Welcome to Saturday, April 2, day two of the A to Z challenge. The day belongs to the letter B and Basketball. Now, let me make this clear. I enjoy every sport as long as I can see it live. I’m not one to watch anything televised. I need the smell of the popcorn and the roar of the crowd to get enthused.
But, what I like best is watching is watching my own flesh and blood play. Years ago, I used to watch my children play all kinds of sports–hockey in a freezing arena on a Saturday morning, curling at a charity bonspiel, football in the rain, track and field or soiftball in the stifling sun, and of course, basketball, usually seated on those uncomfortable bleachers that make your back ache. I always appreciated the dedication of those individuals who chose to give up their spare time to teach children how to play the game. Without the coaches and referrees, the game can’t go on.
Now, several years later, I’m still watching my own flesh and blood. That’s right. Now the thrill comes from watching my grandchildren play. In a few weeks, it’ll be softball, but this weekend is the final season tournament for the Cornwall Lions, a basketball team for 10 to 12 years olds.
Every team needs fans and supporters. Nico, my ten-year-old grandson has plenty of both. His grandfather and mother are always there, and, when I’m not babysitting the siblings at home, I attend too. His brothers and sisters occasionally watch. Here Tonio hugs, Georgia, the team mascot while Eleni and I watch.
I am a firm believer in the value of extra-curricular activities for children, especially sports. Yes, it takes time to get them to practices and games, but being part of a team teaches invaluable lifeskills like honesty, integrity, team spirit, and sportsmanship. It’s important for children to know that, in life, you don’t always win, but it’s equaly important for them to know that you need to be a good winer and well as a good loser. In addition, sports provide physical activity and improve both motor and hand-eye coordination.
Is there anything more excitning for a parent or grandparent than watching a child learn the ins and out of a sport? Yes. Seeing them score! Highlight and click on the link.
No one joins a team for the first time and is an expert. Learning to understand and play a sport doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and hours of practice to hone the necessary skills and learn the finer points of the game. Basketball isn’t just about scoring. It’s about dribbling, passing, and playing defense. It’s about making those foul shots and occasionally taking a foul for the team. My admiration goes out to all those who support children’s athletics in any way. When the games, tournament and season are over, both parents and child can say, “I tried hard, did my best, and had fun,” because in the end fun is what it’s all about.
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