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“Hey, dad. Wanna have a catch?” A simple sentiment that STILL brings grown men to tears ...
 
“Hey, dad. Wanna have a catch?” A simple sentiment that STILL brings grown men to tears ...

Have you ever played Catch? A simple tossing of a ball back-and-forth? Perhaps you did so when you were of a younger age. Perhaps you still do with a son or daughter.

Catch is one of the more-underrated games we play. Sure, you can deride it as essentially a child’s activity, something that you stop doing in your teenage years, the same with foursquare, hopscotch, and kickball. Catch doesn’t feel “cool” when you’re 19, or 26, especially when you’re playing with a parent.

If one of us dropped the ball or a throw went errant, we would start over. If a streak got going, suddenly a challenge was presented, and I felt like I accomplished a small athletic feat at the end.

However, does Catch really need that stigma? Think of the simplicity and complexity in the game. Yes, you throw a ball from one person to the other. Pretty basic, right? However, Catch is as effective a practice as swinging a bat in a batting cage or running fielding drills, all building focus and enhancing ability in an activity. How many times do we see professional baseball players drop “easy” catches? Might those balls have been caught with a little more Catch?

The complexity arises in how you play Catch – in the degrees of difficulty you present yourself and your throwing partner. With my father, I would always have him move far back and throw to my side, forcing me to run down the ball and reach out to grab it. Or, he would throw extra-hard to see if I could catch a heater (he wasn’t a pitcher, but could he throw a “driller” that made my palm hurt).

At the conclusion of a game of Catch, we would aim for a streak of consecutive catches. We would set a number and try to achieve it, and if one of us dropped the ball, or a throw went errant (usually mine), we would start over. However, if a streak got going, suddenly a challenge was presented, and I felt like I accomplished a small athletic feat at the end.