The other day I attended my 6 year old son’s basketball ball. Well basketball game might be a loose description for 10 little boys running from one end of the court to the other never dribbling, passing or hitting a shot. However for my son he was right in the middle of an Xbox game with me between the 92′ Chicago Bulls and the 89′ Los Angeles Lakers. Where Jordan never passes the ball, plays 48 minutes every game and averages 63 points. A far cry from even Jordan’s reality; maybe!
Anyway that game was where the on court computer skills of my son and the reality of the organized chaos of this particular game did not match up well. I noticed that he wasn’t doing a very good job catching the ball. So that night when we got home I had him go into his room and bring out a small beach ball. Upon which time I began to talk to him about following the ball into his hands and squeezing with the hopes that he would learn in one night not to let the ball come through his hands to hit him in the face and chest.
After about 25 or so back and forth throws, be began to catch the ball with his hands. However not before I pastured his face with it several times in an attempt to show him that the ball doesn’t always come slow. I was happy because he found it amusing the I kept hitting him in the face. I tried to tell him that a beach ball doesn’t hurt, but a basketball or a baseball does. He didn’t care.
Then it occurred to me…I never had the chance to play catch with my father and given the chance I believe that I would not of cared if he hit me in the face all night long as long as i was able to enjoy a game of catch with my father. So on some level I guess you can never hit your son too many times in the face (at least with a beach ball). My hope is that each time he successfully catches a ball in whatever sport throughout his life, that there is some small part of him that remembers I taught him that!