Little Mister, parenting

Let’s Talk About Sports, Ba-by!

Typically, we are not a sporting household. We don’t watch sports, we don’t attend sporting events and there is little to no sports talk going on.

Me, I don’t do sports. I never played a sport growing up (is sarcasm a sport?) The closest I came was one season of softball, and I played one Powder Puff football game as a high school senior the night before Thanksgiving! Instead, I danced for 13 years. I understand the importance of them, but I’m not an avid sports fan. No one has mistaken me for Sporty Spice. I’ll go to a Sox game every once in a while, but that’s about it. The closest you’ll find me watching sports on TV is the movie Dodgeball. Also, it should be known that I don’t watch sports movies. And – before you even ask me – no, I have not seen Field of Dreams.

Mr. KK, however, IS a sports person. He played baseball his whole life and was a really great – if not humble – pitcher. He used to ski. He’s a phenomenal golfer. He’s the type of person who can watch a sport for a bit, and then attempt to play for the first time and be decent.

So where does that leave Little Mister? Unfortunately, not super sporty. He likes to be outside and to run around and play, but organized sports are not his favorite thing on earth. He didn’t grow up around sports; he’s an only child so never had an older sibling play any sports; we don’t have a “neighborhood” so he’s not around kids on the block who play sports or put together a game of kickball in the street. Perhaps we have failed our child?

We are lucky enough today to live during a time when there are sports everywhere. Not to mention, all sorts of sports – a literal sport for every body. Soccer, football, rugby, water polo, archery, running, diving…you name it, it’s available to kids these days.

Personally, I don’t care if Little Mister plays a sport or not. They are great exercise and provide a sense of team, but they are not the end all, be all for kids. They can take over your life if you let them and become a full time job. When I see stories about kids and the parents talk about how they practice every day for 5 hours, all year long, etc etc, I can’t help but think, “Don’t you guys do anything else? Go to the aquarium? Have movie day on the couch?” I mean…good lord.

I don’t think I have the personality to be a sports parent, but you never know.

We always want to give Little Mister as many experiences as we can to see what he might like, so we have signed him up for various sports in his short life. We have tried soccer, golf and basketball. We have taken swim lessons (this was more for survival than for sport). We’re trying out a bunch of things to see what – if anything – sticks.

Here are his assessments of sports so far:

Soccer

We’ve played for two seasons, one spring and one fall. For the Spring, we had 2 friends on our team. For the Fall, we had zero friends on our team. For both seasons, we had the same coach.

Little Mister’s review: “It’s ok I guess. You do a lot of running for the entire time. It’s tiring.”
When asked if he would play again: Maybe. Is there less running?

Golf

We tried golf last spring/summer. After being told there was “too much running” in soccer, we went the complete opposite side of the spectrum: no running whatsoever. In fact, when you have a cart, you barely have to walk.

Little Mister’s review: “BORING.”
When asked if he would play again: Hard no.
When he heard that I was taking golf lessons: “Why are YOU taking golf lessons? It’s so boring.”

Basketball

We just started basketball and have had one practice. Little Mister is a pretty tall kid (tallest on the team) so I’m sure when coaches and other players see him they’re like, “Oh great, here comes Michael Jordan!” When in reality, with all the jumping and “jiving”dancing” he’s doing on the court, it’s more like Michael Jackson. We need to learn the fundamentals (dribbling, not the pick up the ball and just RUN) but I’m quietly optimistic that he will enjoy the season. Plus, the coaches are patient and great! (BONUS!)

Little Mister’s review: “I loved it!”
When asked if he would play again: Yes!
When asked if he would like to get a basketball hoop for the driveway: “Nah, why do we need that?”

Swimming

Again, this one was more for learning not to sink vs joining a swim team. Little Mister made huge progress last summer with his swimming skills. He had some private lessons, plus some lessons at camp. By the end of the summer, he could swim the length of the pool, which was amazingly awesome! There is a possibility we try a swim team in the spring, but we’ll see!

Little Mister’s review: “I love swimming! I’m an awesome swimmer!”
When asked if he would swim again: “Of course! It’s the only sport I like.”

As I said, I don’t care about sports. If he doesn’t end up playing a sport, I’m ok with that. HOWEVER, I do want to expose him to group activities like sports so he could learn how to be part of a team, how to participate, what it means when people count on you, and to expand his social circle a bit.

In short, I would like for him to do something outside of school. And that can be anything! We are having fun doing some after school classes run by the PTA, like running club, basketball clinic and sports of all sorts.

The more we can expose Little Mister to, the better. And if he falls in love with a sport – great! I’ll get my Mom Sport Gear (portable chair, insulated cup, team shirt) ready! And if he finds something else, I’ll be just as excited about that (bonus points for cute paraphernalia). Because ultimately I’m on Team Little Mister, and whatever he decides to do.

Just not football. #sorrynotsorry

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