Sunday was the first match of my men's adult soccer league season. This is the fourth season (not in a row) I've taken part in this league, which has been around since the late 1970s. It's comprised of men up to a decade (or more) younger and older than me but we all give it a go every Sunday.
One of the guys on the opposing team had his wife there watching along with their young daughter. Over the few years I've been playing I've noticed spouses and kids, parents, and pets watching their loved ones play. Once in a while my wife comes to watch me play (or bring my boots when I forgot them once!), but she has had a running event or her Nike Run Club on Sundays, so the timing often didn't work out.
Upon seeing this little girl, the thought of my wife and new child coming to watch me run around in a futile attempt at glory never found in my earlier life. Obviously he/she will not know what I'm doing (for a while), just the recognition of my kid will be great and inspiring. Maybe it will lead me to my first-ever goal in the league! But I guess that's getting a bit ahead of myself.
Like I said before, I don't want to use my child to re-live the things I couldn't experience when I was younger. But I would like to use my athletic endeavors to perhaps get the child involved in sports. I feel comfortable enough playing all sorts of sports to be able to teach him/her how to throw a baseball, football, shoot a basketball or kick a soccer ball (maybe heading the ball, too, though I'm not a fan of it). These skills won't get the kid elected to public office, but it might lend a hand in some coordination and FUN.
Yesterday I sort of attempted to teach my 1.5 year-old nephew how to throw a ball, like pitching. His idea of throwing is holding the ball up over his head and dropping it off of his head and the ball rolling down his back. I got behind him when he was holding the ball and moved his arm for him in a pitching motion, whipping the ball out of his hand in front of him. He seemed to be pleased with this result so we did it a few more times, but it didn't take. I imagine it will take a few more sessions to see if he's into it. I was pleased with my effort, however, since I never tried to teach a child anything, at least not that young (getting our nieces to use a napkin notwithstanding).
Maybe there's use for me in all this yet...