Monday, December 04, 2006

That first practice

There were suppose to be 13 kids on the team this Saturday. Four girls, eight boys and one name I couldn't figure out. Leaving that message was strategic. "Hi, this is Coach. I'm looking forward to having 'Pat' on the team. So, 'Pat', come on to the school gym at 11 am this Friday." Turns out he is a boy.

For basketball there had been a kindergarten boys division and a 1st/2nd grade division. For girls they were all combined into one division - meaning little kindergarteners who had never dribbled a ball were trying to keep up with players who were entering their third year of playing.

Our town has finally smartened up that kindergarten boys and girls can play sports together. I could never figure out why they were separated for soccer and basketball but play together in baseball. Not that there are any girls playing baseball past 2nd grade.

Earlier in the week a girl who thought she would be on her mom's team asked for permission to be a kindergartener on a 1st/2nd grade team. I couldn't argue with that. Who doesn't want to be with their mom? Now we've got three girls.

Friday before I got two phone calls from a different mother. She kept telling me her daughter was shy and scared to play with boys. But then her language would change and it sounded like she- the mom herself - was afraid to have her daughter play with the boys.

My first thought was well why did you sign her up if you knew she would be uncomfortable?

My next thought was how dare you let her be a wimp. Get her out there. Break the Princess-spell and let her mix it up with the boys.

What did I really say? "Oh gee. Whatever she's comfortable with."

Of course, she didn't show up.

So two girls are on a team with seven guys (two didn't show up). They both were scrappy chicks who ran, jumped, and threw the ball with gusto. One was doing a good job putting the ball in the basket after 38 minutes of practice. Afterwards they both said they looked forward to next week. Their moms said it too.

It's going to be a great season.

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