I did not play basketball when I was young. My parents had discernment and saw that I was not cut out to play sports of any kind due to an inability to master my quick-growing limbs. I also showed an early lack of interest in playing sports. Now, I tend to ignore the sports world as much as I can in every respect.
My husband played basketball among several other sports when he was younger. He is a sports fanatic. He watches sports on TV and in person every chance he gets. He listens to sports talk and games on the radio. If suddenly there were no sports in the world, he would die from anguish.
(No, this doesn’t cause any kind of friction in our relationship; why do you ask?)
Despite my ambivalence towards anything sporty, I realize that if you do not “do” sports or “know” sports or engage in the sports world at all, it can be difficult to relate to most people in many ways. Because of my struggle with being sports deficient and my husband’s passion for sports, we encourage our kids to play. We both hope that they inherited some of my husband’s sporty genes. We hope that they will find a sport that they love and that this will help them grow into well-rounded adults.
This hope is always a possibility when the kids start a new sports season, and I hold my breath each time that somehow, a love for sports will emerge.
The other night my daughter’s basketball team had a practice. It was a lot of fun to watch. The girls wore shirts with messages like “Pool Rules: #1 – Only cute suits allowed” and “Smiles are my best friends.” They wore leggings and pink shorts. The coach instructed the girls on the rules of the game, helped them practice their basketball skills, and showed them a new move. They paid attention and followed his instructions, and in between taking turns, they skipped and turned cartwheels and giggled and twirled.
I watched the girls who inherited sporty genes sink basket after basket, dribble skillfully, bob and weave around the others. These girls enjoy playing the game of basketball more than skipping and giggling and twirling.
I watched my daughter run with the ball instead of dribble, throw it toward the hoop but not often through it, and pass the ball to no one in particular. I also watched her share some dance moves, lose her balance, and thump face down onto the gym floor. She jumped up and screamed with laughter, arms flailing and legs flapping. I smiled and laughed at her silliness.
And then I sighed. She is my daughter, after all, and there’s always next season.