Kids sign up for sports for lots of reasons: they look like fun, they sound cool, and it’s what all their friends are doing.
And that’s great—until about a month into the season when one of the kids (maybe yours) decides he dislikes the sport, has no talent, and has just made a supreme mistake.
That is precisely what happened to a letter writer who followed a talented sibling onto the soccer field only to learn soccer’s not his sport.
Enter Arizona, who tells letter writer Can’t Kick in Kentucky that she, too, once took up a sport (and even joined Little League) mainly to uphold a family tradition.
Needless to say, that didn’t work out. And while Arizona did show improvement by the end of the season, she wasn’t that good, and she didn’t like baseball as much as she l-o-v-e-d swimming, for which she seemed to have a natural talent.
The upshot? Arizona told Can’t Kick in Kentucky what worked for her: she spoke up, told her parents how she felt, and with their support she finished the season before diving into a sport that was clearly a better match.
Ready to read the whole story? Turn to page 40 of the April 2018 issue, or go straight to the conversation starters and reading comprehension questions below.
- Have you ever felt you needed to play a sport or a musical instrument just because a family member or friends wanted you to? How did that work out?
- If you joined a team or activity and then found it wasn’t a good match for you, what would you do? Would you quit and move on without an explanation? Or would you complete the season so you don’t let your teammates down?
- What do you feel is your natural talent? If you could choose anything as a natural talent, what would it be?
- What’s your favorite hobby or activity? Describe what you love about it and why it makes you happy.
Reading Comprehension Boosters:
- What might lead you to think Arizona should have been a naturally talented baseball player? Was she?
- Why did she sign up for baseball? When did she first suspect baseball wasn’t her game?
- What did Arizona, Ollie, and Abuela do after every baseball practice?
- Explain what Arizona meant when she said the experience she had playing baseball had a silver lining.
- What did the lifeguard, Leann, mean when she told Arizona and Isabel they are “natural little fish”?
- What are some of the things Arizona liked to do in the pool?