Over the holidays I was talking to a Dad who was practically apologizing to me about how his son doesn’t play any sports, and how he was embarrassed by this because he, of course, had grown up playing sports – “you know, like we did” he said – implying how all kids played sports in the past and therefore all kids should play sports now. I quickly broke the news to him that more and more kids/students today, in fact, consider “tech” as their sport – as their passion.
My son taught me this lesson too. I would drag him out to the park to play a game of catch and to teach him how to properly throw a baseball with accuracy and zing. I grew up, like many parents, especially Dad’s, who played whatever sport was on TV at the time ie: baseball in the spring, tennis and swimming in the summer, lacrosse or soccer in fall (note: I grew up in Baltimore and I was basically given a lacrosse stick as a part of the standard-issue in first grade). In spite of my efforts through literally years of frustrated catch & throw at the park – my son and I ultimately agreed that throwing a baseball was hardly a life skill.
Now, I know that he can learn anything that he puts his mind to – but I had to finally admit to myself that he just wasn’t interested…it wasn’t important to him.
He then said to me that “coding was his sport”. I finally understood. More importantly, he then understood that “I got it” and that he would no longer have to worry about me badgering him anymore about going out to the park with his ol’ dad to play a game of catch. Besides, coding is far more of a life skill anyway!