My middle daughter isn’t very sporty. She’s not as bad as she thinks she is, but she doesn’t enjoy it, particularly team sports.
Last term, she played netball for the first time (as Goal Keeper) and although learned to tolerate it, she could take it or leave it really. This term it’s hockey and I can’t see her loving that any more than the netball.
I think team sports are a good thing for anyone to do, especially young children, but I can also understand that it’s not for everyone. What I do believe, is that there is an activity out there for everyone, something that you can enjoy and excel at. You just have to find it first. For my eldest daughter, it’s gymnastics, but for my middle girl, it’s golf.
Golf may not be a physical sport, but it’s a technical one. The amount of effort needed to merely hit the ball astounds me (I had two lessons before I gave up). However, when my husband took our daughter along to the driving range with him one day and gave her a golf club and some instructions on how to hit the ball, something just clicked and she loved it.
She was in year 1 at the time, so only about six years old and has been having lessons ever since, apart from a few months when we thought she might never play again, following an accident where she broke her arm so badly, she lost the feeling in some of her fingers. One of the first things my daughter asked after this accident was when she would be able to go back to playing golf. Her instructor, the wonderful Rupert Hunter of Hunter Knight Golf, assured her that he would do everything possible to make sure she could play again, even if that meant sourcing a special club.
We’re thankful that the arm and fingers made a full recovery after six months and lessons were able to resume from there. Since then, she’s worked really hard on her technique with Rupert and as she’s regained the strength in her arm, she’s been able to hit the ball further (it’s been a wonderful indicator of the improvement in her strength actually).
Golf lessons have given my daughter confidence when she needed it most. The accident left her both physically and emotionally scarred and made her more wary than ever about being involved in any active sports. Having something that you are good at and being able to focus on that is really important and has been a major factor in her recovery.
Like I said, I believe everyone has their ‘thing’, something they are good at and can achieve in. It’s just a matter of finding that thing and going for it.