In a time when technology and STEM learning are shoved down our throats, I love the fact that my son loves playing sports. When I was growing up, sports were the big thing. All my friends wanted to be pro athletes. I went to most of my school's games (whether baseball, basketball or football). I supported my fellow classmates. Sure only one person I know became a professional athlete but who cares. I have great memories of hanging out at the park, sitting on the bleachers, wearing team clothing and cheering until it hurt! Learning and watching different sports also led to an amazing bond with my brother and father. We would watch games together. Saturday mornings was Sportscenter. To this day, we have in-depth conversations about teams, positions, players and contracts. I always hoped I would have a child that wanted to play sports. Luckily, Adrian loves any sport that involves a ball: basketball, football, soccer, baseball. I wouldn't have forced him to play if he didn't want to, but come on, his first word was ball.
Adrian is in Elementary school so he still is not able to join any teams through school, that starts in middle school. Right now, he joins recreational/developmental teams that I sign him up for. His favorite subject in school is, you guessed it, P.E. He is so bummed he only goes three times a week. The other two days, he has art and music. These days are tough for him, as tough as the kids that dislike P.E. and have to go three times a week. I understand him and I try to explain to him that he needs to learn a little of everything. His school is a magnet school. This means they have specialized programming for children who get into the art/music/drama/dance magnet programs. The kids who don't get in have regular public school programming. Children are able to audition for these programs in the second grade. I remember him coming home one day and asking me "Mommy, why isn't there a P.E. magnet? I would be good at that." He feels left out because he doesn't draw well and he doesn't play an instrument. He can dance but would be the only boy in the dance program.
I think that children like Adrian are getting pushed aside. He is open to learning many things, but playing a sport is his true passion. I think with the scare of injuries and concussions, many parents are not as open to their children playing sports as they once were. I understand the worry but there is no way I would deny Adrian to play because I was scared of him getting hurt. I want him to be outside and play. Play has become so restricted to our children and it's such an important learning method. Playing a sport teaches kids to be humble, gain confidence, work in a group with others and listen. I think that if your child has a passion for sports, let them play. You never know what might come from it!!
I know many parents that are constantly worried about making the right choices when it comes to their kids. Should we enroll our child in music lessons, swim team, art class, coding camp? What is best for them? Honestly, just ask them. I have asked Adrian over and over and the answer is always a sport. Sports is our "right choice!"