Basketball is a big deal in our household and it takes up a lot of time. Two of my kids are on teams. We just returned from a weekend trip to Gatlinburg, TN for a basketball tournament. My sixth grade son is on a competitive team, and I must say they are good. Although, something happened that we weren’t expecting, our team lost all three games.
As a mom, my heart went out to the boys. We all want the best for our kids and want nothing more than to see them win. Parents cheered from the sidelines and encouraged as much as we could. That’s just what we do, right.
They never gave up but you could see the discouragement on their faces. They just didn’t play well. I don’t know a lot about basketball but some of their shortcomings were obvious. They missed a lot of shots, and their passing game was poor. Plus one of our key shooters was not playing well.
Three of my son’s teammates rode with us from Ohio to Tennessee. Their parents were not able to make it, so my husband who is also the Assistant Coach looked out for them.
While we were waiting to load up the car to head back to Ohio, I decided to use it as a teachable moment for my son and his three teammates. I talked to them for a few minutes and gave them a little mom love while we were sitting alone. My husband would probably describe it as babying them but that’s his opinion. I’ve received that feedback before but I’m not pressed.
According to my husband, the bottom line is everyone wants to win. I get that, but I think it’s important to help kids find the lesson in the experience. So these are the four key points that I shared with them while we sat.
Be Bitter or Be Better
I know losing is not fun and it makes you feel bad. It’s okay to feel but you have to recover quickly especially when you are in the middle of a game. Keep hustling. Let it go and work harder. If you know you gave it your all, feel good about your effort. Always choose to be better because being bitter holds you back.
It’s tough to keep going when you know you are losing but perseverance is a great skill to have. There will be situations in life that you’ll have to persevere through. You have nothing to be ashamed of but celebrate the fact that you stayed the course to the end. Fight to the finish.
The coaches want you to win there is no doubt about that. Sometimes coaches get hyped, and they are giving you constant feedback. That’s their job, they are guiding you individually and as a team. They know your skills and talents. Their feedback is not intended to crush your spirit but to make you better, so listen up. Don’t get caught up in the emotions of it all. Take the feedback and make the necessary adjustments. Your coaches know the game and they care about all of you. It’s obvious by the time they commit on a volunteer basis, and their many acts of kindness.
Best Revenge is Success
The best revenge is success. I’m not even sure revenge is the right word but you get the gist. You have to be willing to do what it takes to be successful. What does that mean…practice, practice, practice especially if you love the game. Preparation is important in life and it helps you to be better. You all are talented. There will be more games, so just do your thing and get your hustle on!
So that was my mom pep talk for four 6th grade boys. They listened intently nodding as I talked but didn’t say much. I’m not sure how much of it sank in but I did my best to pour a few life lessons into them.
We’ll get em next time!
I heard a quote last night from Pastor TD Jakes:
“When it comes to our children, it’s not what you leave to them but what you leave in them. They can then make their own way in life.”
Peace and Blessings,