I am not athletic and I don’t really follow sports. So who would have thought that you’d find me playing basketball in our driveway . Yup, that’s what I was doing one Sunday afternoon – playing basketball with Ryan and Ryland. Ryan laughed at me because he thought that I looked funny dribbling and passing the ball. When I let the two play on their own, Ryland got a little frustrated since Ryan is more experienced than him.
On Ryland’s team, one player, Drageep, stands out from the rest. On one game, I noticed that when Ryland had the ball in his hand, he passed it to Drageep even though he was closer to the basket. When I asked him later why he did that, he said, “Oh, because Drageep is good.” So I told him, “You have to try to shoot the ball if you’re closer to the basket.”
Also, the two coaches in his team have always been reminding the players to pass the ball to everybody. Everybody should have a fair chance at shooting the ball. The kids were passing only to the good players.
After five games, Ryland has improved a lot. He has become better at shooting and guarding the ball. He always tries to keep open, but the coaches still have to remind the kids to “Pass the ball to Ryland.” At one point during Game 6, Ryland was passed the ball and instead of bringing it up, he immediately passed it back to another player. One mom said, “He didn’t want to have that ball, did he?” I shook my head. He still lacks the confidence.
Ryland is in the 7-8 year old coed group. Scores are not kept for this group. But the kids play very competitively. There are times when a player gets pushed and fall. The referee will then come and ask if he/she is hurt. (Parents are not allowed to approach the court unless they are called.) Usually, the player is okay and will stand on his/her own and will then get an applause from the parents. Parents also applaud the players, whether from their own team or the opposing team, whenever they make a basket. After all, it’s not really about competition. These kids are there to have fun. And I think they always do every single week.