Monday, November 18, 2013

Finding your sport.

Growing up, I played a lot of different sports:  tennis, softball, rugby, basketball.  Some of them I loved, and some I just did to occupy time.  But they were always a fun thing for me.  I like sports, and still do.

My kids are still in the process of figuring out what sports, if any.. are for them.  Maybe there will come a day when they decide they don't want to be a part of organized activities, and that's their choice.  For now, though, I like to keep them active.  We keep trying different things.

Jordan has been doing gymnastics for a while now - starting as a child with the sort of tumble tot, babies rolling on the gym mats and chewing their feet thing.  He's stuck with it over the years, and I encourage him a lot on days when he'd rather be goofing off at home playing Minecraft.

 Don't get me started on Minecraft.

For one, I think it's a good sport for his body type.  It plays to his strengths - he's short, compact and very strong.  Perfect gymnast material.

The other factor is the focus on individual performance.  Jordan was asked to join the boys invitational team here in Bermuda, which was a lovely chance to develop his skills.  While there is a team, which practices three or more times a week - each boy ultimately has to compete with himself to earn his scores.

I think that appeals to Jordan.  He's spent so many hours standing around in the ball fields watching the clouds go by, or waiting for the odd chance a soccer ball strolls by him.  He doesn't seem to get the frenzy that some boys display when it comes to sports like soccer or baseball.  I get the feeling he just doesn't care.  I distinctly remember him telling me his favorite part of the baseball games were snack time when it was over - particularly if I was the one bringing the cookies.  M&M cookies with chocolate AND butterscotch chips, please, mom!

But with gymnastics - it's all him.  He has to perform all the requirements of the level he's assigned, remember them, fine tune the precise elements to earn the maximum number of points without deductions.  Ultimately, he can't blame anyone else for the result. 

I'm glad he's still part of a gymnastics team though.  Whenever he feels like slouching off, I remind him that his teammates will be at practice, and they depend on him to hold his end up.  Part of being on a team means showing up, putting in your time, and getting better.

He's understanding that more as he gets older.  TO his credit, he's been doing a fantastic job this term with the long hours he puts in each week.  (Long driving too!!) 

Highlights this month include a fundraising exhibition at city hall - cool video!  And this past weekend, Jordan had a "fun meet" where an American coach and men's gymnastics trainer came down to teach the boys about scoring, and run some practice drills with them. 


Jordan's first real competitive meet will be in January, in Connecticut.  He's very excited about travelling abroad to compete and stay in a hotel with the team.  It sounds like such a fun adventure!! 
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