M Bug has always been involved in something but since the age of three or four, he's been doing soccer. He has for past few years played with a local soccer league. This year is the year he can "move" up. I think that he is an amazing soccer player. It is a little like hockey without the skates. He is amazing at seeing the field and working with his team mates, he is a strong runner, a fair team mate passing to kids even when he knows they are not the strongest players and he is laser focused on winning and goal scoring. Whether he believes it or not, soccer is a good thing for him.
This year at eight is the first where we have too many options. He's done t-ball (bleck, just bleck), soccer, hockey, basketball (ugh we live in a place where b-ball is THE thing and I hate it - parents are overtly aggressive in this area about b-ball and baseball for that matter, BLERG), swimming (to learn how to more than actually swimming competitively), gymnastics, and he's run a few kids runs. I have mostly kept him out of TOO many organized things. Every summer for the past three, he's done sports camps. These work out well because he gets to do a variety of sports activities and they are themed four hour long sessions.
So he's in it to win it in Hockey because K's coaching. And he likes it obviously. I mean I would not have it do it if he hated it! M Bug loves hockey. He is solid at it. He's not a super star but he's no slouch. And like his Daddy, he is a hard worker and he's smart which is half the battle in any sport. Okay... there is that whole desire and will to do and enjoyment factor but on top of that he is hard worker and smart :)!
I am really pushing for soccer. This next level will offer him up something he's not had before. Kids are more committed and will play better at this next level something that's frustrated M Bug the past two seasons. They do it by age and it goes U-6, U-8, etc... He will be in the U-10 this next session and he would have the opportunity to do travel soccer. That travel part I think will make it for him. I think he will enjoy going to away games and the level of soccer will change to his liking. K was unconvinced of that until he saw the boys practicing together for a mini tournament this coming weekend. Basically K said the kids are all so good and you can see the difference in skill level. K came home and said I see your point (about the soccer getting better as the kids get older.)
There is also this allure of baseball for M Bug mostly because seemingly every boy M Bug knows does baseball so we are trying that out for one month. I am hoping the fall ball will be cancelled... my luck is that it won't be. Of course it is just me not being that excited about baseball that he probably wants to do it! And it isn't exactly safe - there was a boy playing little league in Indy this week who was hit in the neck with a ball and died instantly. Eep.
He can do football in a kid's league locally but in grade three it is FULL CONTACT. I am vacillate between being okay with that and not being okay. He can get hurt (and has been hurt) playing soccer and hockey so I am taking the stance that it does not matter what sport he does he might get hurt especially given the way he throws himself into sports. Of course he could fall in say... the shower and hurt himself too. So there.
He is keen to do this track and field running thing too. That is offered in the fall and spring I believe. I am excited for him to do that. I think again he is a good runner with a solid work ethic - he could do well at it.
He has asked about Lacrosse too. Holy brutal. If I think football's bad...
Finally, swimming. He's said he wants to do swim lessons again. He is an okay swimmer. He could be stronger and I think he wants to be able to do the different strokes better.
At this point I am smidgen overwhelmed by it all. Those are just the sports activities. I really want him to do some other things in the arts - he is an excellent artist. He loves to do it but when I press for him to do it (and when I say press, I mean to say when I suggest in a flippant way - hey go draw a cool picture - he gets all wigged out by it...) I would love for him to learn an instrument - guitar at the least. I think it is important to be well rounded and explore the world beyond sports. Except I live in a community that is strife with sports as the main form of activity (or it is in our circle of peeps we hang out with and especially seems to be the push for boys at this age) and parents who push too hard for their kids to be sporty. And while I am his advocate and I need to direct him I am not one to force anything on him. I want him to do it happily with love and joy in his heart. At this moment, sports are where it is at so that is where we are going.
So this is where we are. It is funny because as a young person and into adulthood I thought if I ever had kids I am going to get them into something by the age of four and push them to do it - there is a long story about why I thought that which I will skip thank heavens for you all! Once I had kids and I saw other parents being so pushy I realized how ugly that is. For the child and how it looks to the world. I am not keen to be like that. I want M Bug to look back at his sports experiences as happy, enjoyable times. I also want him to learn the value of losing and winning. If my kid is always on the WINNING team and the team is stacked to win than what on earth is he learning??? Nothing. And so I am trying to find a balance here. I feel like team sports are great but I am glad he is interested to try running too because it creates a balance. Running and swimming are self motivated and while they have teams, it is an individual sport too. It makes a child see that they have to push themselves alone while a team is parts that make a whole. I like both and I never did team sports so I am glad he gets to experience both. Balance. I am seeking balance here!
Alrighty then sports ramblings done (oh and this is ONLY M Bug's sports interests, mind you! I did not even mention four year old Missy's interests which include gymnastics, ballet, running, and swimming for now...) Hold me.