Saturday, February 12, 2011

all warmed up

Ah, softball. Our ski season is barely underway but our thoughts have had to turn to softball as well already. As much as Erin loves playing, there wouldn't be time in her week to do both softball (3 days per week) and Highland dancing. Erin wants to start competing in Highland dancing this spring, so...that's where she wants to put her time for now.

The twins want to play softball again and I thought I'd sign them up to play in a new league--the league in the town where we'll be moving in hopes of their getting on a team with girls who go to the new school they'll be attending this fall. This league groups the girls by school. It was a brilliant plan.

Registration was done late last year and I got an email from our coach this week. The girls will be the only ones from their (new) school on the team, all others attend a private school right nearby. As it turns out, there are no other girls from their new school playing in their entire division, so at the moment it feels like we'll be driving extra far for practices and games for almost nothing.

Anyway, unlike their old league, this one holds an optional pre-season practice day for all the girls in all divisions to warm-up their skills, or start learning them for the first time. There was a huge turn-out this morning. Everyone stretched out and then divided up by division, and then divided further into groups of about 10.
"Get a partner and let's play catch! If you need a partner come see me!" were the first instructions. Having a twin comes in handy sometimes.

Next they worked on fielding grounders on the pavement. I don't think any of the other 8 girls in our practice group had played before so our group coach quickly started having Kate and Allison demonstrate for the others.

Next we moved to batting and fielding. Allison showed the others how to swing properly, and as one girl hit the others got the balls and threw them back to the coach.

And that's kinda where the trouble started. Kate and Allison were ALL OVER fielding those balls. They were alert and ready and in position while the other girls looked pretty nervous about getting hit with the ball and a little bewildered in general.

When a ball was hit and the twins took off after it before the other girls even moved. Then they sometimes pushed each other, fighting over who got the ball and threw it back. The other girls just stayed out of the way. Even when a ball went directly toward one of the others, K or A dashed off and fielded it before it reached them. But it's not like they played so amazingly well or anything. Actually, they were pretty rusty in general, but they at least understood what they should be doing and they weren't shy about it, and that put them many steps ahead of the others in the group.

One little kindergartner didn't know what to make of these competitive girls running in front of her and she started crying. I pulled the twins aside and asked them to let the other girls get some of the balls but they could not understand why in the world I was disappointed.
"But you are SUPPOSED to run after the ball!"
"You are SUPPOSED to get it quickly and throw it to first base!"
"The other girls are just STANDING there!"

I really didn't have time to explain any further, and they went right back, and nothing really changed. I don't think the other parents were thrilled.
"They're a little, oh, I don't know..." one dad observed, "...aggressive."
Um, yeah.
But I have to mention that earlier in the day I got a question that totally threw me off guard. This was a question I haven't been asked since I don't know when. A dad asked me, "which one is yours?"

You see, around school, no one EVER asks me "which one is yours?" Quite the contrary, people I've never seen and never met know my name and all my girls' names and come up to me and mention the girls doing this or that and meanwhile I have no idea who they are or who their child is. This happens on a regular basis because, well, it's just that obvious who my kids are. It was nice being able to blend in a little better.

It's going to be an interesting season.

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