Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Squish Like Grape

This blog title is a quote from an 80's movie. Do you recognize it?

The main point of this quote is to highlight how you have to commit to doing something to the best of your ability otherwise if you hesitate or doubt for a second, you will get squished like a grape or maybe squish others.

That's a pretty harsh life lesson.

However, I was reminded of this quote today as I watched a tennis pro teach my children basic tennis.

I had to do a lot of questioning and networking to find the right tennis pro for my kids. I respect a pro who is willing to admit that doing a tennis lesson with young kids isn't their cup of tea. After all, it is better to admit your reluctance to the parent before the time and money are wasted - and possibly destroying my kids' interest in the sport.

So, I asked around at my tennis club, and several moms recommended a young, new-to-the-club pro who I've worked with a time or two. Working with adults already familiar with the game is very different than working with short-attention-spanned children who may kick the tennis ball, throw it or even do a cart wheel in the middle of the lesson.

My primary goal for these tennis lessons? FUN.

When I mentioned the ages of my kids to this young pro, he practically beamed! I was tempted to repeat their ages thinking that he must have mis-heard me. I SAID 4 and 6! Nope, he was thrilled at the prospect. That spoke volumes to me.

I'm not trying to cultivate tennis pros here. I just want to introduce my children to my favorite sport in a fun and active way where they end up completely exhausted and fall asleep on the way home!

For the kids' first lesson, we were a few minutes late. I failed to take into account the fact that 3:30 PM is the time that everyone is picking up their children from school. I'll know better next time.

The pro was already on the court waiting patiently for us, and he made no mention of our tardiness when we arrived. He just immediately greeted my kids, asked them to give him a high-five, and off they went. I snuck around the outside of the court to sit at the bench and watch.

My kids didn't stop smiling the whole time. It was awesome to behold - seeing my children that engaged and enjoying every minute. They didn't get frustrated when they missed the ball, and the pro kept giving them tips and slight adjustments without making them feel bad.

At one point, the pro asked LittleMan to hit as many forehands in a row without missing, and when the pro got to 7, he said Okay, they are going to come faster now - and he had LittleMan in a fit of giggles!

Now it was BoopaLoop's turn, and she couldn't hit the side of a barn, but she had perfect form with every wiff. And she was giggling the whole time. Either the pro is an excellent actor, or he genuinely enjoyed teaching my kids. The pro tossed the balls faster and faster at her too, and she collapsed in a fit of giggles!

I couldn't have been more pleased.

As we walked back to the car, I told my kids how proud of them I was. LittleMan said, "Are we going to do that again tomorrow?!"

Oh, honey, I wish all of your coaches and teachers had this enthusiasm. Because when they don't, "squish like grape".


DJ said...

Sounds like you found a great teacher for your kids! It's always nice to find people that actually enjoy what they're doing and want to share that with others.

DJ said...

Oh, and I have no idea what movie that is from! Do tell. :)