Monday, November 9, 2015

Sports of all sorts

The last two weeks have been - exhausting. 

My twelve year-old son was trying out for a coveted spot on the Junior High Basketball team.  

While we have told our son, over and over again, he is a sum of the whole not merely any one single accomplishment this truly was a HUGE deal.  There are easily 100+ boys going for 30 spots on the teams.  Tryouts lasted technically three nights, but five if you count the two open gyms.  Some of these boys worked with a trainer prior to the tryout and some have been focusing on just Basketball since third grade.

Perhaps I should have prepared my son a little more before the first open gym but I didn't want him going in so nervous that he was a hot mess.  In the few weeks leading up to the tryouts while we were still in soccer season I did mention causally a few times that he may need to go pick up a basketball. My husband was a little less subtle. Surprised?  

That first open gym I couldn't even drop him off because I wasn't home so I arranged a ride to the gym and I drove the two boys home. The other boy I took home was very talkative, which was unusual for him, and my son was almost mute.  After we dropped the boy off my son literally exploded with emotions.  I let him vent, I took the long way home, and I told that even though they called it an open gym it was very much a part of the tryout process.  He was miffed, but now motivated. At least he picked up a basketball.

The next night of tryouts as I drove him up to school I asked him to remember that this should be fun. Not knowing one single thing about basketball I couldn't give him any fundamental advice, so I was left with emotional stuff.  I told him to stay out of his head.  "I don't care who is on your team, who gets the ball or how much, who is watching you and who isn't. Just play ball. When you start to think to much - STOP! Play ball." I'm sure my husband would have been rolling his eyes, sighing, and possibly said shut-up.

I didn't play sports really, I was a dancer. I was forced to play softball once (I was 9-it lasted two weeks) and took tennis lessons once (they begged me not to come back).  I played volleyball and was a cheerleader in Junior High and that was enough for me. Needless to say, I am so proud of my sons it is hard to find the words.  I've often told them, they have inspired me to be a better person by showing me what handwork, commitment, and perseverance really means.

But like I said, I can not coach my kids in sports but I could teach them a soubresaunt or passe. 

Or better yet I guess, I can teach them how to stay out of their head.
Something about that sentence just sounds wrong.

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