Teaching is talking and showing. A teacher can’t be stingy. Teachers share their energy by demonstrating, illustrating, explaining and giving examples.
A teacher invests, gives something of him or herself, and a good teacher is aware of pacing as they give … stopping frequently to listen. Did this sink in? I just wrote … stopping frequently to listen.
It’s a silly pet peeve of mine, really. And I suppose if anyone really wanted to annoy me they would, at my final resting, throw a football back and forth while dropping it on purpose. If I am watching you from the great beyond, I’ll be saying, Dammit… don’t reach for the ball, touch and cradle.
That’s my saying as a catching coach, touch and cradle.
Touch and cradle arises from years of playing ball and watching people throw to one another. What I’ve noticed is catching technique. People, when you are getting ready to catch something like a ball, don’t lunge, or reach out for it. You let it come to you.
In the act of catching, it’s okay to extend your arm(s), but not very far. Let the ball make contact with your hands (touch) then cradle it softly into into your arms. Once the ball is in your hands and arms then bring it in to your body. The movement of both your arms and ball are coming into your body as you catch.
This is a weird post I suppose, but I write this after I watched people throw and catch at the beach. I watched what appeared to be a family of two adults and two children. The parents, in their 40’s caught a small football with ease, first touching, then cradling in.
But the kids dropped every single ball thrown to them. Neither adult stopped to teach their kid how to catch. They threw the ball back and forth 30 times and the kids dropped it every time. These were not young children that were lunging forward to the ball, arms and hands rigid and afraid, they were about 12 and 14-years old.
I wanted to scold the parents. I wanted to tell them hey, teach your kids how to catch. Don’t be stingy. demonstrate, illustrate, explain, give an example.
Teaching someone to catch is a simple lesson. I suppose the reason it bugged me is that a lesson in catching – like many athletic lessons – is transferable to a lesson in life.
Life Lesson: Touch and Cradle
Curriculum Objective: Student will learn how to catch a ball.
Philosophical Summary: Receive.
Life lesson summary: to receive… touch and cradle.