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Isn't There Some Sort Of Sampler Platter?

Maddie’s been enamoured of baseball
ever since she saw her cousin play a high school game about a month
ago; I found a bat, glove, and ball set a couple weeks later at a
consignment sale and she’s been “playing” almost
every day since then.

And when I say “playing”, I mean she is the ONLY
batter, and the grown-up pitches while Cora video-tapes and cheers
Maddie on.

So when Maddie begs to play baseball in the fall, I have to pause
and say, “Do you REALLY want to play the game? Or just bat
for a couple hours?” To which she will earnestly reply,
“Just bat! Can you do that?”

Sunday afternoon we went to a little
friend’s birthday party – the theme was
“soccer”. The parents set up a party in a local park,
brought soccer nets and gear, and got a game going for all the boys
and girls. Maddie’s friend Sam is a fierce soccer player, and
Maddie likes the idea of soccer so, though she’s never
played, she joined in eagerly at first. After about ten minutes of
running in the hot sun, she drifted over to the picnic tables and
sat down, drinking thirstily. I wandered over from the sidelines.

“Hon, are you going to go back and finish the game?” I
asked casually. Maddie shrugged. “Nah, I’m tired.
I’ve played enough. I think I’m done.”

I had to explain that her team was counting on her and she’d
committed to a certain amount of play, and gently told her she
needed to get back out there. Resigned, Maddie trudged back out and
finished out the quarter, having fun but clearly also ready to stop
when the whistle blew.

My girl hasn’t found her sports groove, and I have to be
honest – that’s a little bit ok with me. Multiple
practices and games each week is not something I’m looking
forward to as a driver, especially if I’ll be dragging her to
the practices a few weeks into the season.

On the flip side, I don’t want to discourage Maddie from
trying out different things: if there’s ever a time in her
life to test out different sports or hobbies, this is it. Just
because I never played a sport doesn’t mean she
shouldn’t if she wants to.

Which is why I keep hoping there’s some sort of sampler
platter of sports we could try out before committing to an entire
season – a weeklong baseball camp for the summer, or a
try-a-new-sport-each-day type of thing for a couple weeks.
Something that would give Maddie an idea of what a game is really
like, with lots of standing around in outfield or waiting on the
sidelines for a chance to kick the ball. Without committing to
twenty-six games.

Does such a thing exist? Or will I find myself, come fall, buying
one of those aluminum camp chairs and dragging my reluctant child
to games because “we committed and so we’re

What do you think?


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