Thursday, June 2, 2016

Football Camp

We're a sporty family. Ryan played sports his entire life.  I have watched sports my entire life (I do not play any sports, that's a story for another day).  Sambo and Zac have played sports their entire lives.  One of the things we had to come to terms with was that B might not play any sports.

B with his camp football & tshirt
A physical therapist told us once that team sports would not be in the cards for B. She said soccer would be torturous for him.  She suggested and individual sport such as gymnastics or karate.  Last summer B went to karate camp at the Sensable Gym in Garland and loved it.  We signed up for Karate class in the fall.  B loved the idea of karate but the actual follow through was lacking. He loved his teacher.  But each class led to a meltdown.  He couldn't always make his body do what it needed to do and it was frustrating.  Not to mention the fact that he had a whole different idea of karate.  He wanted to be a ninja but he didn't want to learn to be a ninja.  He thought it should just happen.

Imagine our surprise when, after being hauled around to several games in a row, B asked Ryan "When is my game? When do I get to be on a team?"

"You want to be on a team? What kind of team?"

"A football team!"

Alrighty then.  We'll get right on that.  It seems as though football season never ends in Texas (thank you sweet Jesus) but it would be awhile before B could play football.  However, the high school puts on a football camp every spring.  Ryan talked to Coach Settle (our head football coach and athletic director) about it and he agreed that B should try it out.  Ryan would be nearby, just in case.

B went football camp last week.  Just like always, I was nervous.  Camp was from 3:30 - 6:30 after school.  That's a long time.  But he loved it!

Coach Beard helps with
the penny
The coaches give out football cards to keep the kids motivated.  B was so happy to get 3 cards the first day.  Coach Gomez gave him a card for being the shortest in a group.  Another boy walked up and said "I'm shorter".  Gomez told the little guy he was out of cards and would get him one tomorrow.  B gave the kid his card and said "He's right, he's shorter" WHAT!?! Who is that kid sharing and giving up something he wants for someone else?!?

I watched one drill the first day where the kids were learning to make a pocket to receive a hand off.  B listened so well. He made and kept his pocket until it was his turn.  Then he kept his pocket while he was at the end of the line waiting for his next turn. And when they lined up for the next drill, B still had his pocket.

Coach Beard talking to B about
returning to the game
At the end of each day, they separate into teams and play short games of touch football. For B's age group, high school players are all time quarterbacks.  The first day after about 4 plays, B stormed off the field.  I wasn't that surprised. It was 6 pm.  He'd had a long day.  I thought he was done.  But then Coach Beard followed him to the track and talked him into coming back to the game.  Twice!

On the second day, B told me that football camp was life changing.  I believed him, it was for me.  I saw what he could do when he worked hard.  He tackled with a primal scream.  On defense, he knew what to do, stayed on his man and said "Not on my watch!".  It seems like his sensory seeking tendencies might come in handy in football.

The second day was my favorite because Sambo stayed with his brother's group and helped B. From the stands, I could see Sam's love and concern for his brother.  He might have even enjoyed sharing his favorite sport with his little brother.  But Sam's really good at being 15 right now so I may not get confirmation of that for a while.
Getting some encouragement
from Coach Settle

Camp had to be cut short because of weather but I am thankful for the high school players and coaches who made football camp a great experience for B. And I'm thankful for a lesson that God seems to be teaching me over and over: don't underestimate our B-man.  He might not be on the world's schedule but he's on God's schedule.

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