Changing paths

Oct 03, 2013
Tagged with: Changing paths

So the phone call came that changed my path forever along with my family’s life.  I was asked to try this sport called Goalball.  I thought to myself what the hell it has ball in it so my father and I met a gentleman from the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind in Colorado Springs and he showed me this 3lb medicine ball with holes in it that had bells inside for tracking the noise.  He then showed me the court and how the tape was laid over thin string and you could feel it and know where you were on the court.  Then he handed me the blindfold and my world changed a bit.  I went from someone who played hand-eye coordinated sports to someone who needed to transition to hand-ear coordination to be successful.

I spent an hour or two that evening with my father and this gentleman showing me the basics of throwing and defending and this is where I say my family’s life changed as well.

After that initial contact my father who had coached my sisters and me in a variety of sports growing up took me from my house to practice once or twice a week after coming home from basketball practice and grabbing a quick bite to eat.  My Mom also did some driving, a whole lot of work with me with getting my homework done as it was quicker for her to read me questions and fill in the answers I gave her then to be up on my closed circuit T.V.  She would help so I could do homework and eat all at the same time!

Then the summer after I went legally blind nationals for the sport of Goalball happened to be held in Colorado Springs and my father again who had coached me in so many other sports picked up the rule book again and started coaching me in the sport of goalball.  He somehow scored a key many years ago and we would go into the gym on weekends and make up our own drills and work on a different aspect of the game. Granted the drive to a school downtown was a lot further away than walking outside and practicing basketball on the back patio but it was also the same.  My Mom would help shag balls and give me feedback as well because well she had coached my sisters and me as well in different sports.  My father and I continued to make up drills and mock game situations.  Nationals rolled around and there wasn’t a Colorado team at that time so my father took myself and one other girl from Colorado along with two pool players from another state and coached us to my first championship game at nationals.  We came away with the silver and not the gold but at those first nationals I met members of the U.S. squad that had just came back from World Championships and the U.S. coach was there as well.  I first heard the word Paralympics and then learned what the Paralympics were.  Now not only would my path change but my vision and goals would change as well.

links of information on Goalball


Author: Jen Armbruster