Growing up I never played any organized sports. Maybe if I had, I would not have faltered so badly at volleyball. But by high school I was comfortable in my own niche of activities: piano and ballet, which both suited me just fine. With this in mind, I wondered how my own children would fare at sports. This past Saturday we got a small glimpse when the girls played in their very first soccer game.
The night before we laid out their jerseys, cleats, shorts and shin guards. We discussed the fundamentals and even practiced kicking the ball around in our own backyard. Mike is a huge soccer fan, so he was pumped. I was a little nervous for them, but still excited. When we arrived, we found our coach and other teammates and got ready to watch a bunch of kindergartners run up and down a field.
Leah really surprised us as the more aggressive player of the two. She had such a great attitude. She didn't get embarrassed if she accidentally kicked the ball out of bounds or in the direction of the other team's goal. She gave it her all, running with wild abandon, piggy-tails flying in the wind and her cheeks red as tomatoes. On the sidelines, she cheered loudly for her teammates and yelled encouraging things like, "Way to go, Hannah!" Hannah did a great job too, but unfortunately, she may have inherited some of her mother's timidity toward getting into the action. She ran fast, but stayed on the outskirts of what was happening. She also got really embarrassed when she did something wrong. I think she has amazing potential, but will have to grow and mature the longer she plays. That is something I never had the opportunity to do.
Ultimately, I just want them to have fun and try new things. We're not trying to push to have two professional athletes. If in a few years they choose never to play sports again, that's fine with me. I just want them to try. To learn to roll with the punches if you lose and to win with grace and respect.
Did you play sports growing up? What did you do?