Athletic supporters

On Saturday I had the dubious pleasure of attending a little girl softball game.  The teams were made up of kids from between 8 and 12.  Now, I am not what you call a big fan of baseball/softball/football/basketball. No, not a big fan at all. As I was growing up, this dislike of many of the big US sports earned me the reputation for disliking all kinds of sports. I do not, in fact, dislike sports, altho I have little use for most team sports. Yoga, martial arts, swimming, track and field, golf, tennis, archery, hiking, skateboarding: these things all interest me, not that I can do them all (uh, particularly not the skateboarding part, apparently). 

(Parenthetically: when I was going to physical therapy for my ankle, the therapists who treated me had a focus on swimming/swimmers. They said that the extreme physical training of high school swimmers these days is sending lots of kids to PT for damaged shoulders, etc. People, it’s HIGH SCHOOL. Kids should not be getting injured from overly rigorous training regimes. I don’t want my 10th grader in therapy because his/her coach makes her swim a zillion miles a week!)

I am not a competitive person and I especially dislike having the pressure of having a bunch of other people dependent on my athletic performance (of which there is little). I prefer individual sports, as I suppose can be seen in the list above.  I was never on any sports team in school; like my brother said, we were on the marching band team, which was as good of a way of learning coordination, discipline and, yes, teamwork as being on the football team.

My idea of sports is that they are a means to the end of getting exercise. Strangely enough, despite the uber-frenzied sports obsession of US culture in general, we somehow seem to also be a culture of very little personal sports involvement, preferring the role of spectator.  Perhaps this is what happens when sports are the end in and of themselves.

I have a very great hope that my future child will not have a very great interest in team sports, altho soccer would be OK.  I think that the parental attitude toward little league teams is just repulsive.  They seem to get so involved in the game, so intent on having their child’s team win, and they seem to expect an adult level of coordination and mental/physical reflex from 8, 10, or 12 year olds (or, even older as well).  Why can’t these children play a game for fun? Someone has to win and someone has to lose so just have a good time and get some exercise and live a balanced life.  I know what the little girl probably felt like who caught the ball and then couldn’t decide what to do with it!  But that’s ok because she was 8.

Hopefully my child will become involved in martial arts or skateboarding. Most likely, with our luck, s/he will have a mad passion for baseball.  Yawn.

Let’s….play ball!


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