The Lack of Try-Outs

We signed my little boy up to play basketball at the YMCA. We signed him up because he’s a bit ADHD and sports are helpful for that. For his age group, at least, there are no try-outs. Unlike many of the other kids on the team, Noah does not yet get basketball. He’s likes running and jumping and throwing the ball around, but he’s not competitive. So he’s not the best player on the team and doesn’t get to play as often. Well, not everyone’s an all-star. Lately, however, he’s been getting less and less game time–even when our team is far ahead or way behind were losing a few points wouldn’t matter.

Last night I took him to practice, normally my wife’s job, and I really worked with Noah. He actually tried to make a basket and succeeded. I was really proud of him.

Today was the end of the season tournament. We drove across town and made sure we were there half an hour before the game. I forgot to get a water bottle, and the coach told me I should go out and buy one. I also had to pay for a ticket to watch, which kind of bugged me a little. It was a very close game.

Noah was never permitted to play.

I’ve been angry the whole day since, and took it out on my yard. I mowed in the blistering heat, cutting the head off every blade of grass that dared to stand too tall. I took the trimmers to every stray branch dangling over my back yard and cut and wacked. While that helped, I’m still not happy. On re-thinking this whole scenario, I realize that having Noah on a basketball team where he rarely gets to play makes no sense. It won’t help him burn off energy in any sufficient quantity. It used to be the YMCA had more to offer to me. They used to have a YMCA Guides program that I loved, but this YMCA doesn’t support it. My daughter can’t go on our family plan any longer because she’s 21. My wife doesn’t like to swim or use exercise equipment. I may have just found a way to save $70 a month.

Update: To be clear, I’m not really mad at the coach (who apologized), or the YMCA really. I’m mad at the situation. It’s just not fair and I want something better for Noah and me.

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