I love to watch my boys excel at the things they love.
I love to watch them try their best.
They are so very individual in everything they do.
For Eli, sports seem to come so naturally. Sometimes his sensory needs get in the way but on the other side of them is certain talent.
Keegan enjoys most everything he gets into. Sports of any kind are not always easy for him. He really has to work.
For about a month now he’s all about practicing. It’s not provoked by anyone in the house. He will grab a mom and head outside. He wants to practice his karate. He wants to practice his baseball. He wants to get in a little soccer. He wants to do a little yoga.
I have no doubts that some of this need to practice is really a need to be outside. My blonde haired, blue-eyed angel is no bird to be caged. He’d be outside from sun up until way after sun down (because of course that’s prime lightning bug catching time) if I let him.
But, there’s another part of him that strives to be the best that he can be. To try with all his might to be as good as his brother. To get the moves just right. To throw the ball overhand with aim. To kick the goal past my guarding feet.
I watch him struggle to try to make his feet look like everyone else’s feet. To run like others run. To step and throw like the coach showed him. To move his arms in a blocking manner just like Sensei showed him. He has difficulty doing moves by just watching. He needs words to tell him how to complete the move. He needs someone to show his body how to do it one time and then he knows. The muscle memory is there.
Tonight the boys had baseball practice. Keegan struggled with batting but he got the throw and aim down beautifully. As soon as we walked in the door he was grabbing a helmet and a bat and heading out the door yelling for me to come pitch to him.
We worked on form. We worked on technique. We did this because HE wanted to, not because I’m a mom who thinks my 5YO should be perfect. Tonight we used things he knows to help him learn things he doesn’t. As he stood in the batter’s stance he had to face his feet to the field – very easy to focus on that! He had to step out right side ready stance as he does in karate – it helped him to keep his knees bent and his feet apart. He had to keep his bat pointed at the grass – it was easier to remember that than to remember to keep the bat off his shoulders. He had to keep his elbows up in the same manner as a block that he learned in karate.
The kid was hitting the ball out of the yard! He needed batting reminders for a bit when we first started. After 30 minutes of playing around he was doing it all on his own.
And so what if he gives a little Ki ai as he spreads his feet apart. Is it really all that different from the montage of activities that many batters have as they step up to the plate?