My Kid’s not Athletic. Now What?
The obvious answer, of course, is to get them involved in something else – art, acting, music or woodworking. But, not so fast, I would say.
In my last blog, I talked about my youngest child who excelled in competitive swimming from a very early age. But, her older sister was also a swimmer. Being good parents, we wanted her to have something to call her own. That is how we wound up at the local Rec League playing softball at age 8. Oh, it was so cute. They were the Blue Angels and every time the pitcher got a strike, which was few and far between, the whole team jumped up and down and clapped. Just precious!
As the years went by, however, it was pretty evident that Caroline was going to be a fair softball player. She sat the bench more and more. She enjoyed it, though, and stuck with it.
It was truly a valuable life experience for her.
When she got to high school, she lucked out, since where we lived, softball was really a county sport and she was at an inner city school. The team wasn’t good, and she got to play.
First base! She didn’t care; she loved the camaraderie and the trips and being part of the team.
When she moved back over to the county rec league team for summer, many of those girls had made the JV team at the county high school and weren’t there for early season practices. Caroline went to every practice. She practiced at first base. When the first game time rolled around, the better players showed up. The star pitcher for the team usually played first base when not pitching. In the first game, when the coach took her out, (and it was his daughter) the pitcher grabbed her glove and headed to take Caroline’s place at first base. Her dad said, “Where are you going? Caroline’s been practicing and she’s playing first base.”
WOW. What a confidence booster for Caroline!
Once, she showed up, and her team won the league championship because the other team forfeited because they didn’t have enough players. Once, she even had to miss the first half of a beloved swim meet so her softball team would have enough players to try and win a game so her team would have the best record and her COACH could coach the all-star team! That was taking it a bit far, but she did it. When her rec league coach came to a swim meet and saw her swim, he couldn’t believe his eyes! He said, “I had no idea she could do that!” And as I said above, she went on to play for her high school.
The point here is that you don’t have to be the best to play and benefit. You only have to do your best! And watch what happens.
Yes, I want you to encourage your children wherever their talents take them - the arts, music, athletics, academics.