Saturday, March 05, 2005

Boys, ours, and sports

(setting aside my knitting -- I started a sock on double-pointed needles, heehee.)

Thursday evening as dear husband, Son2, and I watched Son1's basketball game in his city parks and rec league, I commented that Son1 seemed more comfortable getting close to whoever on the other team was in possession of the ball, and he seemed better at knowing where he was on the floor in relation to who he was guarding and the rest of the team. This is a big difference from how he was even at the end of the fall season, in which he learned a LOT and had fun, but was not aggressive in the least.

And then he was called for committing a foul.

I looked at my husband and he had the same reaction: Son1?!? a foul?!? You're kidding! Cool! It wasn't a nasty aggressive foul -- he just reached a bit too far in -- and we found ourselves pleased as punch that he was aggressive enough to be even considered for a foul. Too, too funny.

Afterward we stopped by the other gym at that location and watched a middle-school friend practicing with his league basketball team. Son1 loved watching these guys (who looked huge to me!) working hard, lots of body contact, really comfortable with the ball and the whole thing. Dear husband thinks Son1 might be about ready for a breakthrough in how he thinks about and what he likes about basketball. Mom here is thinking, how do we help him get to that point? when dear husband asks Son1 if he'd like to go to one of our friend's games. Yep, so it's time to find out where and when these games are and GO. Another thought -- let's start actively watching some of the March Madness college basketball games on TV. Third thought, from dear husband: he sure wishes Son1 had a friend in the neighborhood to shoot baskets with. My thought: do any of his friends (none of whom actually live in our neighborhood) play basketball? Time to be intentional about this.

We want our kids to both understand and enjoy playing team sports, at least at a casual level, and we want them to expect to be active their entire lives. We also want to be open to the possibility that either or both boys might find a sport, whether team or individual, that they really like and want to pursue. Neither of us did that in school, and it's a real stretch for me. Everything I've learned about sports beyond k-12 physical education classes has been from my husband and my kids, so I'm learning on the job here about helping the kids in the sports area.

It's also nearly time for baseball signups with the parks and rec leagues. This will be Son1's second year of machine-pitch baseball, and Son2 will play T-ball for the first time. I'm looking forward to many spring and early summer evenings watching baseball and T-ball from grassy sidelines. Last year Son1 seemed to have some talent in catching; we'll see how that develops. Time to see how our toy T-ball tee is and whether we have a practice bat for Son2; check the cost for batting practice for Son1 and do that every week or so after basketball ends; and get the baseballs and mitts out and have Son1 coach me in playing catch with him so he can practice. I know how to watch baseball, but I have absolutely no skills at playing a ball sport!

UPDATE: Curiouser and curiouser. At this afternoon's game (the only Saturday game) Son1 sunk a foul shot -- woohoo! -- AND held onto a ball for dear life and kept the other team from gaining possession -- woohoo! His grin was a mile wide after the game!

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