Sunday, January 9, 2011

You Can Be Part of a Team in More Than One Way

     I try to involve Kyle in as many activities as the schedule allows for many reasons.  He is a kid and will only have these opportunities for a very short time, I want him to have fun and learn skills, but most of all I have him take part in different things for social growth.
     Kyle has fun at sports, he plays baseball, soccer, basketball and is involved in gymnastics.  He tried flag football two seasons but that really didn't work out.  He isn't the top athlete, but he does awesome in my eyes.  Seeing the growth he has made in the four years he has been playing sports amazes me.  The first couple of years he would physically be at practice, but would be off doing cartwheels half a field away from his team.  More interested in the grass and the adults than the sport or his friends.  A short attention span at this age is quite normal, but Kyle always likes to take things a little farther.  Now, he can sit with his team, follow directions and stay on task 1000 times better than he could back then.  This to me is much he has grown in such a short time.  There is still room for growth, though.  When the team sits together, he will now sit quiet and still with the team, but is usually facing the other way and not looking at the coach.  He is listening...he can answer a question you ask or repeat what you say.  He is gently being reminded about eye contact.
     He is doing well, and they just had their first two games this season.  The coach was very good and picked up on something that will be very useful in future years.  She also knows that the main reason that he is in basketball is for social growth and not because I wisk for him to be in the NBA!  LOL!  She noticed that he likes the paper they use in games to keep track of who scores and such.  He seemed to have a strong interest.  She said to me that when he is older he might prefer to be a team manager.  This thought had never crossed my mind...what a great idea!!! 
     That night I talked with Kyle about the game and about how interested he was in the tracking sheet that one of the other parents was filling out.  His eyes beamed...he went on and on about how cool that was and how he wanted to do that.  Awesome!!
     Since he is so young, and sports are still working out for him for the most part, I don't want him to not practice and play...I still want him to be a regular part of the team, but I also want to let him learn something that he will enjoy and will become useful in the future.  Now to find a balance and compromise.
     I talked with the coach after practice yesterday and I thanked her for her great suggestion and we worked on incorporating that into the mix now.  Since it is something he likes to do, we can use it as an award for good behavior.  I explained to her that for now I would still like him to practice and play at least the first half of the game, and if he does well and cooperates he can keep track of the sheet for the second half, along with the other parent who will be keeping the "official" sheet.
     My goal in this is to force him to be out there socially and learn how to be part of a team, which is a skill he will need in his life, but to also grow another part that he really likes and is potentially a great fit for him!  I am very thankful that the coach noticed this, brought it to my attention and is helping him learn this.  I think this is going to be a great thing for Kyle in the future when sports become harder and more competitive.

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