Sure it's about how you play the game, but losing still sucks
Warning: You're about to find out just how low and hateful I am. If you'd rather protect your innocence, stop reading now.
We have a family membership to the YMCA, which means Vaughn (above) gets to play their team sports without paying an extra fee. Brilliant. Somehow, though, we always end up on a team full of kids who have never, ever seen a basketball game in their lives, and while I'm all for the concept of playing for fun and fitness and blahblahblah, it gets frustrating after awhile to attend game after game and lose. . . every. . . time.
This season our team had my son and two other kids who could pick a basketball out of a lineup. ("Do you see the ball that hit you in the face, Johnny? Don't be afraid, now; it can't see you. .") The rest of the team was comprised of:
The Traveler: Not the alien guy from Star Trek: TNG who might've been cool if he hadn't liked Wesley fucking Crusher so much, just a kid whose every encounter with the ball ended with dribble, dribble, dribble, step, step, shuffle, *tweet*. Turnover. Sigh.
The Assistant Coach's Lame-o Kid: I don't know what the deal is with that family dynamic--and don't want to--but I get the feeling this guy signed up to be assistant coach so he could make his son a good player through sheer force of will. What I do know is that it's not working. For some reason beyond my ken, the coach gave this kid the ball every time it was our throw in, and EVERY TIME the little doof threw it to the other team. Even Mike (who is much, much nicer than I am) ended up hissing to me, "Why do they keep giving him the ball?" Why, indeed.
"Why Am I Here?" Kid: We've all seen kids like this, where you KNOW their parents were all, "Well, it's good exercise and we get it free with our Y membership, so why not?" And there's a part of me that totally gets that and, sure, why not? But then I remember why not: The kid does nothing but stand there looking bewildered like he wonders why all these other people are running around making so much scary noise, and it gets on my damn nerves if you must know. Do something or get off the court, 'Fraidy.
Hot Potato: Another version of the above, this poor kid never reacts to finding the ball in his hands with anything but utter horror. Last game, he was parked all alone next to the basket (where I guess he thought he was safe) and a teammate threw him the ball. He was standing right next to the basket all by himself, OK, and he never turned toward it, didn't even seem to recall that such a thing as a "basket" was in the vicinity, much less that said basket was somehow related to WHAT WE'RE ALL DOING THERE. He blanched, staring down at the ball in his hands like he might vomit onto it, and then began a frantic search for someone--anyone--to take it from him. Turnover. SIGH.
I know I'm a terrible bitch (a truth I've made my peace with over the years) but I can assure you that I never act the fool at games like some of these jackass parents you see. I just think mean things and then write them on the internet.
My son, for his part, never complains, which I appreciate, but we can see him becoming complacent and lazy about his own play. We don't have him training for the NBA or anything, by any means, but he does have aptitude and we want him to improve and grow and be challenged. I guess you get what you pay for, though. Only three more years and he can play at school.