A Toddler Sports Primer

The real explanation behind professional athletes is not necessarily innate or inherent talent. It is the ability not to kill themselves as toddlers.

Baseball: Get hit in the head with a ball. Chase after it. Get distracted by the tee. Canvass the backyard clutching the bat and tee stand.

Hockey: Slip and slide in socks across the kitchen floor stick tapping the tile until your brother takes you out with *his* stick. Giggle when Mom puts you both in the penalty box.

Basketball: Throw the ball at the bucket. Retrieve the ball. Stand directly over the bucket. Fire ball into the bucket With. Authority. Or sit in the laundry basket with a ball.

Soccer: Run wild around the yard. Kick things. Sometimes on purpose.

Dodge Ball: Throw things. All the things. At parents, friends and siblings.

Billiards: Poke at plastic softball-size baseball on tee with handle of bat. Break balls (and other toys).

Horse Racing: Bounce on Lucky the Possessed Pony until his safely covered red springs threaten to snap. Rock so hard the stationary horse actually moves forward.

Rodeo: Tip over Lucky the Possessed Pony in a fit of rage. Desperately try to right the horse – end up hogtying the stuffed animal instead.

Gymnastics: Climb up onto Lucky the Possessed Pony by yourself. Stand up on the saddle. Let go of the handles and raise arms into victory stance.

Track and Field: Toddlers have two speeds: Running and falling. Invisible hurdles, long jumps and high jumps. Also escaping bedtime or diaper changes.

Biking: Scoot around on foot-powered tricycle. Master the art of riding backwards because you haven’t figured out the motor skills involved in going forward.

Rock Climbing: Scale everything. Entertainment cabinets, cribs, couches, dogs. Learn technique of holding on no matter what – especially if Mom tries to put you down (god forbid for a nap or to pick up your brother).

Motorcross: Ride Power Wheels. Don’t bother with steering – take on obstacles, like tables or trees, head on.

Swimming: Graduate from flooding the bathroom to accidentally turning on the outdoor water line. Or experiment with the dogs’ water spicket. (Don’t let Mom catch you drinking out of it.)

Football: Pick up object that will serve to stand in as the football. Charge! Tackle your brother.

Bowling: Run in a direct line at any collection of objects. DESTROY ALL THE THINGS!

Wrestling: They’re toddlers. They’re two. They’re boys.

7 Comments

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7 Responses to A Toddler Sports Primer

  1. Joanne Hamann

    The Gymnastics is my personal favorite and you need to play that ABC channel Olympic victory music in the background – remember, Janet?

  2. Nancy Welker Caracciolo

    Don’t forget archery…your two lil Casanovas are shooting cupid arrows all over the place. Joanne, I remember one summer we spent at your house (my folks were on a cruise). It was durring the Olympics – we watched it endlessly and then tried gymnastics & track & field in your backyard. We didn’t get too far – it was blazing hot – for some reason Northridge was the hottest place in the valley.

  3. granpastavo

    bRAIN, GOOD LOOK,FUNNY,AND NOW TALENT TOO…. IT MUST BE IN THE GENES; THESE TWO TALENTED YOUNG PROSPECTS ARE ON THE WAY TO STARDOM LOVE YOU C.AND L ciao tutti Gpastavo

  4. This is brilliant! I’ve been doing a lot of babysitting toddlers recently and will probably be spending the summer as a nanny to three kids under 5… I will have to apply my new special knowledge of their sports training 😀

    (First-time commenter. Discovered your blog a few weeks ago and love it!)

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