Avery finished her first season of basketball. It took some convincing at first to even get her to want to sign up. “Oh, alright mom, I’ll do it.” lol But soccer’s her thing, you know. I am sure she impressed her coach at their first practice … When he had each team member do introductions, saying their name and one thing about themselves, Avery said “I like soccer!” But once she started, she did admit, with a huge grin on her face, that she does “kinda” like basketball, too. To further pique her interest, the celebration at the end of the season had basketball handler Tanya Crevier entertain the kids with tricks. It was a lot of fun. Avery was spilling over with enthusiasm telling dad about how she balanced a spinning basketball at the end of a *really* tall pole, in addition to spinning 10 balls at once!
Upward is a fantastic program and I highly recommend it. Avery definitely improved a lot over the past 9 weeks (even making 4 baskets in the season, 3 in one game!) and I do think what she learned will help her in soccer as well. She’s definitely learning not to be afraid of the ball. Coach Nick did a wonderful job challenging the girls (they worked on layups even)! I still struggled, of course, watching her continue to lack aggression and competitiveness during games. But I was reminded of something even more important after the final game: sportsmanship.
Coach gave each girl a certificate recognizing her strengths. One received “Miss Rebound” for being on the ball after missed shots, another “Miss Defense” for staying relentlessly on her girl, and so on. You could tell he had put some thought into each one and he gave a nice personal description with each. So, I was rightly proud when he announced that Avery received his “favorite” award: “Miss Sportsmanship.” Avery was always excited to see teammates score, she shared the ball, she showed respect to others, and she was simply having fun. And I am so glad. Way to go, Blondie!