In a land where it is not allowed, Caden was never a very good hockey player. He was not much of a skater and would slide into other players to stop. He quickly earned a reputation as a "thug". Ha!
For good or for bad, he does have a competitive spirit! For a long time his passion far exceeded his ability. Over the years he tried his hand at many sports. He plays rugby and squash at school and enjoys it. At football he was a remarkably good player, so good he scared the bejeepers out of his mother and, for fear of the inevitable concussion, he was pulled out. During the summer he plays baseball and has really grown into the sport and is excited about this upcoming season.
Nothing quite captured his imagination as much as volleyball has, but it wasn't easy. At the start he was reluctant to play. His sister Claire has always played and was captain of her varsity team at school. Talk about intimidating! Since it is a sport not introduced until later he had no real exposure to the game, then he got cut from the grade 7 team. He took it hard and wanted to do everything he could to improve. He spent all of last winter at Pakmen learning all he could, as quickly as he could, about volleyball.
All things considered, for Caden, volleyball is the perfect sport. Communication and consistent team play is critical, every position is key, you can smash that ball as hard as you want and there was very little fear of concussion or much more than a bruised muscle or scraped knee. In a community where many kids are put on the fast-track to elite athleticism early - really early - like the minute they can walk skates are put on their feet. There is not much room for "late bloomers" in sport. It is really unfortunate. And then there is volleyball.
Caden made it onto the school team this year. He also made it onto the town U14 team. A nice lesson that hard work and patience can be rewarded.
The last weekend of March, Caden and his Oakville Thunder team were in the Provincial Tournament held in Waterloo at RIM Park. They all played hard. There were good games and bad games and everything in between. Everyone learned a lot!
The season is now over. I can't wait for the next to start!
Over the summer there will be plenty more lessons, camps and leagues. After all, playing is a lot of fun, playing with skill is even better!