A Day at Skill Drills

By Sarah Meike- R.O.C.K. Administrative Assistant & Volunteer Coordinator

I am never quite awake enough when I reach Skill Drills on Saturday mornings. With my coffee mug firmly attached to one hand, I climb the stairs to the gym and take in the scene. Usually there are already kids passing around the basketball, families hanging out on the bleachers, and R.O.C.K. staff rustling around in closets trying to get things set up. They hardly notice my groggy entrance.

Before long, I position myself behind the sign in table, greeting families, kids, and volunteers as they trickle in from the outside. The children are attracted to one another like magnets. It is the adults that sometime need direction. The kids instinctively know that they are there to play. They grab basketballs from the bin and try to make baskets in the impossibly tall hoops for their tiny elementary school bodies.

Unbelievably, the chaos is separated and the kids and volunteers reconvene to go over daily intentions. Both groups are excited to get started playing. As warmups begin, a rhythm starts to bounce off the walls of the gymnasium. The beat of small sneakers against the floor, the percussion of hands meeting hands in excited high fives and the vocals of words of encouragement combine in a special Skill Drills song. Sometimes I have to just stand back and enjoy the harmony created by people that were strangers just minutes ago.

When we break out in groups by age, I am drawn to the young ones who probably share my sports skill set the best. One kid named Luke cracks me up with his determination to pass the ball as many times as possible in the time allotted. He is so impressed with himself and his partner and their ability to pass the ball 30, 50, and 60 times without dropping it. He shouts out words of encouragement to his partner as he passes.

The Skill Drills rhythm continues and before you know it, without warning, it is time to end. Kids find parents, volunteers chat, and the sport inclined stay to shoot hoops. As I leave to continue the rest of my Saturday, I think of the kids I met that day and the volunteers who helped out, and can’t think of anything else I will do this weekend that will make me happier than this moment.