Making (tiny) Moves

This kid is making moves. He is fast… really, really fast. Listen I know fast… I ran track. I was a sprinter. And on top of that… I move a million miles a minutes everyday, there’s no slow motion for me ever. This kid though… he’s Usain Bolt.

He’s huge… he’s fast… he’s smart… hes relentless… he’s the next Bo Jackson… he’s going to be a multi-sport star… He’s going to be dominating kids twice his age, I’m surprised he isn’t already a three way star on the high school varsity teams here in town.

Be prepared ESPN the next sports prodigy is coming for you.

Basketball Bloopers

What I just witnessed was a disaster. It was literally such a hot mess that it was funny. It was one of those situations where you can’t even get upset. You just have to laugh.  

Toddler Mini Hoops: just the name elicits feelings of joy and happiness… should be a morning full of smiles and laughs while daddy and son sit criss- cross -applesauce and roll the ball back and forth to each other. Maybe a few practice passes and the opportunity to shoot a granny shot or two.

I know my career path has allowed me to study and research developmental milestones of child development and age appropriate activities for children, however I’d like to think that for the most part it’s pretty much common sense when it comes to most things you would ask a toddler to do.

I’m not even talking about age appropriate skills related to a particular sport. I’m talking about simple aspects of everyday life. Like the amount of time you might ask a three year old to attend to a task and more specifically related to today’s incident… how long you ask a child to sit and listen to an aging middle school JV basketball coach while sitting down silently. Listen folks, I’m an elementary school principal, I’m 37 years old and I can’t do any of the above for more than four minutes and that’s even pushing it. As a former Division 1 track and field hurdler I get the difficulty that comes with being an athlete and the work and effort that comes with improving your craft, but this was ridiculous. 

There is no way my “active” (that’s an understatement) can sit quietly while listening to Phil Jackson’s understudy explain the rationale behind using a chest-pass instead of a bounce-pass. Not yet, at least. We’re not there yet. We are at, “here’s how you hold a basketball and let’s try to bounce it back and forth without doing summersaults, licking the gym mats,” or maybe even how about we just complete a two hand dribble and catch with out stopping to lick the floor. How’s that sound?!??! ​​​​ ​​

​  At one point The future UCONN basketball coach asked the children to stand up, and begin dribbling the ball with their finger “pads” without looking at the ball. He then told them to look directly at their parent while they dribble. Tough task no? Even for experienced players it’s tough…. but hang on we aren’t done. The parent is then supposed to flash their fingers depicting a different number every two seconds while the child then calls out the number of fingers being held up in order to keep their head up while they continuously dribble the ball.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need to challenge our children, to push them to work harder and to give them the skills they need to succeed to improve.  I know as an athlete he needs to be given the opportunity to practice and that he can’t a trophy just for showing up for practice. But, how about we build some foundational skills first.  

With jaws on the floor we all listened to Coach Auriemma describe the flight path and correct backspin on a bounce pass needed to hit your teammate in stride on a backdoor cut to the basket. All this occurring while my child was running laps around the out side of the gym. Jackson did successfully however steal the ball from the coach without fouling him while he was explaining the children’s homework for the week. I was impressed with the defensive ability of the kid as he swiped the ball from the coaches side, dribbled it with his feet and kicked it into a stray soccer goal off to the side of the hoops. (Followed by the Fragola shirt pull over the head while running around yelling “GOOOAAAAALLLLLL!!!!” (Wrong sport bud). 

​We did get in a little practice of basic, age appropriate basketball skills while Coach Popovich ran a group of screaming toddlers through the weave drill. I guess next week we can look forward to learning the pick and roll (and by pick and roll I mean Jackson will pick his nose and roll around on the floor). 

​”Basketball on three… ONE, TWO, THREE”​

Run Fast, Turn Left, Be First

 

Perfect leg turnover

Imagine your worst nightmare and now imagine your best dream… Now overlap them and that’s the perfect analogy for running. If you’ve ever played a sport you know the worst part of every practice was the last 30 minutes or so… Because you had to run.

So it makes perfect sense that I would decide to chose the sport where you literally only run. I mean you literally just run. That’s the actual sport… The worst part of every other sport is actually a sport in its own right.

And I loved it. I loved every second of it. And I hated it. I hated every second of it. I guess that’s true love? Fall in love for not the good parts that make you happy, but fall in love for how happy you are even during the bad parts.

I can’t wait to be able take Jax out on the track for the first time. I’m excited to hurdle with him… At least until he can beat me… Then it’s really time to retire.

Run fast, turn left, be first.