Home of the Lakers

Ever since moving to the US, my daughter has been very keen on trying new sports.  Sports she’s seen in the movies such as baseball (softball) and basketball are ranking highest on her list.

Luckily its pretty easy to get involved with those activities.  They are as common in schools here as hurling is a national sport in Ireland and sailing is almost the national sport in Denmark.

Every school has their own basketball team, and so does our daughters school.  What’s even cooler, our team is called Lakers – nothing to do with LA Lakers, but it still sounds awesome when you scream “goooooo Lakers” from the stands, much to the embarrassment of my daughter.

Practice is every Saturday morning, thankfully at a decent time, and it’s packed with girls from her class – practically all the girls.  I at first thought it was going to be no more than 10-12 girls, but the place was packed with almost 30 girls, and their parents, running around like little Mexican jumping beans.

I was amazed to see how professional the training is run.  There are several coaches, all of them volunteers, making sure the players warm up.  I would probably have been used to just running around with the ball for a few minutes and then play some practice games.

But no, these dudes do all the stretches, dribbles, movements, shooting and game drills the pro’s would do. What’s even better, all the girls were focused and participated

I think it’s cool to see how the coaches tries to teach the girls how to shoot hoops … pushing the ball with one hand/arm and steering it with the other hand, all while jumping and flicking the wrist just as the ball leaves the hand.  Pretty awesome!

Mayhem starts when they have to play games. The girls are only getting to terms with the dribbling bit, and now they are being told to play as a team and different tactics. That’s totally against their religion.  They would rather tackle, dribble, run and score all by themselves, so often the “game” turns into a screaming and frantically running match.

On the sidelines you have the coaches trying to out scream the girls, shouting instructions “defense”, “pass it”, “offense”.  They have obviously not hosted a birthday party with 26+ kids or a Christmas baking event for 10 girls!

My little Rebecca Lobo wannabe, works hard on learning these new moves.  Not easy when you’ve only played camogie in Ireland or Gaelic football.  These are completely different sports and have different moves, so learning new ones can prove to be very challenging.  However, she LOVES basketball, to the extend where she’s started to dribbled in the house, at all hours of the day. It’s the first sport or hobby that she has been so in to.  I think we need to get a hoop installed outside, so we can play together.

My wife has according to her played basketball a lot when she was a kid too, but I’m still not convinced about that, given she has difficulties at times catching  kitchen tea towels or toilet rolls.  Also, she’s not exactly slam dunk height either, but I’m sure she was fast as Speedy Gonzales on the court.

Our son starts basketball tomorrow, so it’ll be cool to see how he likes it.

We strongly encourage the kids to do sports, but only if they really want to.  it can be expensive to get all the right gear, so we let them play for a few months and then we make a decision.  If they keep up the interest and motivation, then we might get some of the gear.

However, I think it would be cool with a basketball hoop in the driveway 🙂

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