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Baby Dills, Basketballs and Whackers

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There is no limit to what we, as adults, can learn from children. How often is the case we are quick to correct young children who mistakenly call something by the wrong name. But, how often does it happen that we, and our sophisticated adult minds, forget what something is called and resort to describing it by what it does until we can later remember or relearn its proper name.

Mistaken Identity
Forgetfulness and mistaken identity happens quite often for young children especially those who are beginner athletes. This morning a bean in our Baby Dills (Ages 2-3) Jelly Bean Soccer instructional class referred to every ball he saw our cartoon jelly beans holding as basketballs. Of course, he was not entirely wrong; one of our four jelly beans, Jimbo, actually does hold a basketball, but the others are holding a soccer ball (Flo Jelly Bean), a football (Mo Jelly Bean) and a baseball bat (Jo Jo Jelly Bean). It only really became an issue at the end of soccer class when daddy, trying to change his thinking, pointed to the bag of soccer balls that were used throughout class, and his lil' kicker insisted they still be called basketballs. Another great example happened in one of my most recent Baby Dill (Ages 2-3) Jelly Bean T-ball instructional classes. As I pulled out the plastic, yellow baseball bats, one of the lil' sluggers referred to them as "whackers." He kept repeating, "I want a whacker!"

The Lesson
The lesson here is not overly intuitive or profound but rather a simple reminder to just do the right thing as a parent. Don't get too overly concerned by what your beginner athlete calls sports equipment. What harm is there for all sports equipment to be called by the same name? This is exactly what makes children, children. What is important and what you, as a parent, want to focus on is that the equipment, whatever its name, is something they find to be a means for having fun. After all, no beginner athletes are taking IQ tests or joining the NBA or MLB tomorrow. Focus on having fun playing sports with your child.

The Difference
The more children want to play with sports equipment, obviously, the more opportunity you will get to help them learn the equipment's actual name. In the case of the bat being called a "whacker," here is something you might not have thought about. Consider how much fun you can have with it. What's wrong with calling a bat a whacker? Isn't that what a baseball bat does to a baseball; it whacks it? If just hearing your child call it a "whacker" brings a smile to your face, and allows you to better enjoy the process then the thought is hopefully you will want to play sports with your child more often.

Just Enjoy the Process
Enjoy the process of developing your beginner athlete. Remember the philosophy we live by at Jelly Bean Sports, Inc. Sports Made Simple and Learning Made Fun(r), is the #1 key to building synergy with your beginner athlete during your next backyard play session.

See you in Class!

Coach Pickles