Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sports Confusion

Naomi came home from school a couple of days ago talking non-stop about soccer. How she wanted to play and did I know how to play and what happens if you use your hands and did I know there were special shoes and I want to be on Lizzie's team. So we talked about soccer all day. The rules, the uniforms (of special interest to Naomi), the ball, etc. Then that night I saw Lizzie's Mom at a church event and I asked her what team Lizzie was on because clearly Naomi is dying to play.

Lizzie's Mom looked at me in confusion. Because apparently Lizzie hates soccer. She refuses to play it, ever, even just in the backyard. Lizzie plays softball.

So the next day I talked to Naomi and brought up her sudden urge to play soccer. It had not diminished. Then I tactfully told her that Lizzie didn't play soccer, she plays softball. And Naomi, in true Naomi fashion, said, "Oh, yeah. I got confused. Softball - that's what she plays. I want to play that."

Total silence from me.

I couldn't believe I had just spent 24 hours discussing soccer when she meant a totally different sport. But it's true. She wants to play softball. Really, she just wants to play whatever Lizzie is playing- which, I repeat, is softball, not soccer.

So we spent all of last night and today talking about softball. Which is tricky since I never played softball or baseball or anything like it. I know the basics, but some of the terminology and specifics are a little fuzzy. Softball is, in my opinion, a little more tricky to understand than soccer. You really have to learn two different games - the one where you're hitting and running and the one where you're catching and throwing (offense and defense?).

I'm going to wait another day or two before I actually sign her up. Because clearly her sudden desire to play sports has very little to do with sports. But is that so wrong? I just worry that she'll be the girl standing in the outfield who gets hit square on the top of the head by the ball as she stares out into the woods totally spacing. But again, is that so wrong?

The problem is that I really don't have much experience to pass on to her. I was definitely the girl who would have been spacing out in the outfield - had I played softball.


Farmer Joe said...

Praps for the sole reason that you yourself will not be teaching her the ways of softball is reason alone for putting the girl in the game. Let her make her own decision about it, eh?

What is the worst that could happen? (oh yeah, besides getting hit in the head by a flyball...)

Nancy Sabina said...

As far as the worst that could happen? The registration fee is $115 - so the WCS is wasting all that money. I don't want to put her in it if she's not really going to enjoy it. But you're right, Joe, if she wants to do it, she should. But only if she really actually DOES want to do it. Ya know?

Farmer Joe said...

By all means consider your budget. I'm just saying, if she wants to do it, and you can make it happen, this is one of those things that are good for kids to try on their own. I guess my point is, just because you can't see it working, don't crush the kids dreams - this is a perfect opportunity to encourage her to go forth (out of your comfort zone) to experience something rugged and dirty. Who knows, it could be good for her?

angela michelle said...

What you need to know, Joe, is that nothing in Naomi's life heretofore indicates that softball is at all Naomi's dream. She's a girl who will be upset about grass stains on her new cleats. :)

But I agree that if she decides she wants to do it, it could be a great way to expand her comfort zone. We've had pretty fun times with kids' sports. It's fun to truck everybody out to the field and chill in a lawn chair while little children run around in cute uniforms.

Farmer Joe said...

Ang - I guess that is my point exactly. She has, heretofore, been dirt averse. Of her own free-will, she is now "asking for it." I say, use that momentum to move her forward. This may be the last/only opportunity you have to do it and it will most certainly result in a more well-rounded Naomi - even if she ends up hating it. At least this way she has a shot at making her own decision and her enamor with this friend of hers might be just the thing to break the fear of dirt. There's nothing wrong with being dainty, but there is value in balance. Suppose she ends up hating it, it only cost $115 for some cute photo ops. Suppose she ends up loving it? You've given the child a gift for life.
For the record, after a single season of T-ball, both our older kids and my wife and I were very tired of it.

Wendy said...

maybe go out as a family for a fhe activity first and have her experience the sport part (not social) for free.. if she still wants to do it with her friends after that then at least you know that she has an idea of what it entails... (even if it is still cold outside, still go and do it)
I agree with joe though that kids interest can sometimes be very different from their parents and if they just have the opportunity they might really come to enjoy "their" thing

Nancy Sabina said...

Wendy, I think you're exactly right on. We will be trying to attend a game this weekend. I think that will give Naomi a clear picture of what she's getting into. Then I will ask her to make a choice between softball and something else, like gymnastics, which she has also previously had an interest in. And if, after that, she still wants to play, we'll give it a shot.

(But for the record, I just found out that I also have to pay a $75 fee because I refuse to volunteer at every single game - so this whim of Naomi's is gonna be a seriously expensive one!)

Elieson Family said...

Explore the sport. Without going into debt. My kids go in and out of their sport interests too. Mostly, we go in and out of being able to afford it, so it works.

Kelly Jo said...

don't they usually start with T-ball when it comes to softball? That's usually a good learning processing, or so I've heard. Avery is starting with T-ball this year.