Many of you know that Sassy also plays Volleyball for the 9th grade high school team. They either have a match or practice every week night with an occasional Saturday tournament.
Action is currently playing football. His team has one practice and plays two games per week.
I have many friends whose kids are not as involved in sports as ours and question how we can handle the balancing act that it takes to get the kids to and from all of their practices and games, and/or why we would even want to. Many have said, "We only let our kids play one sport."
I will say, I spend a lot of time in the car driving to different schools and fields. Dinner is sometimes made and wrapped up to eat in the car. For example, Sassy one night ate a taco I had wrapped up in foil for her in the car while driving from volleyball practice to softball practice other nights it's sandwiches and fruit.
Both of them attend "faith formation" at church once a week (on separate evenings), play their sports and get good grades at school. It is a good balancing act we have worked out. And we do this because they love to play. And honestly, I LOVE to watch. See, Sassy gets bused to each of her volleyball matches and could also get bused back home, but I go to every one. I love to watch her intensity, her energy and her love for the game.
With softball, hubby is the coach. I wouldn't have to go, he is there. He has to be there at every practice and game. But I LOVE to watch her play. I don't want to miss seeing her passion, drive and the determination she has and shows at each and every game. When she first decided she wanted to be a pitcher, she struggled. She struggled with timing, with accuracy and with speed. But she powered through. She would ask her Dad to come play catch almost every day. And all of that time spent throwing down the front sidewalk has payed off.
This will be his third year playing football. This year he has really come to better comprehend the game. His understanding of the plays and the importance of each and every player out on the field is growing with every practice and game. He keeps a running tally of the number of tackles he makes each game. When the game is over he can not wait to come off the field and talk to me about it. Win or loss, I love seeing the excitement in his eyes when he knows he did his job on the field to help his team. I LOVE to watch him play!
So you see, I think it's important for our kids (and all kids really) to play a sport or be involved in some sort of organized activity. It teaches them so much!
It teaches them to:
Make new friends and work together (even with people you may not care for)
Make mistakes and learn from them
Balance church, family, school and friends
Be disappointed and to move on
Rely on others
Over the course of the last year, I have worked on myself to watch what I say to the kids regarding the game or activity they just participated in. I am trying to not be the parent who gets in the car and points out that if they wouldn't have hesitated they could have gotten the out, or if the block would have been held longer a touchdown could have ensued...... If the kids bring up the bummers and errors of the game, we talk about it. But I want them to know that regardless of the outcome and the score on the scoreboard, I am proud of them and I LOVE to watch them play.
Although Smiley doesn't always agree with me
(Truth be told, she actually likes going to her sibling's games and has made lots of friends. She was actually mad in this picture because she really wanted her Sister's 2nd place softball medal!)
And, a side note: If our kids ever said they didn't want to play anymore, that would be their decision. I will not force them to play (I admit, I am bummed Sassy doesn't want to play basketball this winter, but she has chosen not to). But, while they do play I will go and support them because like I've said many times before, I LOVE to watch them play.