My son has little natural athletic ability. Watching him play basketball in a 2nd grade league is slightly painful. And it brings back memories of my own youthful ineptness. I couldn’t dribble, throw, hit, run, or do much of anything else as a kid, making me the last one picked for every team with good reason at recess and gym class. I want something different for my son, for him to be as confident in his physical abilities as he is in his reading and math skills.
But try as we might, he’s still having a hard time with coordination of arms and legs. After two seasons of soccer, one of gymnastics, and one of basketball, I’m still waiting for him to show some signs of comfort in his athleticism. I told him that it’s important to have the basic skills: throwing, catching, aiming, bouncing, running, jumping. Once you get those down everything else should develop more easily.
He’s starting to recognize that there are some things the other kids do better. His first response is to want to quit, but I tell him that’s not an option. I won’t give up on him and I won’t let him give up on himself. It’s actually one of the hardest things I have to do as a dad, to be positive and supportive in the face of a real uphill climb.
I was a late bloomer… I learned most of my athletic skills as a grown-up. My son obviously inherited something from me that he now has to overcome. I’m not going to let him bloom as late as I did.