Friday, January 13, 2006

Individual sports

Like many of you out there, we have tried multiple different team sports with our children. Soccer for everyone, basketball, baseball, volleyball, and softball (for our girl). Only our girl was proficient in sports, but for all three of them, it was an attempt to socialize them and to get to know people in whatever was the latest area we had moved into. We did not ever expect any of our children to be professional athletes in any way, shape, or form.

We have given up on team sports for Will. Early on, when nobody understood the rules of soccer, it was OK for Will to be on a team. But then as he grew older, and his teammates grew more saavy about the rules of the game (while he did not), we had to come to grips with the fact that, although his teammates were nice to him, they were just beginning to get frustrated when he would miss kicking the soccer ball in the appropriate direction. So we decided that he had done enough, and we would concentrate on something else (like music, for instance).

The irony of this is that if the athletic climate was like it USED to be, when my husband was a child and they didn't even begin playing organized sports until they were 9 years old, kids like Will might have a shot! Now, and especially in our area (which is extremely sports dominated), kids in kindergarten work out on their football teams every single night for hours! I actually think that now, or maybe in a year or so, he could play soccer and enjoy it, because his awareness will have caught up to the game. But now is too late -- we don't dare put him back into that situation.

So, when the weather is good, we have Will playing golf with his father. It's low-stress, learn at your own pace. He's good at it (he came in second in a large group of kids at a miniature golf game), and he can learn over time how to get better. There must be other things similar to this that our kids can do, such as track, archery, etc. The learning curve is at a more normal, less intense rate. I'm sure that the asperger ability to focus on something if one's interest is piqued would come in handy in some of these more individual sports -- imagine the tendency to learn in pictures coming in handy on a golf course. They could envision where the ball should go better than some other people. This is possibly a sport someone with Aspergers can excel at, and there definitely has to be others as well.

If you think of others good individual sports, let me know!



At 2:11 PM, Blogger Donnachloe said...

My husband excelled at golf. How about swimming also?
Thanks for posting to my blog and letting me know about your site!

At 2:21 AM, Blogger Midget said...

Hi Kris,
I was good at Orienteering. I am not sure how common it is over in the US, but I liked it because of the depend-on-yourself, be alone and do your thing stuff. Also because it was a combination of Running and reading the map, so you could make up for not running fast enough by being accurate.


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