Eighteen months ago Breezy started playing softball. She was the tiniest player on the team at 4-years old. She could barely hit the ball off the tee. In outfield she was disengaged and dug in the dirt or stared at the sky.
Now Breezy is The Circle Girl. The girl in the circle is pretty much reserved for the best player on the team. She fields balls very well. She throws incredibly well. That skinny little arm has more power behind it than you would expect when you first see her. She’s smart and savvy with how she plays the game. She listens to the coaches and follows directions extremely well. She takes constructive criticism without letting it hurt her feelings. She understands it’s part of playing sports.
It has been a joy to watch her develop over the 18-month period. From the first practice I was amazed at how well she listened and followed directions.
She’s turned out to be a really good hitter too. She’s got a routine like a pro ball player. She hits the plate twice with the bat before she swings back into place, ready for the pitch. If she misses the ball, her body automatically pops back into position, as if controlled by a rubberband.
She’s a real leader on the team. Recently the coach told the girls to line up on first base to run the line touching hands with the other team. She was the first one on the field. She turned around and said to the other girls, “We won! Yea!” There was a loud cheer of “Yea!” among the other girls.
If it sounds like I’m bragging, well yes, I suppose I am. But, as a lifetime educator, nothing is more fascinating to me than watching the process of learning, growing, and developing. And if it happens to be my own granddaughter, then so be it.
Next summer Breezy will move up to another age group in softball. And so she’ll be the younger kid again. It’ll be interesting watching her grow into the next level of play.
She has found something at an early age that she’s quite good at and that she really loves. That makes me very, very happy. Not all children are so fortunate to find an extracurricular interest so early in life.
How about you? Did you find a sport or other activity early in life? How did it impact your life’s development?