Monday, January 6, 2020

Basketball Season, Inclusion and More

This is a photo of Ben bringing the ball down the court yesterday during his 6th grade basketball game.  Shortly after this photo was taken, he called out the name of his team mate, passed him the ball and he scored.  An official assist!  Not that they keep track of that sort of statistic at this level.    It was a good day for him.  We got there in plenty of time, he sat with and warmed up with the team, and listened to his coaches.  He was so excited to play and did a great job of following directions

But it has been a lot of work getting here.  Sometimes when we get to practice, he is ready to go and he cooperates and listens so he can learn with his teammates.  Other times hes is not.  This last practice we were late getting to the gym, and just missed out on the team running laps - something he adamantly refuses to do anyway.  But somehow that messed up his entire practice.  His amazing Coach kept trying to encourage him to engage, but for some reason he refused and just dribbled on the sideline or shot toward the wall.  Finally about half way through he jumped in and did pretty good from there on out.  But it is not always easy.  It made me wonder what it is like for him at school when he arrives in a classroom after the rest of his classmates.  Does he have trouble engaging?  I know they purposely have him go in late for band.  Is this helping or causing more problems? 

Sometimes seeing him in other settings gives me light bulb ideas on why things are occurring at school.  A similar thing happened this summer at Harrison Phillips #playmakers football camp. (which by the way was beyond amazing)  Ben would not engage with the other kids but would only sit and watch, and only when they left would he get up and try the activity  himself.  Was doing it with the other kids around too stressful?  I don't think so.  I have seen him play basketball in front of an entire crowd of people.  He loves being cheered on.   Or, more likely, is that what was happens to him at school?  Does he only get to try things only after all the other kids are done?  I don't know for sure, but I put my money on the latter. 

Basketball is his happy place.  The gym is not doubt, thanks to fantastic and patient coaches, the most inclusive place in his life.  We are so grateful to everyone who has helped him get to where he is today.  I asked him the other day who his favorite basketball player was -thinking he would say his older brother.  Without a beat he said Coach Dan.  You know what Ben?  He is one of my favorites too!

1 comment:

  1. Ben had his first basketball practice of the season tonight! Thanks for sharing about your Ben's basketball experience - it made me feel better about how my Ben engages (sometimes with the kids, sometimes not - and he's not fully participating the whole time either). I'm on pins and needles the whole time I'm watching practice - hoping he listens to his coaches, comparing how he participates to the other kids. He has fun, but *I* feel tense. I love that Ben said Coach Dan is his favorite player - what a gift to have a coach like that!

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