Sports Lessons

Sports have never been my thing.  As a kid, I was never interested in playing.  To play a sport would require me to set aside my book, pencils, and notebooks in order to participate.  Not to mention the whole getting off my hind end and actually moving aspect of it all.

As a certified lazy person, I am highly allergic to intense movement of any sort.

Even watching sports has never been a favorite thing of mine.  Well, except for the Olympics.  But those don’t count as sport.  Those are more art.  At least they are to this observer.

Anyway, my athletic aversion ended when God chose to bless me with son’s.  My third son in particular has put an end to this.  Oh, even he has not succeeded in getting me to actually participate in a sport.

But his enthusiasm for pretty much any activity that involves chasing a ball has caused me to spend many Saturday mornings watching different athletic contests.

Even worse, it’s caused me to begin learning rules for different games.

That is not all I have learned this year from watching my boy play ball this year. I’ve also learned that I do not enjoy watching sports with my husband.

I suppose this is not a new revelation. I have watched college and professional sports with him since our dating days. The man takes his sports seriously. (Except the Olympics, which he also does not view as sport; to him, they are an every-four-year annoyance.) I thought, though, that it would be different watching our children play. I have no athletic ability and while my husband has been known to at least attempt to play, he is not exactly Michael Jordan either. To me, it seems only logical to expect our boys to follow in footsteps. We should be sitting on the sidelines, cheering them on for attempting to play (which is far more than their mother has ever done) and for giving their best effort.

What I did not expect was that one of the boys would actually show some athletic talent.

That middle son of mine…. Wow! He not only enjoys sports, he is good at them! My heart swells with pride when he is on the football field and another parent says, “Did you see what number 5 just did? That kid’s got moves!” And it brings tears of joy to my eyes when I am on the sidelines of a soccer game and I hear, “Way to go, Robin!” I may not always understand what he did, but someone else does. And it feels good that he is being recognized for it.

But then to hear his dad during a game grumble about what he is doing wrong…. That about breaks my heart.

I am not one who thinks that kids should get a trophy for showing up at a game. If the child wants an award, he or she needs to work hard and earn it. And if the child does something wrong during a game, by all means he or she should be told after the game , “Hey, if that situation comes up again, you should….” But I don’t see how comments such as “What are you doing?” Or “Can’t you move faster?” Or “What in the world are you thinking out there?” Should be shouted at the child during the game.

Or maybe it’s just because this is MY child and I am still amazed that something that carries my blood is coordinated enough to participate in an organized sport. But anytime my husband and I sit together at a game, I leave feeling bad for my boy.

He is out there, trying his best, putting his whole heart into the game. Can’t the correction wait until we are home?