Growing up, athletics was not my cup of tea. I'm just not athletically inclined. I stink at almost anything sportsy.
Except volleyball. My 2 inch vertical leap is amazing.
Part of me wonders why I wasn't given the athletic gene. But that part is relatively small. I really don't have a passion about athletics.
But Nick loves sports. Basketball is his favorite. And he got to play on a team this year. Right now he is running track. He gets excited about playing on the teams.
The deal is that he got my genetic (lack of) ability when it comes to athletics. Except swimming. He is a natural in the water. That is a sport in which he would excel.
But his lack of natural ability in other sports does not slow him down. (Pun intended) He gets out on the court and chases that ball with joy. He runs and jumps with a love for the activity. And even if he isn't the first place (today he coined the phrase "first to last" to define his position in his heat), I still love to see him enjoy what he is doing.
And that for me is what it should be about. Kids should have a joy about what they are doing. I still don't approve of organized athletic programs for children. I believe they should be allowed to play. Really play. Not forced into "programs". It should be a game and all about play at this age.
Sooooo, now I appear hypocritical. I'm going to these organized (hehehe, like you can organize a few hundred 5th-8th grade boys and girls in the open air across a football field) events. I even worked in the concession stand. And I make the bold statement that I am opposed to organized programs.
But understand this... I love my son. If he pursues every athletic program (which we won't allow, but if he decided to do it) I would support him. If he never makes a basket and comes in "first to last" every time I will still be beside him. And I will always be looking for one thing, "Are you having fun? Is it a game to play?" If he is still in it for that reason, then I'll be there with him.