I am currently watching about three dozen kids doing their warmup exercises just before their tennis classes. Yep, that’s about three dozen kids doing jumping jacks and stretches at 9am on a Saturday morning. I guess that translates to about three dozen parents waking up early on a Saturday to shuffle their kids to the tennis court.
So, when I have decided to sign up Aya to this class, effectively I have said goodbye to those long, lazy Saturday mornings spent in leisure in bed. That, and several thousand yen each month.
The goal, of course, is not to turn my daughter into a sports champion of any kind. I can’t stress enough how important it is to instill the concept of discipline and practice into young minds and bodies. Sports provides the right environment for this, not to mention the health benefits that can be derived from an active lifestyle. Plus, despite my daughter’s groaning and sleepy protest everytime I wake her up early in the morning, she emerges at the end of the class running high with adrenaline, and flusteringly tells me how much fun it is!
I am also doing my best to expose my daughter to as many opportunities as possible. Oppotunities that were not available to me when I was growing up. The only sports I can honestly say am into is table tennis, and that’s only because it has been a favorite pasttime activity in our family. My dad built a homemade table at our frontyard just for this purpose, although it was frequently converted into a picnic table during barbecue parties.
But in truth I haven’t played in years, and so I am practically ‘sportless.’ The only marathon I do is watching movies on DVDs, and the only playing I do (if at all) is on Wii. It’s pathetic.
I peek now from the room where I am waiting, into the tennis court outside, and see my daughter swinging her racket with all her might. She misses some shots, but even now I see an improvement since last time. Definitely getting the hang of it.
In sports, as it is in real life, we should never let a few misses ruin our hopes for perfection.