My girls are not big on sports. Not at all. I am certain it is not because every time a sporting event is on TV, or José starts talking about sports, my eyes roll back into my head and I go into a coma. I am sure they don't like sports because sports are boring and tedious. And I am sure this is their opinion all on their own, and I have no influence whatsoever.
I do, however, see the value of participating in sports as a child. You learn a skill, you learn to be a part of a team, you learn to be a gracious loser as well as a gracious winner (one hopes). And sports can be a place where friends are made and fun is had.
When the girls were very young, they played Little League Baseball. And they HATED it. The coaches they had weren't very good, and they had little patience with children who had little experience in the game. And at ages 4 and 7, there is not a whole lot of experience to be had. We made the girls finish the season, but the experience soured them on sports. Which is a huge bummer.
When Rhys came of age, we had learned our lesson. José is either a coach or an assistant coach on every team for which Rhys has played. Rhys loves his sports.
This summer, I got an email from my good friend Amy, asking me if Kellan would be interested in playing volleyball in a league at her school. Yeah, right, I thought. But I decided to ask her; some of her friends were planning on playing, maybe she might want to join them.
Imagine my surprise when she gave me a hesitant "Yes." The league offered an all day volleyball clinic for players new to the game, so I signed her up. I told her (and myself) that if she didn't like it, I wouldn't make her start the league.
Well, she walked out of that clinic pumped up. She was so happy and excited. "Volleyball is sooo much fun!" she gushed. Color me shocked. She has been playing now for about 6 weeks. She practices twice a week and plays three games every Saturday. And her enthusiasm has not dampened one bit. Whenever she has a spare minute, she is outside working on her serves and bumps. An interesting twist is that her coach is not all that great, but she is having so much fun that it doesn't matter.
Amy is now organizing a winter volleyball team (with a new, more experienced coach), and Kellan is so happy she will be able to keep playing. I have to say I am amazed. I have never, ever liked sports. But José claims this new love of volleyball is in her genes, his family played as a team for years. Regardless of where the passion comes from, I am simply thrilled that it is there.