Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sixth Grade Sports

I have always claimed to be a bad sports mom.  I am very competitive by nature.  I am the second girl in my family and the middle child.  So I spent years trying to outshine my older sister and years trying to prove myself.  Now that I have children of my own involved in sports, my competitive side tends to come out even more.

My sixth grader decided to join a travel basketball team this year.  They do not have a sixth grade school team in our town, so travel basketball was our next option.  He was very excited when he made the "B" team.  What we didn't know is we would be in a league way above us!  We are playing teams that have been together for years.  These kids can run circles around us.  And every week his team shows up, plays hard, and gets beat!  I think it is more discouraging for me than it is for my son.  He keeps saying he is still having fun.  And he does not complain about practice or losing.

Here is what I have learned after six weeks, twelve games, and a record of 1-11:

1.  Cheer no matter what!  I tend to be louder than most parents at the games (except for my husband), but I am cheering for these boys no matter what the score is.

2.  What does not kill you makes you stronger!  I keep thinking how much experience this team is getting.  They are playing some of the best 6th graders in the state of Indiana.  They will only get better and stronger.

3.  Life is not fair.  There will be lots of things in life where you lose (not just games), and the sooner you realize this the better.

4.  Break it down.  While my sons team does not score a lot of points, it is exciting when he out-rebounds everyone on the court, or when he makes the most free throws, or when he gets the most steals.  There is always something positive to focus on.

5.  Celebrate no matter what.  A lot of times after losing two games, we go out to eat as a team.  The players get their own table, and the parents and other siblings sit together.  After one particularly bad day of games, my son said eating dinner with his teammates was the best part of the day.

Last Saturday, my son and I got to go watch the IU - Butler game in Indianapolis.  I am an IU graduate, so we were cheering for the Hoosiers, of course.  But sadly they didn't win.  And that is ok.  It was another lesson for my son who is learning it is ok to lose!

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