Neighborhood Ball

The inspiration for my prior post, Let the Kids Play, came from a conversation I had with a mom yesterday.  She’s a single parent.  Her youngest is a 10-year-old boy.  He is obese and is being tested for diabetes. She would like for him to get some regular exercise.  He enjoys basketball.  She’s checked into her options for him to play on a team.  She doesn’t have the money for the uniforms.  Her car isn’t reliable enough to drive out-of-town for all the games.  She can’t promise she’ll be available to drive him to all the practices because she’s got to work in order to provide for very basic needs.  They recently relocated to a new school and neighborhood so friends are few and they have  no family support system to rely on.



They’ve tried some other sports but felt they didn’t fit in.  “All” (most likely “some” – but it felt like “all” to her, so…) “All the other parents were yellin’ at their kids – ‘Get over there!’, ‘You can do better than that!’ and the like.  These kids have been playing since they could walk.  My son had never played before at all.  And really we were just there wanting to have fun and play, ya’ know?”  It was too intense and discouraging to her son.

She’s come up with an idea that sounds like it should be a good one.  She’s going to make a flier for her son to hand out to the neighbor kids when the weather warms up.  The flier will be an invitation for anyone who wants to play basketball to meet at the local park at 10:30 Saturday mornings.  I applaud her efforts and hope it goes well for them.

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  1. this is so sad. Sad that there are so many ‘requirements’ to having fun. What a difficult time for this mother and son, not only moving to a new area, but the lack of friends, support, etc. Moving is stressful, challenging, even in the best of circumstances. I hope that a godly man will take this young man under his wing. I really hope people will help this family. Possibly some after-school programs are available? YMCA?

    • That would be incredible if she found a godly man! What a wonderful prayer for her.

      I believe it was at the Y that she found the intensely competitive parents.

      Last summer I agreed to be a sub on a church league softball team. It was “just for fun”. I soon realized there were decade-long competitions going on and the game was being played to WIN. I won’t be playing on the team next year. That kind of atmosphere is only enjoyable for the very talented. Anyone else is only comfortable keeping the score.

  2. It’s only in recent years I’ve found that I can be quite competitive, and even at that, I’d say I’m pretty laid back. I recall during high school, playing in a volleyball game (P.E. class), the girls getting upset at not winning. I couldn’t grasp what they were all worked up over, “what’s the big deal? It’s only a game.” As you can probably conclude, I never set my sights on the Olympics!

    • Oh, I can be competitive. Give me a brain game and I can become downright wicked. It’s likely that with team sports I’m not comfortable feeling like the weak link in the chain and disappointing teammates who are in it to win. If I was better at ball, I’d play. But I’m not that good and there doesn’t seem to be an avenue for people who aren’t good to feel comfortable playing just for the sake of exercise and social interaction. Seems we’re stuck with the virtual sports provided by Wii.

  3. I hope they are successful! Takes the fun out of being active…


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