Baby steps toward superstardom

Last spring I expressed my desire to use the summer to expose our five-year-old to playing sports. I didn’t put him into organized leagues because I wanted him to have more time to be a disorganized kid and figure out what he likes. Also, leagues cost money, and I’ve been in a cheapskate mood for the last 30 years.

Now that summer is over, it’s time for an update on his progress as an athlete. All of these wonderful advancements were accomplished under the tutelage of only his tepidly athletic dad.


I’m not sure this is one of his favorites, as he never asked to play catch. I am happy to boast that he did successfully get all of his fingers into his baseball glove one time. This was not because he wanted to throw the ball with me, but because his friends found a ball and some bats in the garage and wanted to play. I can also proudly report that despite there being three Kindergarteners in the yard with a ball and bats, no windows were broken. Those are the kinds of fundamentals a dad can really appreciate.


We only tried this once, but he showed promising talent at sticking a foam skunk. This is a twist, since he spent all last year pretending to be a skunk.

in pursuit of the foam skunk

Skunks used to be the coolest animal. Now, they’re the coolest animal target.


Now this is real progress. He no longer runs away when I toss the football in his direction. He might turn his back and layer his arms over his head, but keep in mind we’re not using helmets or pads yet. He is completely unprotected from the injury that Nerf sponge could cause him. Occasionally he will actually stretch his arms out toward the ball, but this usually ends with him swatting the dangerous missile away.


He can now dribble a basketball up to three consecutive times with one hand. He has yet to fully comprehend that he needs to push the ball with his hand rather than just slap at it. This leads to diminishing returns after each dribble. By the fourth one, he is squatting down, slapping a ball that is resting on the ground. I may be a rulebook stickler, but I don’t count beating a dead ball as dribbling.

baby slam

Little Brother is a natural athlete. Here he is at six months, perfecting his dunk.


He’s pretty good at soccer. When he kicks the ball he doesn’t usually miss the target by more than 75˚ to either side. He still likes to kick the ball with his toe, like he’s playing kickball, but he rarely misses it anymore. He only uses his hands as an absolute last resort, even less so after that time he got his finger kicked. It’s amazing how much a little pain keeps one mindful of the rules.

All in all, it’s been a productive summer. Sure, the little man displays lots of natural talent, but raw talent needs to be molded. Hence, much of the credit for his blossoming as a superstar athlete must be assigned to his awesome coach.


20 comments on “Baby steps toward superstardom

  1. technophile9 says:

    I’m British so it’s football not soccer. 😉

    • Then I’d have two footballs, and that would really confuse the Canadians – what with their bacon that’s really ham.

      • milosivanskistudio says:

        Heeeeey…now come on. There’s ham, there’s peameal bacon which is sort of ham with cornmeal on the outside of it, there’s turkey bacon which isn’t fooling anyone and I will note it should be illegal to use turkey and bacon in the same sentence unless you’re wrapping real turkey in bacon and then there’s real bacon…maple or applewood smoked salty crispy delicious bacon. I don’t know squat about football (even after watching my son play it for 5 years in high school -only one concussion yeeeah) but I’m Canadian and I know the difference between ham and bacon! xo

  2. Send him my way. Coach Don is always looking for some quality talent for his tball or soccer squads. If he’s not distracted by flowers, wind or flying insects, then he’s already one of our better players.

  3. ksujulie says:

    Aw, I want a son!! I’m amazing at perfect pedicures.

  4. markquijano says:

    I got a 10 month old son, I guess I should start training him now.

  5. From the parent of one athlete to another – You’re doing a great job! Pilar loved every sport there was. When she got into high school, she finally narrowed it down to cross country running, basketball and archery.

    As a mother of a 5’2″ little girl, I was happy with the cross country and archery choices. When it came to basketball, I would get physically ill before every game. It’s tough watching your kid get the crap beat out of them by 6′ tall giants on the other team.

  6. Traci says:

    Wait a minute. Do you mean that we’re NOT supposed to swat away balls headed in our direction?! This suddenly explains my high school softball grade.

  7. pieterk515 says:

    I bought a Wii. Got Sports for free. Nuff said.

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