6 posts categorized "Sports"

Injury & Athletics: dealing with disappointment

March 24, 2014

To be involved with "competitive sports" is a luxury in and of itself.  We pay a premium for more practices, then we pay for matching outfits, and then we pay again for our children to compete in their matching outfits.  What a racket!  But: that's another story.

Our 10-year old came home one day last year stating she wanted to compete in gymnastics, and she said the coaches thought she might be good at it.  The cost would be twice as much, the practice time would be almost three times as much.  She wanted to do it, so we supported her.

She had a great competitive season this spring, bringing home second and third place overall in her two meets this spring.  She loved going to practice and never complained that it ran too late or that she was too tired to go.  We could tell she loved the sport, and - even if her parents knew little about it - we wanted to support her if we could.

Last week, when her dad picked her up from practice, she was sitting on the side-line with her leg iced and elevated.  Her coach carried her out to her dad and reported that she twisted her ankle while practicing vault.  Her dad reports that he felt his heart sink.  As athletes ourselves (albeit recreational ones, at this point), we hate to miss out any training time or games due to injury.  We hate to feel mortal.

In the following days, we confirmed she had an "incomplete fracture" in her foot, and she was on crutches.  The doctor advised no weight on the foot for 3 weeks.  Already, we were going through the calendar in our head: she would miss the state gymnastics meet, and she would miss a few other events.  Several times we asked the doctor: "So, when do you think she'll be on it again?"  We didn't want to hear it.

Knowing our daughter, it is taking everything out of her to stay still.  She is one who can barely get through her homework without doing a front walkover or going to dribble a basketball.  After homework, she always asks to go outside to shoot hoops or rollerblade.  She is an active girl, and - yet - she is keeping her disappointment quiet.  She admits she is so sad to miss the state championship, but she knows there will be next year and the year after and then the year after that.  I admire her for her patience, for her positive spirit, for quietly listening to her body (I keep urging her to try to bear some weight, "Maybe it's already almost healed?", and she shakes her head "no"), for keeping her eyes bright and wide as she waits for the right time to resume.  Little does she know that I'm taking a cue from her, too, learning that we need to accept our own mortality and slow down when our body says to.

Throwback Thursday: Extracurricular Activities

September 19, 2013

As we settle into our school-years, some of us settle into a schedule of extracurricular activities.  Today's Throwback Thursday recounts past conversations on extracurriculars:

And some open threads:

And - finally - what do you do while waiting?

Pushing toward activities with the littles: Yea or Nay?

November 15, 2011

We seem to have entered a period of hibernation. Last year at this time, we were excitedly participating in wrestling three days a week plus weekends, and Lego club, and I was biking the boys three (plus) miles away to school, and I barely had time to breathe. I spent most of my winter feeling that I should have gotten up earlier or stayed up later. I rushed everywhere.

This year Truman is at a much closer school, and not in any after-school clubs. I've been trying to get Everett re-enrolled in school after several months of a homeschooling respite, but... ok, a story for another day. Let's just sum up: no Lego club. And after a very busy fall of coaching for me, I asked the boys if they wanted to do wrestling club again this year. "Ummm... I'm tired," said Everett. You mean, every day you're tired? "At wrestling. I just think I'd be tired." Truman? "Well... maybe... I think 'no.'"

They are still getting over very bad colds (so am I, a punishing week-long feverish exhaustion whopper, so I'm giving myself until next week to make any decisions). And they're young enough -- six and nine -- that their future athletic careers can still be saved. There are plenty of Legos at home, along with running around the block and up the hill and jumping/climbing/showing off their amazing ninja moves. Activity level is not the problem. My feeling that I should, if I were a good parent, have my kids in at least one or two activities each, is the problem.

How do you feel about pushing your kids into activities (sports, art, music, science, whatever) that you think will benefit them -- but they're "too tired" or otherwise unmotivated to do? Do you have to insist on activities, or do they beg to do them? In your opinion, is hibernating, for either one long winter's nap or a few years, OK?

Extracurriculars: what to do while waiting?

February 05, 2011

At one point, the little folks start getting involved in extracurricular activities or sports, with classes and practices running anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.  I have gone to swimming class and seen a whole row of parents waiting on the benches, and the vast majority of them were on their smartphones.  Once, during my daughter's 75 minute gymnastics class, I took the opportunity to run three errands, and - since I failed to let her know beforehand - she protested when I returned.  Now, she asks me several times before her class if I promise, promise, promise to stay for the entire class.  I do.  Now, I usually bring a stack of books or an activity to enjoy while I wait with her little brother.  It's quality-time for us, of sorts (though the waiting/reception area is really grungy).  What about you?  My older daughter has basketball practice for two-hours at a stretch!  My husband usually brings his shoes and helps coach the session.  When your child has class/practice, do you stay and watch?  Try to get some work done?  Squeeze in an errand? 

Kids & Sports: Does Gender Matter?

September 10, 2010

We have decided on one extracurricular for our fifth-grade daughter: soccer.  We finally found a team to join, through many queries and research.  Previously, our girl has done a few sessions at Portland Parks & Rec - one co-ed basketball session, one all-girls basketball session - as well as an all-girls basketball camp (a one-week session during the summer) for the past two years.  We were very excited when we got to the practice field last Wednesday afternoon.  Our girl was super excited about getting her uniform; she seems so eager to be a part of a team and learn about sportsgirlship.    

When we got to the field, we were a little confused.  We saw some younger girls practicing on one side.  We saw some older boys practicing on the other side.  I knew recognized her coach who was working on drills with the boys.  We were a few minutes early, so I figured he was wrapping up with the boys and would start with the girls shortly.

"C'mon!  Grab a ball and join us," he said to my daughter.  A little confused, she did.  We were expecting an all-girls team, but it turns out that there weren't enough fifth grade girls for a team.  So, they formed a co-ed team to play against all-boy teams.

Continue reading "Kids & Sports: Does Gender Matter?" »

Finding the a team to join - soccer, basketball, volleyball?

March 22, 2010

Back when I was in high school, I played varsity sports - tennis, soccer, and basketball. I was occuppied every night of the week with practice or games.  I'd come home at 7pm, hungry and tired, without having done a bit of homework yet.  Those were long days, but I would never give up the experiences I gained from playing on team sports.  I learned life-long lessons in sportswomanship, determination, time management, and - perhaps most importantly - bonding and close friendships with my fellow teammates.

I went to a private school, where we had a team/league for every sport.  My brothers, who went to a public school, had our local sports leagues to fill their sports needs - mostly soccer and baseball.

My eldest is now 9, in fourth grade, and she really wants to learn a sport and find a team.  She has one extracurricular activity that we have committed to, but not a sport.  Are there sports leagues in town that you just find out about?  Do the public schools all have sports teams?  How else can we help her harness her interest and eagerness to learn about basketball and soccer - not only to learn the sport but also for friendly competition?