Someday I hope to write something more substantial and theological about kids participation in sports. Today I will share a couple of my memories from my own sports experience.
I only played basketball for one year. It was third grade. I liked it but I wasn't very good at it. I think I joined in a little too late and never made great strides catching up to the skill development of the other kids. Plus, the basketball season conflicted with the hockey season and hockey was the far greater love in my life. I only remember making one basket during the entire season, and that basket didn't even count because I jumped up and landed back on the ground before I released the ball.
I tried playing football twice. The first time was in fourth grade. I liked football. Maple Grove has a great tackle program for kids and I had lots of friends on my team. I can think of running the gauntlet at practice by the old Maple Grove City Hall, and I loved trying to smash guys down to the ground with big tackles. Most of our games were on the football field at Rice Lake Elementary and they were lots of fun, except for the fact that our team was terrible! I don't know if we scored more than a couple touchdowns all year. The second time I played football wasn't as fun. It was in seventh grade, my first year at Osseo Junior High School. Once again I was way behind in skill development so I didn't have a position that I could start and be productive in, and I didn't enjoy practicing and playing for the coach. This was the only sport I quit during the actual season.
Besides hockey the sport I loved the most was baseball. My dad coached a few of my baseball teams and I loved playing for him. I was a catcher for almost every team I was on; I wanted to be a catcher because my dad was a catcher. He taught me so many things about hitting and fielding. He even built a small baseball field on our hobby farm, complete with a backstop and home run fence. I have many great memories of playing games, getting after game ice creams at Dairy Queen, and proudly wearing my dirty uniform as I rode with my dad to any one of the random errands he would run after games or practices.
This is just a sampling of the many experiences I had with sports participation as a youth. I'd love to hear about some of your as well.