Sports and Smarts: Can They Coexist?

How did I, a stereotypical geek, manage to produce such aggressively sports mad offspring? Given that their mother is similarly disinclined towards sport, it seems like a statistical anomaly that our three kids should be the way they are.

Clayton and Tyson are absolutely nuts for soccer, to the extent that we’ve recently had custom soccer goal nets rigged down the back of our property. Their friends are over almost every afternoon these days, which is awesome in its way – hey, it beats them being socially isolated – although it means we’re tearing through muesli bars like nobody’s business.

It’s great that they’re up to something social and active. I do sometimes wish they’d spend some of their time on something a bit more aligned with their schoolwork, though. I wonder if I could get them interested in something that brings together sport and science – say, human biomechanics. It’s just a matter of bringing the idea to their attention in such a way that they don’t identify it as study, which they’re generally all too keen to avoid.

Rosie, for her part, is all about hockey, a subject that I’m even less familiar with than I am with soccer. It’s all alien to me, from the pucks (great word) to the rules to play. I think that’s why she was attracted to it, honestly – to differentiate from the boys and probably also from her school friends, who mostly seem to be big on netball.

She’s stoked because the mathletics competition she just participated in successfully raised enough funds to buy a set of junior hockey nets for the school. Why the mathletics team is fundraising for the hockey team is beyond me, although I strongly suspect that Rosie had something to do with it.

That’s a perfect example, actually, of merging intellectual and physical pursuits into an integrated lifestyle. To be honest, if Rosie spent all her free time doing maths and never got active outside, I’d probably be worried about that. So maybe I should let up on my fears about the boys being overly preoccupied with sport.