I love Basketball but........

Updated Tuesday March 21, 2017 by Erin Young.

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/senators-strength-coach-alarmed-over-declining-youth-athletic-skills

I love Basketball but.....

A long time ago, I was a child {insert snicker}. Everyday I would come home and ride my bike, kick a soccer ball with my siblings, swim in the pool, play with a basketball, whatever, I was an active, energetic, healthy child. Slowly I got the opportunity to try out organized team sports.... first there was house league soccer, throw in some gymnastics, a swim team and maybe two classes of ballet {that just wasn't for me}. I was brought up in a house where being active was important. Generally the policy was a sport a season which was ideal because there were 3 then 4 kids in the house. We all had the chance to kick, throw, learn how to jump, find our centre of balance, learn how to stay coordinated enough to stay up on a bike or afloat in the pool.

My father was back then and still is to this date, a basketball coach. He loves to coach. We of course were always around basketball even though we had all tried many others. Eventually, one by one, we started to play basketball on a team. And I am talking about Grade 8. It was the first time I played on a travelling team. I decided it was 'my' sport. I continued to make sacrifices along the way, usually away on weekends in high school for whatever team I was playing on. This is when I went to one sport. I wasn't always deemed the best player on my team, however I practised all the time and gave 100% all the time. My coaches could see that passion whether I was playing or cheering on the bench. They could see I improved in the off-season to earn the extra minutes. I didn't think I was entititled to anything. I went to play on regional teams that competed at a provincial level and eventually at university. After I left university there were years of local summer leagues that followed and now I only touch a ball when playing with my kids.

One of the more interesting things about my journey is that I was rarely injured... I mean rarely. I am not what one would call flexible so who knows if that actually helped protect me but I also had the chance to develop so many other skills as a child. I did not have any sports specific injuries either. While my body was growing I wasn't asking it to do just a few tasks repeatedly to the point of injury....

As a "slightly competitive" parent of 4 and in this new world of athletics.... I continue to place emphasis on multiple sports. I took all my children to body movement at the local gymnastics club until the age of 6. They are outdoor kids, they do enjoy playing video games, but they are usually outside. Skating, sledding, biking, playing road hockey, throwing a foot ball and playing basketball when I am not getting a warning about my portable net on the end of my laneway {who does that to active kids anyway}.  They too have started to play organized team sports and even competitive sports. The interesting part is they have been for the most part injury free. They can play multiple sports because I think they are all coordinated enough.

So even though I love basketball, I didn't put the expectations that my kids had to play it. On the way home from the Kingston Lakers one night, I asked my then 11 year old, "I heard you weren't trying out for the school basketball team.." He answered "yep I decided to just do the school play this year". He then followed with this question "Are you upset?" I said "Honey, basketball was my sport, I loved it.... if I thought for one moment you were playing it to make me happy.... then I would be upset." He continues to play basketball {among other sports} and even made his high school team this year but not because it made me happy. Because it made him happy.

These are my opinions and stories. Thank you for reading.