Zak had his last basketball game yesterday. His sweet little team pulled out their first win, on their final game.
He stated at the beginning of the school year that he wanted to play basketball. He's played soccer, and baseball. And I want him to try things out and see what he likes, and what he's good at. We will most definitely not keep up 3 separate sports as he gets older. I'm a firm believer on not throwing kids in a million activities and preserving what little time we have at home together. But I also want to recognize their talents, and let them have the opportunity to refine them. So, basketball in the fall it was.
There's no other way to describe the season, other than brutal. Within the first 5 minutes of their first practice, I quickly realized, I might have made a mistake. Zak had just turned 8 in Oct, so I put him in the 8, 9, and 10 year old league. He was the shortest kid on the team, but seemed to pick up the drills ok. I talked to his coach after the practice and told him I thought maybe I needed to move him down to the 5, 6, and 7 year old league. He told me to do whatever I saw fit, but that he'd love to have him on the team. Well, I called the next day to see if we could change, and was told they couldn't "play down" a league. In other words, it wouldn't be fair for an 8 year old to play with 5, 6, and 7 year olds. Seeing her point, I sighed and said ok.
I catch a fair amount of flack from a few friends for putting my kids in the "recreational leagues". There is a local church that has a very well run program, and those are the leagues we play in. But the way I see it, if my kids going to be a superstar in a sport, it doesn't matter what league he plays in when he's 8. He's either got the talent or he/she doesn't.
So as the games started, I had forgotten something about myself. I'm really competitive. I found myself yelling directions to the kids (namely my son), cheering the loudest, and feeling my blood pressure rise. I so did not think I was that parent. And I plan on making sure, I'm not. But I still wanted our team to win. Now I played basket ball in the 4th grade. And I always fouled out. I wasn't afraid to be aggressive - to my determent. So to have a son, who is really out there, just to play and have fun, is a little hard to swallow. Zak hangs back, and doesn't go for the ball, like I think he should. He trots up and down the court paying more attention to the fact of whether or not we're videoing him correctly.
But they won their last game, and he was over the moon. I love my overly excited, short son. He may not be a superstar athlete (altho I'd so love for him to be). But man, I love that kid.
Good job Zak!!!