed." (Much liberal eye rolling, of course.)

Colin's other parent, call her Diana, could never successfully interface with a ball, unless it was to actually hit it with her face. She could not shoot a basket, hit a softly and easily thrown softball with her bat and never, not once, did she serve the volleyball so it went over the net. She hated PE (not phy-ed) with the hatred of the truly hapless and helpless. Being chosen last for a team was just a matter of course. Add to the picture in your mind that she also wore glasses since the 3rd grade. One of the happiest times of her high school years was the summer after her freshman year, when she got contacts AND knew she never had to take another PE class as long as she lived. Diana did the 2 sports that had no ball involved: Cross-country and track. She also made it a point to stay the heck away from those dangerously close to ball-like field events of shotput, discus, and javelin.

Skip ahead to the present. A few weeks ago, Colin brings home a slip of paper announcing the start of Kindergarten basketball. An hour a Saturday for 5 Saturdays for $12, t-shirt included. Hey, sounds good to me. Even if he inherited his dad's athletic prowess, a little head start never hurts. I sign him up with visions of little 5 and 6 year-olds running around the gym, laughing and tripping over each other and their own shoelaces. Charles points out his own version based on 2 things: 1) that this is an extremely small town and 2) the boy's high school team just won the state championship for the Extremely Small Town Conference (say 1/2 A or maybe QQQ?) He thinks things might be a bit fanatical.

Well, guess who was right. Go ahead. Guess. Nope, Charles was right. (What's that? You guessed Charles? What kind of friends are you, anyway?). The whole hour was spent on drills. High school type drills. Dribbling. Passing. Dribbling and passing the balls around their little legs. Did they use smaller balls that would be easier to manage by kindergartener hands? Nope. No shooting. No playing. Afterward, we asked Colin if he had fun, and he said he did. We then asked if he wanted to go back and he said, "No. I already learned it all." We conveniently forgot to go yesterday. And, hey, we have a basketball hoop in the driveway and balls of various sizes. So we will have our own Piffle basketball camp this summer. I may even play. If we use the big ball, I may even match Sara. And Colin did get a nice t-shirt out of it.

Let's hope soccer is better.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously, Diana got her love of ball sports from her father who never played past getting cut in Freshman Basketball. Oh, yeah, I did play 2 years of football, but I rarely got in games. I held dummies and was tackling fodder for really tough and wirey lads. My best wishes to Colin. His mother proved that you can be a success in life without being able to hit an inside curve ball.


6:22 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

I am so sorry to hear that school sports do not seem to have changed one whit.

Why must athletic endeavors always be so competitive? Some kids just aren't cut out for that.

Like you, I was always the last picked for teams and I got *screamed* at unmercifully by mean kids when I struck out.

Good thing you discovered track. When I took up running in my 20s, I realized that I probably should have gone out for the cross-country team. That would have been one sport I would have been good at.

Nowadays I like to think that were I to meet up with any of those mean kids who yelled at me during softball games, they'd now look like Jabba the Hutt and would be unable to shift themselves from in front of the television let alone make their way up to the top of a mountain.

I would totally kick their asses.

Yes. I have issues.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Dad- All right!, one more thing I can blame you for! And comiserate with you. Love you!

Rozanne- How are you feeling there, chica? Here's an idea, we can don masks and capes and go out en tandem, striking blows for the gym impaired. We can take turns, one holding the mean kids of our youth,and one "whupping them". Nothing severe, just a good wedgie or so. Then we can run away, taunting them all the way. Of course, we will then have beers because, hey, we can, because we are fit and the carbs and B vits are good for our many muscles.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Whupping with one hand; guzzling beer with the other. I like that image.

2:05 PM  
Blogger jon said...

After we paid for our kids ymca summer camp we found it tough to recover! I totally agree with you!

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6:58 PM  

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