Why we do sports

Today, my third daughter had her first softball practice with her fall team. Yesterday, the other two did (don’t get me started on the third one is always last). But for now, it’s about sports and why my family seems to invest tons of money in it. My daughters will not play softball at college or national level… I don’t expect it. But here’s a taste of what went down at supper after everyone played today.

1. Bug had volleyball practice. One of her softball teammates is also in volleyball and today while entering volleyball, Bug the new softball teammate, called out to her, and asked to her walk together. Yesterday, Bug and her friends included a child of a younger age they knew to join them in the drills.

2. Jiggs – ahh Jiggs. Beamed, start to finish at getting to play. Had so much fun, came out laughing, and had so much fun. She loves getting to play. She engaged with her teammates and just generally had a blast. “Mom, I did good. I tried hard”. “I hustled, Mom”.  Tomorrow, she starts her sport; swimming. She cannot wait for that because “its in my blood, Mom”. Sports reset her heart. There’s no other term for it.

3. Peanut. God bless this quiet kid who just wants to play softball. Yesterday’s practice was fun. But today, she glowed. Not just sweat, but genuine glee. “Mom. This kid who’s better than me, talked to me and we had fun.” “Mom, I hit and won the game of lightning”. “Mom, left field was so hot, but xyz was fun”. “Mom, so and so is super nice and I had fun.” “Mom, I noticed so and so was down today, but I just couldn’t get her alone to see if she needed anything. I’ll try again later”. Sports give her a chance to talk with kids who intimidate her in other ways. Teammates are cared for and watched in case they just need a little more. Sports give her a chance to speak without an agenda or even opening her mouth sometimes.

Look ya’ll. Sports aren’t paying for college for these kids. (Well, Jiggs thinks she’ll get a swimming scholarship but we’re a decade away so for now, not likely!)

But, my introvert, my extroverts, my defiant kid, my people pleaser, my black and white rules kid, my fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kid, my easygoing, my hard-on-herself kid ALL benefit from sports. The skills they learn playing sports, being part of a team, etc, all provide value into being good humans.

These kids and 98% of teammates are the best of what we need as a society. They play together as a team even though every year is a new group of teammates. They cheer each other on because they learn that they will win and lose as a team. They engage one another as equals because they are all in it together.

My kids play sports because it provides a chance to learn and grow and get along.

I spend my time, money, and energy on their sports because it improves them as humans.

Quickly written blog. Spelling and grammar errors, but the intent is what matters.


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