Monkey started playing softball this week, and I'm pretty impressed with the program and the coach. The program is very well designed to teach the fundamentals of the sport, and the coach is knowledgeable about the game and also very nurturing. At tonight's practice, they divided the team into thirds and each group practiced something different - throwing, hitting, and fielding.
I grew up in a rural town with a softball league of about 6 teams, each comprised of girls from age 7 to age 14. My father was thrilled with my softball team because our colors were maroon and white, which happen to be Galway's colors. We never learned any fundamentals - the coaches pointed out where the bases were and which direction we were supposed to run in if, in fact, we managed to hit the ball. They put us out at various positions and that was pretty much it. I played shortstop, and I was pretty good. My aunt Maureen sent me a book called Creative Visualization when I was about 10, and I used to go out on the field visualizing myself as an unscalable, unpassable wall. I was never a very graceful athlete (hip displaysia, osteoarthritis), but I always did surprisingly well. After my first year, I got picked for the All-Star and Traveling Teams every year.
Loki, on the other hand, is one of the most unathletic people I've ever met. He doesn't even watch sports (which is okay by me - I don't mind watching a game if I'm there, but I cannot fathom watching a game on TV). Sweetness tries hard, and she's a great swimmer, but other sports are a struggle for her. Monkey, though - Monkey is a natural athlete, she's strong and graceful and daring. I don't know if she'll enjoy softball as much as I did, but I'm pretty sure she'll be better at it than I was.