Thursday, October 26, 2006


Team sports..

I'm not quite sure how it happened. One minute it was me reminding Marc that Caitlin was interested in getting a Touch team to play in - and he got her a team. Next thing my whole Wednesday afternoon has gone up in smoke.

I took Cait up to the first trial game last Wednesday, and saw the Kids Touch happening, and a few of the girls that Zoe knows from school and netball. "Where's Zoe?" I rang Zoe. "Do you want to give Touch a go?".... "Yeah, ok". So I signed her up. ( I love the attitude she has finally developed.. she now has the confidence to get in and have a go at all sports, and now considers herself to be 'one of the sporty ones' at school. And she wasn't a natural at it.. not like the other two.)

So, while I'm here, does Alison want to have a go in Juniors? Ah, yeah.. maybe... ok. 'I don't know how to play". "You'll learn.. if nothing else, Dad can give you tips." Turned up yesterday, Alison gets a team as well. So I now have the whole family, bar me, playing Touch. I'm the black sheep of the family when it comes to these team sports.. my role seems to be serving as recreation coordinator (and taxi driver)! If nothing else then I guess I am putting my Recreation programming studies from college into practice. With my kids.

I never really played team sports... still remember being mortified at primary school sport netball when noone would throw me the ball... and my loathing for netball festered from then on. (How ironic that I am now Secretary of the local netball association.)

The only sport my parents introduced me to out of school was tennis, and that was what I played all through my childhood and teenage years. They still have this idea that tennis is a team sport.. and yeah, sure you join a team, and play doubles.. but it's not really the same as a REAL team sport.

They signed me up to join their golf club when I was in about Year 11... As golfers they always had this idea that golf was a great leveller - you could "play" with anyone of any standard because of the handicap system. All I remember about golf was being sent out to play a round with the junior club champions, and being unbelievably embarrassed and humiliated as they watched me air swing several times, and hack my way up the fairways that they got up in a couple of shots. I don't think I ever went back again after that excruciating experience. And golf would be one of the least likely sports I am ever likely to play again in my life.

At college I had a go at softball, and soccer... (mainly because I was doing Rec units on Team Sports).. but by that age, I never really had the experience behind me to feel confident at playing any team games. I even did a 'research' project for one of my other Rec units on how people's experiences with team sports as a kid can either break or make their participation in team sports forever. I found others like me who'd had bad experiences, and it put them off the sport for life. I maintained that team sports can give amazingly positive experiences.. but also incredibly negative ones too for those who aren't nurtured with their childhood experiences.

Needless to say the Soccer mad Scottish lecturer didn't really place much credence in my hypothesis!! Because he lived and breathed football.

I am mindful of it all though, so I guess I am aiming to give my kids a range of positive team sports experiences. (The older two did have tennis lessons but lost interest. I feel that I should give Zoe a chance of playing tennis, but the weekly programme is getting insane.)

As for me.. Marc got me playing volleyball when we were first married (and I felt a certain security in being on the opposite side of the net to my opponents, but I was never that good at it.) More recently I had a go at women's 6 a-side soccer, but hated it because I didn't have a clue what I was doing (nor did the team.) If we'd been coached it might have made a difference.

So, I'm really happy for my kids to be trying all these team sports. And contrary to my parents' opinion, team sports do make for great socialisers in your adulthood. Marc has been able to join a Touch team wherever we have lived. I see the women netballers at our local association having a great time each Saturday afternoon.

So Touch it is for this season. And another afternoon with 2 hours for me spent on the sideline! Caitlin will be playing mixed netball as of next Tuesday in a social twilight comp. She's helped rope in a couple of guys from school..

Cross country is over for the summer... but all us girls will be swimming. Caitlin is going to swim in my adult squad on Friday arvos.

And of course we have our bike riding.

Think we are doing ok in the positive experience/healthy physical activity stakes. It helps that there are great things happening for kids in local sports associations.

Probably the only real achievement would be for me to do a complete turnaround and learn to play a team sport. (I am already working on an idea for a beginners netball clinic for grown ups! - I wonder if I can sell it to my committee?!!)

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