Basketball season ended last week. It was a great season all around for all of my kids, even my 4 year old. She learned to dribble the ball while watching all of those practices from the sidelines! I am proud of the improvements that they all made and joy they had in playing the sport.
I was one of the coaches for my 4th grade daughter’s team. The term coach should be used very loosely here, but I did what I could (my husband and two other men were the main coaches!). During the games I had the privilege of sitting on the bench with the girls and rotating them into the game. It was so much fun! Here, I had the opportunity to really get to know the girls. Their true personalities came out as they played ball and watched their teammates compete.
And their personalities impressed me. We played one team a few times that had a couple girls who would call our girls names, swear at them, and push them down. Not once did I see any of our team give it back. Not the way the girls on the other team gave it anyway. Our girls instead gave it back to them the best way they knew how; they played basketball. They focused on the game and showed the girls on the other team how to do it. I was so proud!
Another time we were in the middle of an intense game (it amazes me just how good 4th-6th grade girls are!); the score was very close. A girl on the other team fell down and one of the girls on our team stopped and reached out her hand and helped this girl back up. Again, I was impressed at their character.
And, on top of all of that, we won the majority of our games!
We live in a time now where kids sports are extremely important. The ages that we start our kids playing gets younger and younger, traveling teams are considered a must, and there is no longer an off-season. But what do we really want to get out of sports? What is too much? When does a child’s desire for fun turn into a parent’s longing for what could have been?
I am going to explore this further next time and I would love to hear your thoughts.
This video is what I want from my kids. This is what it’s all about. It’s more than winning and athletics and scholarships. It’s about building character. It’s about the ability to realize that a person is more important than winning. It’s learning to care for others; to serve others. This is what I want my children to learn!
Both teams won that day!