I’m sure this is going to come as a shock to some of you, and I hope it’s not too devastating, but… I don’t think either of my kids are going to end up at the Olympics. Or getting sports scholarships to college. Weird, right? I mean, I myself am so very athletic… in my mind….
For years I assumed my sports aversion was a (non-genetic!) quirk of mine and tried to help them find their sports. Acceptance came when I made my peace with the fact that I absolutely do want them to have team experiences, and I want them to get exercise, but those two things don’t necessarily have to go together to work.
So that’s what today’s post at Alpha Mom is all about—because I believe you can have well-rounded, well-adjusted teens who don’t play sports. At least, I hope you can (for obvious reasons).
I’ve been wanting to get my son into sports. Not sure how he’ll do, but as long as they have fun. It’s a great way to build friendships and learn social skills! :)
I was always the last in every race held in gym class. Every.Single.Time. Couldn’t do a chin-up on the Presidential Fitness test to save my life. In college, I went for weight lifting with all the football players after a humiliating experience with the volleyball coach, timed situps, and calipers. My most athletic feat: pulling my wagon to and from the public library so I could get my weekly haul of 30 books.
Put my son in soccer for the “team experience.” He was not-quite 5. He stood and *bawled* every single time the other team got possession of the ball. When they scored a goal? Hysterics.
No Olympics for us.
I never did team sports growing up, but as an adult I absolutely love running as a solo activity. :-) My marching band inclined friends always had killer runners’ calves, which I was jealous of as a teen, and now that I have them, love them, but they make skinny jeans hard to find in anything other than “legging” around that part of my leg..
Finding out that I’m on that spectrum (at age twentysomething) finally explained a LOT of my childhood sports aversion. Bike riding and roller skating (NOT rollerblades!) were my exceptions. Still are!
Of course it isn’t a team sport as in cooperation, but what about tai chi (the old peoples exercise)? It is groups of people, and many generations, at that.
Team sports can be amazing, for the right kid (i.e., my 16-year-old daughter, whose experience in AYSO has been unrelentingly awesome). Solitary sports can be amazing, for the right kid (i.e., my 12-year-old ASD son, whose experience with golf has been unrelentingly awesome). No sports can be exactly what is needed, for the right kid (i.e., me, who found team sports beyond stressful, and never enjoyed solitary sports, so found other ways to be a team player, in other arenas, as it were). Just depends on the kid and that kid’s needs!
And, nothing like team sports to introduce your kid to the politics of “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” at an early age. Doesn’t seem to matter the size of the town or the sport around here. ;)
You know what they say… Be nice to the nerds, they’ll be signing your paycheques.
Wait… why am I signing no-one’s paycheque?