His Team Spirit Has Been Exorcised

I have to start out by saying we are all about team sports here at Casa Glinda.  I played team sports for many, many years including softball, basketball and volleyball.  Later in my career I focused on volleyball, and loved it so much I wound up eventually coaching at the college level.  My husband also participated in multiple team sports, including football and wrestling.  We practically lived and breathed tenets such as “a team is only as good as its weakest player” and “it’s all about teamwork.”  We go around the house high-fiving each other every time one of us makes an impressive display of parenting skills.  OK, I’m joking on that one.  Sort of.

Which is why I don’t understand why the “go team” DNA apparently did not get passed down to the Munchkin.

Like the good suburban parents we are, we enrolled him in team sports from the time he was in preschool.  Bitty soccer. Tee ball.  Basketball.

He hated them all, especially practices.  It’s not due to a lack of coordination or ability, he just didn’t understand what the big deal was.

He did not see the point at all in running laps.  Why did he have to run in some arbitrary circle just because someone told him to?

Why should he have to sit in the outfield when someone else got to have all the fun at first base?

This is the same child who screeched at his fellow soccer teammate that he had “messed up”and allowed the other team to score and brought the boy to tears.

I’m still apologizing for that one.

Fitting the definition of insanity, I kept trying to push him into team sports, thinking it would be good for him. 

One has to learn how to be a team player eventually, right? Right? 

Hmmm, I’m wondering if Bill Gates or Steve Jobs ever played team sports.  

What it boiled down to was that he was not  happy and thus we were not  happy since badgering my child to attend practice over his vocal protests is not the manner in which I wish to spend my afternoons.

But I do think that exposure to sports is important, if just from an exercise and discipline point of view.

So, tennis, anyone?

4 Responses to “His Team Spirit Has Been Exorcised”

  1. class factotum January 20, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    Maybe not team sports, then, but cross country or swimming. Or tennis. I was a horrible athlete as a kid and hated being the worst person on the team, but when I got into high school, I joined the swim team because all you had to do to be on the team was show up to practice. I never got better than mediocre, but I did improve, mostly because I wanted to and put in the extra hours practicing.

    My husband has all this amazing natural athletic ability that he has just discovered in his 40s as we have taken tennis lessons together. He was a lonely kid – he skipped several grades so was with his intellectual peers but not his emotional ones at school.

    His parents are snobs who didn’t think much of organized sports and who didn’t want him associating with the sons of the mineworkers where they lived, even though his mom and dad are all “Union Si!” but sheesh, you don’t want to actually TALK to THOSE PEOPLE, but I think if he had played little league or basketball where he could have been with kids his own age in an environment where it wasn’t about school, he would have thrived and made friends.

    Course, maybe your kid should just be in the basement inventing the next Big Thing that will make all of you rich and let you retire early. Rugged, smart individualists have a tough time of it but can do great things. This one, I will be watching.

  2. Seana January 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    I think team sports are great, but I think they start waaaaaaaaay to early these days. I was 8 before I started anything and I started at the lowest rank. Nowadays, if you start at 8 you are a good 3-4 years behind everyone else and will never catch up. I find that disturbing. Kids do need to learn how to be on a team, but developmentally they are not ready to be team players until they are 7 or 8 years old (at least).

  3. Glinda January 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    I think I actually started even later, possibly 5th grade. Maaaaybe 4th. No sooner than that, though.

    But yes, part of the problem is that all these other people have been playing for years and years, so if you start late you’ve got a tough learning curve.

  4. AuroraB January 24, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    I didn’t fare well in team sports, but was a good swimmer. I joined a competitive swim team when I was alittle bit older, and then you had the teamwork aspect, but it was your own skill and speed that got you a win.