Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Basketball Personality

I finally convinced the girls to go to the open gym at the Y to play basketball. Last Saturday we spent a couple of hours shooting hoops, and I thought the way each of them played reflected a part of their personality. Stef had a quiet confidence about her, finding that being a few inches taller then the last time we went made all the difference in being able to reach the ten foot basket and make shots. She hit a lot of bank shots from all angles and was really getting the hang of shooting.

Stef also wanted me to teach her how to do a layup. She spent quite a bit of time determined to get the hang of jumping off one leg and hitting the spot on the backboard that I told her would guarantee the ball would go in. It reminded me of how she puts her mind to certain things in order to master them.

Jess, on the other hand, must have taken 700 shots and made about 4. She had a most unorthodox shooting motion, hopping on both legs, landing, then jumping up again, then shooting. I hadn't seen anything like it since the Felix Unger leg kick. She was getting nowhere near the basket, but she didn't get upset, angry, or defeated; she smiled ear to ear while chasing down every errant shot. She is always about being in the moment and enjoying it to the fullest, and if that included hopping like a bunny and shooting a ball 3 feet short of the basket then so be it. I gave her some advice on shooting but really, she seemed to care less about making a shot. I think she just liked being with me and Stef.

So the girls learned a little about basketball and I learned a little more about what makes them tick.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I have been very conscious of trying to instill and reinforce confidence, self-esteem and a positive attitude in the girls. When they talk about the future, I tell them they can do anything they want if they try hard enough. So I was really forced to think through what I've sometimes used as a flippant remark about, of all things, the Dallas Cowboys. They were playing about a month ago and Stef asked, "Which team is that?" I said, "The Dallas Cowgirls".

"Why do you call them Cowgirls when the team is the Cowboys?" she asked. Which made me think "yeah, why do you call them that? Like the old comment, "you throw like a girl," am I trying to say that that is somehow inferior to a boy? Stef got the vibe that I meant it derisively. It did seem a little cavemanish the more i thought about it. Especially when I tell the girls there are professional women's sports teams that they could play for when they grow up.

Earlier today, out of nowhere Stef said, "Dad, remember you called the Dallas Cowboys the Dallas Cowgirls." "Yes," I said. "I don't know why I said that. But I do know one thing. A team of Cowgirls would beat a team of Cowboys any day of the week."

"Yeah!!" Stef yelled as she went back to her room.

Yeah indeed.